• Common grace is the grace of God by which he gives people innumerable blessings that are not part of salvation (Matt. 5:44–45). God gives common grace in the physical, intellectual, moral, creative, societal, and religious realms. God gives common grace to redeem those who will be saved, and to demonstrate his goodness, mercy, justice, and glory.
• The order of salvation: this is the order that everyone follows from being a sinner to glorification.
1 Election ( God’s choice of people to be saved)
2 The gospel call ( proclaiming the message of the gospel)
3 Regeneration ( being born again)
4 Conversion ( faith and repentance)
5 Justification ( right legal standing)
6 Adoption ( membership in God’s family)
7 Sanctification ( right conduct of life and likeness to Christ)
8 Perseverance ( remaining a Christian)
9 Death ( going to be with the Lord)
10 Glorification ( receiving a resurrection body)
I have highlighted conversion, sanctification and perseverance for a reason. Conversion is the only part we play in our salvation. Conversion is our willing response by faith and repentance to the call of God. With sanctification and perseverance, we play about 50% of the part and the rest is played by God through the Holy Spirit. We play epsolutely 0% role in all other steps that are not highlighted.
God chooses us, calls us and regenerates us, then we respond by faith and repentance. Then God justifies and adopts us as his children. Then we go through a process of refinement or purification. God uses sanctification and perseverance to refine us and purify us. Then we die, which is God’s sole decision and finally we get glorified and again, this is God sole work.
Election is an act of God before creation in which he chooses some people to be saved, not on account of any foreseen merit in them, but only because of his sovereign good pleasure.
• The NT teaches election as a source of comfort for believers (Rom. 8:28), as a reason to praise God (Eph. 1:5–6), and as an encouragement to evangelism (2 Tim. 2:10).
• Reprobation is the sovereign decision of God before creation to pass over some persons, in sorrow deciding not to save them, and to punish them for their sins, and thereby to manifest his justice (Rom. 9:17–22).
• Effective calling is an act of God the Father, speaking through the human proclamation of the gospel, in which he summons people to himself in such a way that they respond in saving faith (Rom. 8:30).
• Regeneration is a secret act of God in which he imparts new spiritual life to us (John 3:3–8).
• Conversion is our willing response to the gospel call, in which we sincerely repent of sins and place our trust in Christ for salvation (John 3:16). Both faith and repentance continue throughout life (Matt. 6:12; Gal. 2:20).
• Saving faith is trust in Jesus Christ as a living person for forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God (John 1:12).
• Repentance is a heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ (2 Cor. 7:9–10).
• Justification is an instantaneous legal act of God in which he (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in his sight (Gal. 2:16).
. Adoption is an act of God whereby he makes us members of his family (John 1:12).
• Sanctification is a progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives (Rom. 6:11–14).
• The baptism of the Holy Spirit refers to the activity of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the Christian life when he gives us new spiritual life and cleanses us and gives a clear break with the power and love of sin (1 Cor. 12:13).
• The filling of the Holy Spirit can occur repeatedly in a Christian’s life and produces increased sanctification, increased power, and effectiveness in ministry (1 Cor. 12:31).
• The perseverance of the saints means that all those who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives, and that only those who persevere until the end have been truly born again (John 10:27–39).
• Death is the final outcome of living in a fallen world, is not a punishment for Christians, and is used by God to complete our sanctification (1 Cor. 15:54–55).
• In the intermediate state between death and resurrection there is a separation of body and soul. The souls of believers go immediately into God’s presence (2 Cor. 5:8) and the souls of unbelievers go immediately to eternal punishment (Luke 16:24–26), but the bodies of both remain on earth.
Glorification is the final step in the application of redemption. It will happen when Christ returns and raises from the dead the bodies of all believers for all time who have died, reunites them with their souls, and changes the bodies of all believers who remain alive, thereby giving all believers at the same time perfect resurrection bodies like his own (1 Cor. 15:12–58).
• Union with Christ is a phrase used to summarize several relationships between believers and Christ, through which Christians receive every benefit of salvation (Eph. 1:4). It includes the following aspects:(1) We are in Christ; (2) Christ is in us; (3) We are like Christ; (4) We are with Christ.