Five Phases of SalvationSubmitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, April 5, 2015.
For a paperback book in outline form which addresses over 150 difficult verses that Arminians use against Sovereign Grace, check out: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace: Rooting Arminianism Out of Every Verse. Five Phases of Salvation I. The means by which God saves men from their sins includes several phases beginning before the foundation of the world and ending at the end of time. II. There are five distinct phases of God's plan of salvation, which are: 1. The Planning Phase - Salvation from the Plan of sin 2. The Legal Phase - Salvation from the Penalty of sin 3. The Vital Phase - Salvation from the Power of sin 4. The Practical Phase - Salvation from the Practice of sin 5. The Final Phase - Salvation from the Presence of sin III. The predicament of sin 1. When Adam sinned, as the federal head of the human race, he placed the entire human race in a state of sin and spiritual death (Gen 2:17 c/w Gen 3:6 c/w Rom 5:12). 2. In that state of sin, men are not able to be subject to the law of God (Rom 8:7), to please God (Rom 8:8), to hear God's words (Joh 8:43-47), to understand the gospel (1Co 1:18; 1Co 2:14), or to believe in Christ (Joh 10:26). 3. God looked down on all men (Jews and Gentiles) to see if there were any that would understand and seek Him and He found NOT ONE (Psa 14:2-3 c/w Rom 3:9-12). 4. Therefore, if anyone was going to be saved from their sins, God would have to devise a plan whereby He would sovereignly save them. IV. The Planning Phase - Salvation from the Plan of sin 1. The plan of salvation was conceived in the mind of God before the world was. A. This phase took place before the world began. B. This phase is a necessary prerequisite for all the subsequent phases. 2. Before the foundation of the world, knowing that Adam would fall and defile all of his posterity, and viewing all of mankind as a fallen lump (Rom 9:21), God decided that he would choose a portion of them (His elect) and give them to Jesus Christ (who would be born in time as the Word made flesh - Joh 1:1,14) to bear their sins on the cross to make them holy (Eph 1:4). 3. The Father elected them to have their sins atoned for by the blood of Christ (1Pe 1:2). 4. God predestinated His elect to be His children by adoption through Jesus Christ (Eph 1:5) according to His purpose and His own will (Eph 1:11). A. Purpose n. - 1. a. That which one sets before oneself as a thing to be done or attained; the object which one has in view. B. God purposed to save His elect by His grace before the world began (2Ti 1:9). C. God promised their eternal life before the world began (Tit 1:2). 5. This phase happened in Christ in covenant (Eph 1:4; 2Ti 1:9). 6. The elect had nothing to do with the planning phase since it happened before they existed. V. The Legal Phase - Salvation from the Penalty of sin 1. The next phase of the plan of salvation would be for Jesus to bear the sins of His elect and make legal payment for them. A. This phase took place in approximately 33AD when Jesus died on the cross. B. This phase is dependent on the planning phase. C. This phase is a necessary prerequisite for the next three phases. 2. The penalty for sin is death (Rom 6:23). 3. Jesus lived a sinless life and then died for the sins of His elect in their stead (2Co 5:21; 1Pe 2:22,24; Isa 53:5; Joh 10:15). A. God reconciled His elect to Himself by Christ's death on the cross (2Co 5:19; Rom 5:10). B. God condemned sin in the flesh by sending His Son in the flesh (Rom 8:3). C. Christ's death on the cross justified (to declare free from the penalty of sin on the ground of Christ's righteousness) all of the elect (Rom 5:9). 4. This phase happened in Christ (2Co 5:19; Gal 2:20). 5. The legal phase is contingent on the planning phase (1Pe 1:2; 1Pe 1:18-20). 6. The elect had nothing to do with the legal phase since it happened before many of them existed and after many of them were dead. VI. The Vital Phase - Salvation from the Power of sin 1. Once the elect (planning phase) have been made legally holy and justified (legal phase), being born spiritually dead, they need to be given new spiritual life. A. This phase takes place at some point during the lives of each of the elect before they believe the gospel and become converted. B. This phase is dependent on the first two phases. C. This phase is a necessary prerequisite for the next two phases. 2. Once Christ died for the sins of His elect, they are legally holy before God; but they are still born spiritually dead (Eph 2:1) with a sinful spiritual nature (Eph 2:2-3) which has power over them and which needs to be renewed. 3. This phase of salvation requires the life-giving voice of the Son of God to call each of His elect from spiritual death unto spiritual life (Joh 5:25). A. This is the point when the elect are given eternal life (Joh 10:28). B. This is called being quickened (To give or restore life to; to make alive) (Eph 2:1,5). C. This is called being regenerated (Tit 3:5). D. This is called being born again, in which act God is sovereign (Joh 3:3,5-8). E. This is when God puts a new heart and a new spirit within His elect (Eze 11:19; Eze 36:26). 4. This phase happens in Christ (2Co 5:17; Eph 2:10). 5. The vital phase is contingent on first two phases. A. It is based on the legal phase, in which the elect's sins were forgiven (Col 2:13). B. It is also based on the planning phase in which God chose the elect and gave them to Christ for Him to give them eternal life (Joh 17:2-3). 6. The elect have nothing to do with the vital phase since they are spiritually dead when it takes place. VII. The Practical Phase - Salvation from the Practice of sin 1. Once the elect (planning phase) have had their sins atoned for by Christ (legal phase) and have been given new spiritual life (vital phase), they then have the ability and responsibility to believe the gospel and repent of sin in order to be saved from the practice of sin. A. This phase takes place in varying degrees during the lives of the elect after they have been regenerated by God. B. This phase is dependent on the first three phases and cannot happen without them first happening. C. Whether or not this phase happens, and the degree in which it happens, is dependent on the obedience of the elect. D. This phase is not a prerequisite for the final phase or the first three phases. 2. Once the elect are regenerated, the preached gospel can open their eyes and they can turn from the power of Satan to God and receive temporal forgiveness of sins which happens when they repent and are baptized (Act 26:18 c/w Act 2:37-38 c/w 1Jo 1:9). A. By receiving instruction they can repent and recover themselves from the snare of the devil (2Ti 2:25-26). B. The elect can work out this practical salvation in their lives because God has worked in them to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phi 2:12-13). C. God hath reconciled the elect to Himself eternally (2Co 5:18); the elect are then responsible to be reconciled to God practically (2Co 5:20). 3. This phase happens in Christ (2Ti 3:12; 1Pe 3:16). 4. The practical phase is contingent on the first three phases. A. It is based on the vital phase (Eze 11:19-20; Eze 36:26-27; Eph 2:10). B. It is based on the legal phase (2Co 5:18-20; Tit 2:14). C. It is based on the planning phase (2Ti 2:19). 5. Participation in the practical phase is the evidence (not the cause) that a man has already experienced the first three phases and will experience the final phase (Joh 5:24; 1Jo 5:1). 6. The elect are responsible for executing the practical phase. VIII. The Final Phase - Salvation from the Presence of sin 1. By this point the elect (planning phase) have been justified and made legally holy by God (legal phase) and have had their spirit renewed and made holy (vital phase), but their body still needs to be redeemed from corruption. A. This phase takes place at the resurrection on the last day. B. This phase is dependent on the first three phases, but not on the fourth phase (practical phase). 2. Corrupt flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom God, but must first be changed and made incorruptible (1Co 15:50-53; Rom 8:21-23). A. Jesus Christ will change our vile body to be made like His glorious body (Phi 3:21). B. This happens when Jesus Christ sovereignly calls His elect out of the graves and resurrects them (Joh 5:28-29). 3. This phase takes place in Christ (1Co 15:22; 1Th 4:16). 4. The final phase is contingent on the first three phases, but not on the fourth phase (practical phase). A. It is based on the vital phase (Rom 8:11). B. It is based on the legal phase (1Co 6:14 c/w Rom 4:25). C. It is based on the planning phase (Joh 6:39). 5. All of the elect who were foreknown and predestinated (planning phase) shall be justified (legal phase), effectually called from death unto life (vital phase), and glorified (final phase) (Rom 8:29-30). 6. The elect have nothing to do with the final phase since it will happen when most of them are physically dead and those that are alive and remain at that time will be changed by the power of God.
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