Category Archive: Doctrines of Salvation

The Order of the Application of Salvation

I remember watching a program a few years ago in which a huge maze of dominos was assembled. Lines of stacked dominos ran every direction in a large warehouse. The dominos went up little ramps and crossed each other. It took over a month to construct the intricate rows of dominos. At a signal, carefully …

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Man’s Radical Corruption

A favorite hymn of many Christians is Amazing Grace by John Newton. While this hymn is a favorite of many Christians, there are few Christians in the present evangelical community who know or understand the profound theology set forth in this hymn. The hymn proclaims the tremendous truth of God’s divine initiative in our salvation. …

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Man’s Moral Inability

In the first article of this series, we examined some of the aspects of man’s radical corruption in sin. We observed that man is dead in sin (Eph. 2:1-3; Col. 2:13), represses the knowledge of God and creates idols (Rom. 1:18-25), does not do good according to God’s law, and does not seek for God …

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Effectual Calling and Regeneration

In the last chapter, we examined the nature of man’s sin and the consequent necessity of God being the divine initiator of our salvation. We are now going to consider the process by which God makes us alive in Christ. Ephesians 2:1-5 states: 1. And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2. in …

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Saving Faith

The question has sometimes been raised about which comes first, faith or repentance. The two concepts, however, are really twins that are linked together. Our faith is a repenting faith and our repentance is a believing repentance. In Acts 20:21, in the middle of Paul’s farewell address to the Ephesian elders, he states, “. . …

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Repentance unto Life

In the last chapter, we considered that once a person has been made alive spiritually by the work of the Holy Spirit, his regenerate heart naturally believes and repents. We have also observed that faith and repentance flow out of regeneration; they are not the cause of regeneration. Faith and repentance are closely connected; neither …

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Justification by Faith Alone: The Heart and Essence of the Gospel

Martin Luther said that justification by faith alone is “the article upon which the church stands or falls” (articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae).1 Charles Spurgeon, concurred and stated, “Any church which puts in the place of justification by faith in Christ another method of salvation is a harlot church.”2 The doctrine of justification by faith …

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The Sixteenth Century Debates on Justification

In 1517 a monk in Germany nailed a document to a church door. There was nothing unusual about this since it was the common practice to use the church door as a bulletin board. Issues for debate were often nailed to the church door. However, the hammer blows that sounded that day reverberated throughout Europe. …

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The Connection between Faith and Works

As a pastor, I have discovered there are certain passages that I am repeatedly asked about. James 2:14-26 is one of those passages because it seems to contradict what Paul said in Romans and other places about being justified by faith alone. For example, Paul in Romans 3:28 makes a summary statement concerning justification by …

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The Apex of God’s Grace: The Doctrine of Adoption

In the last three articles dealing with justification by faith alone, we observed that justification is a legal declaration of God in which a person’s sins are forgiven and Christ’s righteousness is imputed to him being received by faith alone. We also noted that justification and true saving faith are demonstrated in a person’s life …

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Definitive Sanctification

REVIEW – THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ORDER OF SALVATION I remember watching a program a few years ago in which a huge maze of dominos was assembled. Lines of stacked dominos ran every direction in a large warehouse. The dominos went up little ramps and crossed each other. It took over a month to construct …

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Progressive Sanctification

An old farmer frequently described his Christian experience by saying, “Well, I’m not making much progress, but I’m established!” One spring when he was hauling some logs, his wagon wheels sank down to the axles in mud. Try as he would, he couldn’t get the wagon out. Defeated, he sat atop the logs, viewing the dismal …

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The Perseverance of the Saints

The issue of whether or not a Christian can lose his salvation has been a matter of theological debate throughout the history of the church. During the time of Augustine’s controversy with Pelagius, the entire biblical concept of salvation was brought into the foreground. Pelagius held a man-centered concept of salvation in which grace was …

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The Final Act of Redemption: Glorification

In the logical order of our salvation, the last redemptive act of God is our glorification. The concept of glorification as the last redemptive act of God is set forth in Romans 8:29-30: “For whom he foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born …

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