Monday, 22 December 2014

The Order of Salvation - What it is, Why it Matters and Who Got it Wrong - Part 1

PART 1: Redemption Planned and Accomplished

Redemption Planned

Before the world was made and before there was ever a second or a minute or an hour, the Triune God, Father Son and Holy Spirit existed. God has no beginning, God has no end, as Psalm 90 says, “From everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

In eternity past, the Triune God planned the redemption of a people. This people God the Father gave to his Son. The Son agreed to purchase this people with his own blood, and the Spirit agreed to apply this salvation to those the Son would die for.

This people that were chosen were chosen by the sovereign electing grace of God. God did not look ahead and see that these people would be nice and therefore choose them. God did not look ahead and see that these people would have faith, and therefore choose them. God chose them, in Christ, before the foundation of the world, according to the good pleasure of his will, for the praise of glorious of his grace, as Ephesians 1 explains.

This is what we call election. God elected a people. Our redemption has been planned. John Murray helpfully explains how election, far from being a doctrine that Christians should argue over, is actually a doctrine which magnifies the love of God. God’s choice was not heartless, but full of love. God did not have to choose us. He didn’t have to save anyone. God was not lonely, as some have taught! God had no need for us, but he chose us and having chosen us, it became necessary for his Son to die to redeem us.

It’s good to pause, isn’t it? It’s good to pause and praise God for his grace. He chose us because of grace. It’s good to pause and praise God for his love. His choosing to give us everlasting life was a costly choice, full of love. There was no other way or one to redeem us than through the sacrifice of His Son on the cross.

Redemption Accomplished

This redemption was planned in eternity, but we must see that it was accomplished in time. Look at Gal 4:3-5.

The Shorter Catechism summarises the work of redemption from start to finish: He was born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing all the miseries of this life, the wrath of God and the cursed death of a cross; in being buried and that in a low condition and continuing under the power of death.

It goes on: He rose again from the dead on the third day, he ascended into heaven and is sitting at the right hand of God the Father, and he is coming to judge the world at the last day.

Redemption has been accomplished!

I want to make the point here that Christ did not die to make salvation possible. He died to save. He died to save his people. He died for the church of God. He purchased them with his own blood. As John Murray says, “Christ did not die to put men in a redeemable position but to redeem a people.” Those whom God chose before the foundation of the world, those are the ones that Christ came to redeem. And he succeeded! Mission Accomplished! Redemption Accomplished!


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  2. Yes, it is good to pause... "I stand amazed in the presence / Of Jesus, the Nazarene / And wonder how He could love me / A sinner - condemned - unclean!"