Friday, January 18, 2008

Ordination #2, Art. 6b: Applying Atonement

The application of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is salvation of those who would believe. Romans 8.30 gives a general order of salvation (predestined, called, justified, glorified), though many of the events only have logical priority as they are virtually instantaneous. Humankind’s corruption through sin renders us helpless to receive the gift of salvation (Rom. 3.10-11) without divine enablement that He purposed before the creation of the world to give to those He has chosen by His own will (Eph. 1.4-5; Jn. 15.16). While God’s call to salvation is in some ways general (Isa. 55.1; Mt. 11.28), sin renders man unable to respond unless God places an effectual call upon the ones He has chosen (Jn. 6.44; Acts 13.48; 16.14). With this divine enablement to respond, genuine conversion is required because only those who believe and receive Jesus Christ enjoy the benefits of His sacrifice. The two aspects of genuine conversion are repentance, turning away from sin (Acts 2.38; Mt. 4.17), and faith, trusting in Christ alone for salvation (Eph. 2.8-9).

This was the section where I spent the most time dwelling upon the “order of salvation.” Some believe, because we are spiritually dead, we need to be regenerated (born-again) before we choose to believe. I’ve opted for God’s effective calling enabling us to choose Him, resulting in regeneration. Any thoughts on how you’ve figured this out would be greatly appreciated because I’m pretty ambivalent on it at this point.

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