When were you saved?  I’ll never forget the day the answer hit me between the eyes: “Two thousand years ago.”  My pastor looked puzzled.  I didn’t know it then, but I was talking about the history of salvation (historia salutis) and he was thinking about the order of salvation (ordu salutis).  In reality, though, “salvation” in Scripture encompasses both.  Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption at the cross and in His resurrection, but the Spirit applies it when He calls us effectually through the gospel and unites us to Christ.  So, history of salvation refers to the unfolding stages from promise to fulfillment, while the order of salvation focuses on the various stages in the believer’s experience of salvation’s blessings.

The order of salvation is of crucial significance and may be drawn from many clear passages, including Romans 8.29-30: “Those whom He predestined, He also called, and those whom He called, He also justified, and those whom He justified, He also glorified.”  We were chosen in eternity and redeemed at the cross.  We have been justified the moment we trusted in Christ alone for our salvation.  We are being sanctified.  And we will be glorified.

From: Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples by Michael Horton (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011), p. 246.


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