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MAKING SENSE OF GOD'S ELECTION: a Digest of the Essentials of the Work by Donald R. Shell - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/election/elmss929.s.htm
MAKING SENSE OF GOD'S ELECTION: a Digest of the Essentials of the Work by Donald R. Shell
Part III: Restructuring The Ordo Salutis
Part IV: Resolving The Election Debate
A. Conclusion On Divine Election And Predestination
- Having studied all the pertinent subjects and Scripture passages on divine election and its related doctrines, we now provide the Ordo Salutis, or the order of salvation events as follows:
- Divine foreknowledge of those who would believe the Gospel, 1 Peter 1:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 2:13 and Ephesians 1:4-5.
- Divine election to post-justification blessings based upon that foreknowledge, 1 Peter 1:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 2:13 and Ephesians 1:4-5.
- Divine conviction wrought first by God's use of general revelation and/or (as the individual case may be) by the Spirit under the Son's ministry, Romans 1:18-20; John 1:7; 11:8-11, 13-14.
- Repentance toward God and faith in the Gospel, Acts 2:37-38.
- Divine justification based on God's grace as an event immediately and logically subsequent to human repentance and faith in Christ, Romans 3:26.
- Regeneration as parallel with justification in time, and as totally the work of God apart from any human merit or work, Ephesians 2:4-10.
- The outward manifestations of regeneration and consequential divine blessings flowing from that status, Ephesians 2:8-9; James 2:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17 with 1 Peter 1:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 2:13 and Ephesians 1:4-5, 13-14. (This author is very indebted to C. Gordon Olson's call for the need for such an ordo salutis in such a work, cf. "Beyond Calvinism and Arminianism: Toward An Amyraldian Soteriology," paper presented to the Evangelical Theological Society Annual Meeting in Toronto, December 29, 1981, p. 9.)
- Accordingly, we make the following summary conclusion on Divine Election and Predestination:
- Unlike the Calvinist, Moderate Calvinist and Arminian stands, we do not hold divine election results in justification. Rather, God's election is based upon His eternal awareness of those He foresaw would believe and be justified by Him, and He chose them to blessings based upon that foreseen justified status.
- Unlike the Calvinist and Moderate Calvinist stands, we do not hold man's will and nature to be alike totally corrupt. Neither do we adopt the Arminian view that man's nature and will are alike partially corrupt in amount but totally corrupt in extent. Rather, we hold fallen man's nature is totally corrupt in extent and amount, but that his innate ability to make a choice is itself an incorruptible entity identifying him as still existing in the image of God, cf. Genesis 9:6. When God convicts the lost of the truth about His godhead and power through natural revelation (Romans 1:18-20) or about the Gospel itself, he is capable of choosing to believe either one, and is responsible to select God's revelation versus the evil data he always perceives from his corrupted nature, the devil or the world so as to trust in Christ (or eventually come to trust in the Gospel in the case of conviction at the level of natural revelation) for salvation.
- Unlike the Calvinist, we do not see God providing an immediate gift of faith for certain unregenerate men to believe the Gospel. Neither do we hold as in Arminianism that faith is a meritorious entity that man contributes to God to help in his salvation. Rather, faith is totally authored by the sinner, but God saves him without any effective saving contribution on the part of the unregenerate.
- Unlike the Calvinist or possibly the Moderate Calvinist positions, we do not see predestination including God's authoring man's volition, whether man is justified or not. Rather, God works all things out according to His eternal plan and foreknowledge through external influences relative to man so that the decisions men make precisely conform to God's eternal decree.
- Unlike some Calvinists, we do not believe Christ's death atoned only for a limited number to be saved. Rather, we hold His death covers the sins of all individuals in the world's history so that any one of them might be saved to God's sole glory.
- Unlike the Calvinist, we do not believe the elect will persevere due to an eternal election to that end. Neither do we believe as the Arminian that one can lose his justified status by some sin. Rather, at faith in the Gospel, the sinner is justified and thus sealed by the Holy Spirit so that the Holy Spirit unconditionally keeps him justified until he reaches heaven beyond all threat of the loss of that justified status.
- In final summary to this work, both man's faith and God's election are necessary components to God's plan of salvation. So, according to our initial burden in this work, God's written revelation, the Bible, that presents these truths is His truly inerrant Word! Glory to God!