I am questioned quite often by non-Calvinists and believers who simply don’t know what Reformation Theology is. My first response to them is always, “God is Sovereign.” From that and their response to that statement I then know where to go from there. Most are in a doctrinally confused state because of the poor discipleship they have had.
Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ Matthew 25:34 (NASB)
I am a Calvinist. In this age of not saying things in order to avoid causing offense I refuse to subject myself to that. I know who saved me. I know that without God’s sovereign grace working in me I would never have been saved. It would never have happened because I know what I was. Just a sinner. I was as the Word of God says, dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). Since that time I have read many books, listened to many sermons, and have written much about the “process” of how a person goes from being spiritually dead to spiritually alive in Christ. The Reformers had it right. They developed what is referred to as the Ordo Solutis, which is Latin for “Order of Salvation.” Here it is.
- Election – God’s choice of people to save. This choice occurred before the foundation of the world.
- Predestination – The work of God to ordain to salvation those who have been elected to it.
- Calling – The preaching of the gospel message.
- Regeneration – The change in the person produced by God.
- Faith – The trust an individual has in the work of God on the cross.
- Repentance – Turning from sin.
- Justification – The imputation of righteousness to the individual thus making him righteous according to the law.
- Sanctification – God’s work in the individual to make him more like Christ.
- Perseverance – God’s work in the individual results in the person continually believing throughout his life.
- Glorification – Resurrection to glory with God.
Follow this link to a more detailed description of the Order of Salvation.
Why did I start with all that? I believe that Christians nowadays are tragically ignorant of the Word of God and Doctrines of our Faith. When I talk about these things in my own church I get some very hard stares from some people and some of them actually tell me they have never heard this before. Because of this, they interpret the Bible differently than our Reformed predecessors who knew their Bibles well and studied them in order to understand God’s good doctrines. Why did they do that? When God’s people know God’s truth they become united in it. True Christian unity is found there not in compromise.
Secondly, I wanted to get our focus on the source of our salvation. Some people actually believe they are in Christ because they did something. The Ordo Solutis, which is based solidly in God’s Truth, tells us that it is our God who saves His people from beginning to end. I confessed above that I know for a fact that I was dead in my trespasses and sins before God saved me. My salvation was more like a resurrection from the dead, which for all true Christians it really is. Sadly, many don’t see it that way. I marvel that God would actually save someone like me.