The Ordo Salutis

Over the last several weeks, the term Ordo Salutis — or, the Order of Salvation — has come up a couple times. I thought then that I would post a few of my favorite resources for studying one of the most pivotal areas of theology: How does God save people?

Besides going through an entire systematic theology (such as this one by Wayne Grudem), one of the most helpful books I can recommend is Redemption: Accomplished and Applied, by John Murray (my review). There is also a very helpful summary and outline of Murray’s thought progression available free here. Murray lists the steps in the order of salvation this way:

  1. Effectual Calling
  2. Regeneration
  3. Faith & Repentence
  4. Justification
  5. Adoption
  6. Sanctification
  7. Perseverance
  8. Union With Christ *
  9. Glorification

* Note: Murray does not actually treat this as a sequential “step” in this order, but addresses the believer’s union with Christ at this point in the book. Believers are “in Christ” through the entire process.

Those who learn better graphically may benefit from this infographic produced by Tim Challies (click to enlarge):

You can purchase a print of this graphic or download a much higher resolution PDF here.

Recently I became aware (HT: Bob Wilson) of a much, much older “infographic”, designed by John Bunyan, the author of The Pilgrim’s Progress. You can read a little about this one here, or go directly to Bunyan’s “Map Shewing the Order & Causes of Salvation & Damnation” here. I need to get myself a poster-size print of this one!

What helpful study tools have you found to aid you in your understanding of salvation?

3 comments on “The Ordo Salutis

  1. John,
    In fairness for Murray union with Christ is not step eight in the ordo, although he deals with it in the order of chapters. Murray makes clear that union undergirds the whole ordo salutis. So in election, we are elected in Christ. Those ‘in Christ’ are called, regenerated, etc.

    Although, there is a little bit of debate between Westminster Seminary California and Westminster Theological Seminary on the relationship of union with Christ to the whole ordo salutis and particularly its relationship to justification by faith.

    Otherwise, nice post.

    –Tim Bertolet

    • John Gardner says:

      Yeah, I wondered whether I ought to point that out. I suppose without the context of the rest of the book it’s a little confusing to list it like that… I added an editorial note to hopefully clear things up a bit.

  2. […] The “Ordo Salutis” Rate this:Share this:FacebookTwitterPinterestEmailMoreDiggRedditStumbleUponTumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Devotionals and tagged arminianism, Calvinism, Donald Barnhouse, evangelism, J.I. Packer, John Murray, mystery, Spiritual Regeneration, study guide. […]

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