Salvation in Three Parts

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Van, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. Van

    Van
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    Being saved occurs in three parts. First we are saved from the penalty of sin, the wrath of God that occurs when the unsaved are justly punished for their sins in the afterlife. This part of salvation occurs when God accepts our faith, Romans 4:5 and Romans 4:24, and spiritually baptizes us into Christ. This sovereign action of God removes us from being "in Adam" separated from God, and places us "in Christ." Once in Christ two additional future things are predestined. One, we will be conformed to the image of Christ, and two, we will be adopted as sons, referring to our bodily resurrection in glorified bodies.

    During the second part of salvation born again believers undergo the predestined sanctification process of being conformed to the image of Christ. This part of salvation occurs after they have experienced the initial Ephesians 2:8-9 part of salvation where they were born again. During this second part of salvation we as a new creation in Christ, strive to be Christ-like and serve Christ, engaging in the ministry of Christ according to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This “sanctification” part of salvation is described in 1 Thess 4:3-8. During this period, we are saved from the power of sin, we can now do good works that are not filthy rags, works that please God and may earn rewards if they pass the test and are imperishable.

    If we are sidetracked, led astray into ineffective or non-existent ministry, if our works are perishable works of straw, we are still predestined to be adopted as sons and therefore we will still endure to the end and escape the wrath of God as one escaping from a fire, but bringing no or little rewards with us, thus losing that part of our salvation blessing from God. The loss of part of the benefits of our being in Christ in no way supports the idea that once we are "in Christ" with our faith and devotion to Christ protected by God Almighty (1 Peter 1:3-5) we can somehow remove ourselves from Christ after God alone placed us "in Christ" (1 Corinthians 1:30.)

    And finally, on that day we are bodily resurrected in glorified bodies, we are saved from the presence of sin. This part of salvation is predestined as a result of being born again in Christ Jesus. This “complete sanctification” is described in 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
    “Now may the God of Peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” At the Lord’s second coming we will be made complete, with our spirit no longer struggling with the corrupted influences of our flesh, in the theater of our mind! Thank God Almighty, peace at last, peace at last.
     
  2. MB

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    Do you believe the first two things happen all at once or separately at separate times?
    MB
     
  3. Van

    Van
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    If I understand your question, MB, the first "thing" is when God credits our faith as righteousness and spiritually places us in Christ. This happens at the same time or without any delay between God crediting our faith as righteousness and spiritually placing us in Christ and sealing us in Christ with the Holy Spirit. In Acts 10 we see folks sitting hearing Peter present the gospel and then before Peter finishes, they are indwelt with the Holy Spirit. So the time between God crediting their faith as righteousness and putting them in Christ seem to be a very short time or no time at all. What this means is I believe there is no time between God's election and salvation. God chooses us through sanctification by the Spirit and [through] belief in the truth. When (and if) God credits our faith as righteousness, that is God choosing us through belief in the truth. When God spiritually places us "in Christ" that is God choosing us through sanctification by the Spirit, because it is God who puts us in Christ. This whole even is called "positional sanctification - being set apart in Christ, being transferred from the realm of darkness into the Kingdom of God.

    Now to the second "thing" which is called "progressive sanctification" and occurs after a person arises "in Christ" a new creation, created for good works. So this process occurs over time, from conversion (into a new creation) until death (or the return of Christ whichever occurs first). This is where we grow in spiritually maturity, becoming more Christ-like. And this is where we build on the foundation of Christ, and earn rewards. This is where we pick up our cross and carry it every day as we strive to follow Christ and abide in His teachings.

    The third "thing" called ultimate sanctification is at the return of Christ. So the first and the third happen separately but both happen over a very short or no time span. The second can last, if someone is saved as a youth, 90 or so years, if the person lives that long.
     
  4. J.D.

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    I came to know Christ as my Savior on August 15th, 1969. Does that mean that my salvation from the practice and presence of sin was not predestined until then? Is that the day that God learned of my eventual salvation from the presence of sin?
     
  5. Van

    Van
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    Hi J.D, please do not misrepresent what I say. I did not say part 2, progressive sanctification sets us free from the "practice of sin." I believe I said, from the power of sin. Being a new creature with in indwelt guide (the Holy Spirit) we can grow more like Christ - who lived a sinless life in obedience to the Father.

    Now the "practice of sin" refers in my mind to intentionally sinning and not feeling shame and regret, like using deception in discussion.

    Scripture says once God puts us spiritually in Christ, then and not before, are we predestined to two things: (1) to be conformed to the image of Christ, and (2) to an inheritance reserved in heaven for us. This inheritance is our adoption as children of God, free from the presence of sin in our resurrected, glorified bodies, in which we spend eternal life with God.

    The Bible says those He places in Christ based on crediting their faith as righteousness, and then predestines to be conformed and inherit eternal life, He knew beforehand. The Bible does not say how long beforehand or in what way, i.e intimate personal relationship or something less.

    If we look at Romans 8:28-29, it tells us that those who have been called according to His purpose [referring back to those who love God and have been placed spiritually in Christ and indwelt with the Holy Spirit as a guide] whom He "foreknew" He also predestined....

    Some believe, i.e. Calvinist, that at the point where God foreknew those He saves, He also predestined them. But again, the Bible does not say in this passage, when God foreknew, or what is meant. My view is that Ephesians 1:4 refers to God choosing the Word to be His Lamb, His Redeemer and therefore His choice of a redeemer, included a determination to redeem believers, and therefore when a person whose faith God has credited as righteous is chosen individually and placed in Christ per 2 Thessalonians 2:13, that is according to His purpose and plan. So His redemption plan was "determined" at some point in eternity, before the foundation of the world, and so God "knew" that anyone subsequently placed into the "body of Christ" as a member of the corporately elected target group of His redemption plan, would be saved from the penalty, power and presence of sin from before the foundation of the world. But, we were called through the gospel, during our lives, and then based on crediting our faith as righteousness, He chose us individually and spiritually placed us into the "body of Christ."
     
    #5 Van, Mar 19, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2011
  6. HankD

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    Justification, sanctification, glorification.

    Good summary view.

    HankD
     
  7. Van

    Van
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    Yes, a good summary view is that positional sanctification - when God chooses those whose faith He has credited as righteousness and places spiritually in Christ - results in that individual "receiving" the justification provided by Christ's sacrifice on the cross. For those of us "in Christ" when we sin it is just as if we didn't sin, because we are justified forever. But those sins do have consequence, hindering ministry and not earning eternal rewards. Thus we should not sin so grace can abound.

    Once we have been set apart spiritually in Christ, we undergo the circumcision of Christ - where our body of sin is removed - and arise in Christ a new creation - created for good works. But as long as we are in this tent of flesh, we will struggle with avoiding sin and becoming more Christ-like, and this process is called progressive sanctification.

    Now glorification also comes in two parts, when God spiritually places us in Christ we are spiritually glorified, and when we are resurrected in glorified bodies, we will be physically glorified. Peace at last, peace at last, thank God Almighty, peace at last.
     
  8. Iconoclast

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    JD,

    Did you ever remove a flannel shirt and the sleeves got stuck so that when you took it off....it was all twisted,inside out and backwards.
    It was still the same shirt,but needed to be placed in the right order and corrected before functioning properly.


    :confused:
    :eek:
    JD
    Better to use the shirt the right way to begin with....not backwards ,tangled , and twisted.;)
     
  9. Van

    Van
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    If you believe a shirt should look backward, tangled and twisted, then when you see one laid out the way it was intended, you will say, that is all wrong. :) Emoticons are no subsitute for specific references to scripture.

    Who is predestined? The Greek term transliterated as proorizo and translated usually as predestined appears 7 times in six verses in the New Testament.

    In Acts 4:28 it is used to describe that the suffering of Christ was predestined as part of God’s foretold plan of redemption. So the term applies to a feature of God’s predetermined plan.

    In Romans 8:29 all those in Christ are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ. So, again, the term applies to a feature of God’s predetermined plan applicable to anyone in Christ, not to those not yet in Christ.

    In Romans 8:30 the term simply repeats the usage of Romans 8:29, those predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ are called to a Holy calling.

    In 1 Corinthians 2:7 the term is again applied to Christ as the predestined Lord of Glory.

    In Ephesians 1:5 the term is applied to all those in Christ as predestined to be adopted as sons, raised in glorified bodies.

    In Ephesians 1:11 the term is applied to those in Christ as being predestined to an inheritance, everlasting life with God, which is the fulfillment of God’s purpose in creation and predestined plan from all eternity.

    In summary, the term is only applied to features of God’s predetermined plan affecting Christ or all those, whoever they may be, in Christ. It is never used to describe either the preselection of specific individuals unconditionally nor the preselection of individuals with foreseen faith, which are the erroneous views of the Calvinists and the Arminians.
     
  10. MB

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    Hi Van;
    I believe that by an act of God and the Holy Spirit, I was convinced of the gospel. Because of this being convinced of the gospel and Jesus Christ, I became convicted. The conviction took my life to the very bottom of myself where I could see just who I was at the time. I wanted very badly to escape this conviction. By then I knew the only way to over come it and that was surrender. So I simply gave up to Christ. No I wasn't forced but I was certainly influenced.

    I know many reach the same point I did and still they rebel, I just couldn't live with the conviction.
    MB
     
  11. Van

    Van
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    Hi MB, yes that sounds like my surrender to Christ as well. It wasn't so much the words of the gospel message, but seeing in the Spirit led lives of those presenting the gospel, that they were very different from me. So the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, but it is brought by the power of the Spirit of God using instruments like Paul. Very convicting because we know how wretched we really were.

    Van
     
  12. The Archangel

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    This will likely be the first of a few postings, as time permits, to address some of the things you've said.

    Your assertion, above, simply cannot be. The grammar of the Greek will not allow for it.

    The simple sentence at the beginning of Ephesians 1:4 (relating back to 1:3) is this: He chose us. "Us" is the Greek ͗͗ἡμας which is a plural pronoun. This pronoun cannot refer to Christ, or the Word or whatever. This pronoun refers to Paul and the Christians reading the letter.

    So, your "view" cannot be supported by the grammar and is, therefore, incorrect.

    The Archangel
     
  13. Skandelon

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    Well stated Van.

    A good illustration regarding being predestined to sanctification is one of a coach.

    A coach can predetermine that his team will be very well conditioned BEFORE any of them individually choose to join his team.

    In the same manner God can and I believe did decided beforehand what would become of his church. He predestined US (believers) to become conformed to the image of Christ and to be adopted as his sons. It NEVER once says that lost men are predestined to become believers. As The Archangel just said, it is US (believers) to whom Paul refers as being predestined...
     
    #13 Skandelon, Mar 21, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2011
  14. Van

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    Hi Archangel, your assertion is incorrect. Yes the "us" refers to Paul and his born again audience. They are "in Christ." He is talking about the blessings bestowed on those "in the Beloved." Thus, when God chose His Redeemer before the foundation of the world, He choose Him with a pre-determined plan for His Redeemer to redeem. Thus He chose "us" whoever was subsequently redeemed, from before the foundation of the world. Where we part company, if you actually understood my view, is I believe He chose us in Him corporately as the target group of His redemption plan, rather than individually. The grammar, not to put too fine a point on it will support either view.
     
  15. The Archangel

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    I see what you are saying, but what you have here stated does not comport with what you said earlier: "My view is that Ephesians 1:4 refers to God choosing the Word to be His Lamb, His Redeemer..."

    At face value, what you have stated does not agree with the grammar. Now, if you have stated something different, as you did in your immediate response, then you may be reversing or reexplaining yourself and that is an entirely different conversation.

    However, your original assertion based on Ephesians 1:4--that God chose Christ and that is what the passage is referring to--cannot be correct.

    The Archangel
     
  16. Van

    Van
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    My view is that Ephesians 1:4 refers to God choosing the Word to be His Lamb, His Redeemer and therefore His choice of a redeemer, included a determination to redeem believers, and therefore when a person whose faith God has credited as righteous is chosen individually and placed in Christ per 2 Thessalonians 2:13, that is according to His purpose and plan.

    Yes the "us" refers to Paul and his born again audience. They are "in Christ." He is talking about the blessings bestowed on those "in the Beloved." Thus, when God chose His Redeemer before the foundation of the world, He choose Him with a pre-determined plan for His Redeemer to redeem. Thus He chose "us" whoever was subsequently redeemed, from before the foundation of the world. Where we part company, if you actually understood my view, is I believe He chose us in Him corporately as the target group of His redemption plan, rather than individually. The grammar, not to put too fine a point on it will support either view.

    My original assertion is the same, and the grammar supports the view. I did not reverse or present an entirely different conversation.
     
  17. The Archangel

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    You are simply incorrect and have offered no technical reason as to why you would be otherwise. Regardless, the grammar cannot be made to support your position.

    The Archangel
     
  18. The Archangel

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    The term itself does not determine the application of the definition. The usage, in each individual context, does. Some of the appearances of this word are verb are made quite different by their forms.

    The verb appears 6 times and ever instance of the usage of προορίζω is in the aorist tense--which is itself telling.

    Four of the uses are verbal uses; two of the uses are participles. Every instance of the verbal use is this: Aorist Active Indicative.

    The suffering of Christ was, indeed, the plan of God. This is showing that Christ's death was not, ultimately, caused by humans, but by God.

    In this instance, the word προορίζω is referring to God's plan. But, that is a matter of grammar, not a matter of definition.

    The term "in Christ" does not appear in this passage. So, it must be counted as facts not in evidence. Certainly we know that God places people "in Christ" but in this instance Paul is not overtly discussing the "in Christ" concept.

    When dealing with the "in Christ" concept, as Paul does in Ephesians, it is clear that God places persons into Christ before the foundation of the world. So, technically, there are none who are "not yet" in Christ. There are some who are "in Christ" who are not yet saved, but the action of placing persons "in Christ" is God's alone and that die has been cast eons ago.

    That said, the treatment of the only one of the verbs--predestined--is a bit short-sighted and does send your assertion off into the rough.

    Of the verbs in Romans 8:29-30, predestined is only one. There are four others:

    1. Foreknew (which means chose)
    2. Predestined (already mentioned)
    3. Called
    4. Justified
    5. Glorified

    These five verbs are all Aorist Active Indicative. So, it is not proper to take only one of the verbs. In fact, since all five verbs are presented in the same form, we are seeing Paul describe a package. Also, the Aorist is signifying an action (or actions, in this case) to be completed in their entirety. So, God's action of predestination is happening in conjunction with His choosing, His calling, His justifying, and His glorifying of His chosen ones.

    So, in summary, these five verbs are showing a package of God's actions and, as such, they are inseparable.

    The term is not applied to Christ. In the immediate context, the antecedent of προορίζω is not Christ, but "wisdom."

    This is not the case. This is the first example in the list of προορίζω being a participle. As such it does not stand on its own; it tells how the action of the main verb is completed.

    The main verb in this passage is found in v. 4--"chose" as in "He chose us." The participial form of προορίζω is signifying that God's sovereign choice of us is accomplished through His predestinating us for adoption through Jesus Christ.

    So, in one sense, the term is applied to those in Christ, but it is applied before the fact--it tells how and when we were placed into Christ: Before the foundation of the world.

    The term is strictly, and appropriately, applied to "we"--because κληρόω is first person plural. Also, because this appearance of προορίζω is, again, a participle, the word shows how we have obtained our inheritance. We have obtained our inheritance through God's predestining work.

    Almost every passage is rife with examples of the word applied to "we" or "us," hardly "never describing preselection..." The truth of the matter is that this term is frequently used and applied to persons, not plans.

    The Archangel
     
  19. Skandelon

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    There is no grammatical problem with Van's argument. "Us" simply means "us," the believers, the church. You interpret it to mean that he chose individuals to become believers and we interpret it to mean that he chose believers ('us') to become sanctified in Christ. God simply predetermined what would become of those who entered "the door" (Jesus), by faith. You are overcomplicating the issue.
     
  20. Van

    Van
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    One of the earmarks of false teachers is the claim the words mean what they say they mean, not what they mean in other places. Thus words have no meaning. This is a tool of the trade of making scripture to no effect.

    The next tool in the tool box of false teachers is to prove "A" and then simply claim "B" has been proven.

    Next they make distinctions without a difference, saying "in Christ" does not appear in the passage. But in verse 26 we see that the Spirit helps our weaknesses, and we are sealed "in Christ" with that Spirit. Who are those who are called according to His purpose, those not in Christ or those in Christ? The facts are in evidence.

    God does not place people who have yet to be created in Christ. This view redefines creation as happing before creation. A logical absurdity. But if words have no meaning, then no problem!

    Does foreknew mean individually chosen? Of course not. It means something known beforehand, such as His predetermined plan of redemption including the corporately elected target group, those whose faith God credits as righteousness.

    We are called through the gospel during our lives. Therefore no one is called according to His purpose until they have heard and affirmatively responded to the gospel. And therefore, the redemption plan included the feature that anyone spiritually placed in Christ, the saints of verse 27, would be predestined to two things: being conformed to the image of God and make Christ the first born of many brothers. So all the saints in Christ are born again after the first born Christ, otherwise someone else, say Abraham, would be the first born. But no, Abraham had to wait for Christ to be made perfect in Christ just as Hebrews says.

    Lets look at the package of Romans 8:29 and 30. Paul is describing the package of God's actions applicable to each individual placed spiritually in Christ, becoming one of the "saints" of verse and one of the "called according to His purpose" of verse 28.

    First they were foreknown, refering to God choosing Christ as His Redeemer, and therefore the target group of His redemption plan was chosen corporately. Next, because His redemption plan is unfolding, continuing action, God is continuing to place people into His foreknow target group, the "body of Christ. The plan is that anyone spiritually placed in Christ will be predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ and adopted as a child of God. Therefore our bodily resurrection is predestinated. And this is also still unfolding, as each new believer is spiritually placed in Christ, they are being predestinated to be conformed and resurrected.

    Now who exactly was predestinated? Whoever was spiritually placed into the body of Christ. No one was predestinated that has not been placed into the body of Christ.

    And then speaking of these who have been placed into the body of Christ, Paul continues with the package. He also called them, and this refers to those whose faith He credits as righteousness, so again this is an ongoing process applicable to everyone spiritually placed in Christ. And next, when we are spiritually placed in Christ, we undergo the circumcision of Christ whereby we receive the justification provided by Christ's sacrifice on the cross. And finally, since we are spiritually in Christ we are spiritually glorified. That completes the package I call positional sanctification where we are transferred from the realm of darkness into the kingdom of God.

    As far as 1 Cor 2:7, yes the grammar points to "wisdom" but using the context of verse 8, it appears that the wisdom was none other that Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Again Ephesians 1:5 does not say we were chosen because we were predestined, it says we were predestined because we were chosen. Here is a snippet from a published source:

    "It is better to view God’s act of election as being expressed in the predestination of
    the elect, so that the primacy of election remains without diminishing the importance
    of predestination. Therefore the participle is modal and the two concepts are
    simultaneous acts of God, without temporal sequence"
     

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