The Biblical Order
of Salvation

(Part of the Baptism, what the Bible teaches web page group.)


      "And there is salvation in no other One (Jesus, the Christ); for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
(Acts 4:12)

 
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    The Holy Bible, God's inspired word, provides a very definitive order of events concerning a person's salvation. The purpose of this page is to detail the order of events, citing appropriate scriptural references, that must take place for a person to be saved. It is my hope that this Bible study will help Christians, and others, in understanding how salvation comes about & the priceless gift that it truly is.

 

Before Salvation

    To understand the biblical order of salvation, we first need to establish the scriptural teaching concerning the state of mankind before salvation. The Bible's teaching concerning all humanity (mankind) is summed up in Psalm 14 and Romans 3:
      "Jehovah looked down from Heaven on the sons of men, to see if there were any who understood and sought God. All have gone aside, together they are filthy; there is none who does good, no, not one."
(Psalm 14:2-3)
      "-as it is written: 'There is none righteous, no not one; there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God."
(Romans 3:10-11)
We must keep in mind that Scripture is talking about, seeking the One, True God. We know that the history of humanity is littered with numerous gods. Therefore it is crystal clear that, the Bible teaches that humanity, in its natural state, has never sought, nor will ever seek, the True God.

    Through bible study, we find that the message of salvation is contained in the Gospel, good news, of Jesus, the Christ. However, we also find that Scripture teaches in 1 Co 2:14,
      "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
From birth we know that all humanity falls into the classification of "natural man" Since the message of the Gospel must be spiritually discerned it is abundantly evident that the biblical teaching is that mankind, because of its nature, will never seek God, nor understand the salvation message of the Gospel or respond to it, unless something happens to change its nature.

 

Salvation - The order of events

    We have seen from the previous, that mankind in its natural state can never receive the Gift of Salvation. It is for this reason that Jesus teaches us in John 3:3,
      "Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
How is it possible for a person to be born again? Jesus is not talking about reincarnation. He is teaching us that natural man must be spiritually awakened. In effect, He teaches that natural man must be born again as spiritual man. Jesus tells us how this is possible in John 6:63,
"It is the Spirit that makes alive, the flesh profits nothing."
We see that Jesus teaches that the first step of salvation is that the Holy Spirit quickens, makes a person spiritually alive. Natural man is born again as spiritual man. Scripture, in John 3:8, also shows us that this quickening, awakening, or rebirth, is by the Holy Spirit's will,
      "The Spirit breathes where He desires-."

    The next step is two-fold. A person must become aware of the Gospel message of salvation and believe in Jesus, the Christ. This is proclaimed throughout the Gospel message. Two biblical reference are John 3:36 & 5:24,
      "He who believes on the Son has everlasting life-"
      "Truly, truly, I say to you, He who hears My Word and believes on Him who sent Me has everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation, but has passed from death to life."
We see that the Bible teaches that belief (Faith) is the Key to salvation. Also we find that scripture tells us, in Ephesians 2:5 & 2:8, that Faith is a gift of grace from God.
      "(even when we were dead in sins) has made us alive together with Christ (by grace you are saved)."
      "For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God-."

    We also find the Bible teaches in Ephesians 1:13, Romans 8:11, & Ephesians 4:30, that in conjunction with belief, the person being saved is sealed with, and in-dwelt by, the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption.
      "in whom also you, hearing the Word of Truth, the gospel of our salvation, in whom also believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise."
      "But if the Spirit of the One who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the One who raised up Christ from the dead shall also make your mortal bodies alive by His Spirit who dwells in you."
      "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed until the day of redemption."

Imagine the great gift that God gives to the born-again Christian! In the person of the Holy Spirit, He makes them spiritually alive (quickens them); provides the Gospel message of salvation; gives the gift of faith; and then He seals them through the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit.

 

Afterword

    If you arrived at this page from anywhere other than Baptism, what the Bible teaches, you may be wondering why baptism is not listed in the above sequence of events in a person being saved. The Bible teaches that being baptized is a result of Salvation, not a method for obtaining it. For an in-depth Bible study on the subject visit the above page or visit Acts 10, Cornelius and his household.

 
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Biblical Order of Salvation
page updated 03/08/2011.