Friday, 17 October 2014

The Salvation Of The Elect

Salvation is presented in Scripture as having a past, present, and future aspect. Here's some brief notes highlighting how this is so.

1. Salvation is presented in Scripture as -

 + a concluded legal matter (Eph. 2:8-9 "saved"), 

 + a present unfolding experience (Phil. 2:12 "work out your salvation"; 1Cor. 1:18 ¶ "For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."), and 

 + a future hope (Acts 15:11 "But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus"; Rom. 10:13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”).

2. Salvation encompasses -

+ the regeneration of a human spirit (present)

+ the guarantee of a glorified resurrected body (future) 

3. Salvation ensures - 

+ Adoption by God (past and future)

+ Justification by and before God (past)

+ Sanctification (present and future)

+ Translation into God’s presence for eternity (future)

4. Salvation is effectual by - 

+ The finished work of Christ’s atonement (past)

+ The election of the Father (past)

+ The agency of the Holy Spirit’s regenerating the elect as a gracious gift (past)

+ The perseverance of the saints by the sustaining of the Holy Spirit (present)

+ The glorification of the elect in the Resurrection by the Father, Son and Spirit (future)

5. Salvation is not the result of - 

 + The believer’s instigation

 + The believer’s natural will

 + The decision of the unregenerate to believe

 + Any acts of moral virtue done by the redeemed

  - because if any of #5. was true then salvation cannot be by grace.

Thus, salvation is a past, present, and future act of God. Because man is constituted as a “soul” (body + spirit) he must remain so for eternity - which makes the resurrection necessary. Therefore, while the believer’s spirit is saved through regeneration, the believer’s soul cannot have salvation completed until their glorification in the Resurrection. In the meantime, the Holy Spirit empowers the believer "to work” (Eph. 2:10) and to strive toward resembling their legal position of justification (Phil. 2:12). It is not this work which saves the believer - it is this work which confirms a person is a believer. This is the distinction between ‘root’ (God’s grace through Christ) and ‘fruit’ (our offering of works to God for His glory).

Andrew Corbett

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