Dead or Alive? The Ordo Salutis

Examples of “typical” conservative, evangelical churches which ignore the Ordo Salutis.

During the time of Isaiah, the LORD had this warning for national Israel:

Isa 29.11-14
The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, “Please read this,” he will say, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, “Please read this.” And he will say, “I cannot read.”

Then the Lord said,
Because this people draw near with their words
And honor Me with their lip service,
But they remove their hearts far from Me,
And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,
Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous;
And the wisdom of their wise men will perish,
And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.”

Multiple centuries later, the Lord Christ quoted this text as a judgment against the Pharisees and scribes:

Mat 15.7-9 [Mar 7.6-7]
“You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:
‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
‘But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.

The purpose of this chapter is to show that the carelessness with doctrine by the LORD’s professing people continues into the present.

Nothing has changed.

The clips which follow from the Statement of Faith of these “churches” are grouped simply by state in no particular order. Notice how each either directly states or implies that man initiates his own salvation because his/her faith precedes the new life in Christ. In other words, spiritual life “magically” proceeded from the dead sinner without any divine activity; once that sinner believed, then he/she received all the blessings of salvation.

This is error!

[When mentioned in these same Statement of Faith documents (which is relatively infrequent), the doctrine of repentance is also usually mangled as well.]

 


There is one last item to mention before we review the widespread carelessness of these so-called “churches”: less than one-half of the churches reviewed even posted a Statement of Faith. Of those, only a subset provided enough detail to make this review even possible.

The overwhelming majority of the churches I reviewed didn’t consider the topic of Salvation (or theology generally) important enough to document. (Luk 16.10) Would it be any surprise to learn if they have degraded their "churches" into useless examples of "religious social clubs"?

 

The links in the following sections were valid when this article was originally posted. [Nov 2019]

 


Texas

Midland

Midland Bible Church
https://midlandbible.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Midland-Bible-Church-Doctrinal-Statement-1.pdf
"We believe that when an unregenerate person exercises that faith in Christ …"

Renew Life Church
https://www.renewlifechurch.com/statementoffaith
"Anyone can be restored to fellowship with God through repenting, believing and receiving Jesus as their Savior and Lord. The Holy Spirit, convicts, regenerates, justifies, and adopts us as we enter the kingdom of God as His sons and daughters."

mid-cities Community Church
https://www.midcities.org/statement-of-faith
Eternal life begins at conversion. When the Holy Spirit draws an individual to Himself, the truth of the Gospel is presented and he responds in faith and repentance, this is the moment of conversion, which re-establishes fellowship with God, and the natural bi-product of it, is spiritual fruit.”

[The leading phrase is clumsy at best. The remainder of the statement appears to be relatively valid and gives credit to the Holy Spirit. But is it incorrect to state that “eternal life begins at conversion, since “life” had to be present before any spiritual activity could take place. “Life” produced conversion, not began with it.]

 

Amarillo

Washington Avenue Christian Church
https://www.wacconline.org/webelieve
“Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it.”

 

Tyler

Bethel Bible Church
https://bethelbible.com/full/
We believe that when a person exercises saving faith in Christ, which is illustrated and described as such in the New Testament, he passes immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual life, and from the old creation into the new, being justified freely by grace, accepted before the Father as Christ, His Son, is accepted, loved as Christ is loved, having his place and portion linked to Him and one with Him forever.”

 

Kilgore

Crosspointe Fellowship Church
https://www.crosspointefellowshipchurch.com/what-we-believe.html
“Salvation is given to the person who confesses his/her sin and is sincere in heart. Salvation  begins the moment anyone receives Jesus into his/her heart through faith.”

Grace Baptist
http://gracebc.church/our-beliefs
“The Word of God declares clearly that salvation is a free gift of God, based on the merits of the death of His Son, and is appropriated by faith. Salvation is effected by personal repentance, belief in the Lord Jesus (justification), and personal acceptance of Him into one’s life as Lord and Savior (regeneration).

Kilgore Bible Church
http://www.kilgorebiblechurch.org/doctrinal-statement.html
“We believe that all true believers are born of God and are possessors of the divine nature which is a new creation according to holiness and righteousness.”

[This statement is ambiguous relative to the Ordo Salutis. It could be read to support, or alternately, deny it. It is not clear if the new birth precedes or follows faith.]

 

Marshall

Cypress Valley Bible Church
http://cypressvalley.org/our-beliefs/
“Any person who believes in Jesus Christ alone as their only hope of eternal life, while not trusting in anything else, receives the gift of eternal life …”

 

Athens

First Baptist Church of Athens
https://lovingtheworld.com/what-we-believe
"We believe that anyone who has placed their faith in Christ is eternally secure, has everlasting life, will not come into condemnation, and shall never perish."

[At best, this statement is ambiguous.]

Calvary Baptist Church
https://www.calvarybcathens.org/what_we_believe.php
All that one must do to have a relationship with God is to trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. We do not believe it is a matter of what you can do but a matter of trusting in what Christ has done on the cross.”

 

Sulphur Springs

FBC Sulphur Springs
https://www.ssfbc.org/corebeliefsandvalues
“Only through faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior can we be restored into a relationship with God and receive His gift of eternal life.”

 

Paris

Calvary Chapel
The doctrinal deficiencies of the Calvary Chapel denomination are well known. Here is an excerpt:
https://www.adherents.com/largecom/calvary.html
“At Calvary Chapel, we believe that Jesus died on the Cross for all the sins of all people, and that anyone who wants to can accept Him as Lord and savior and be born again.”

 

Henderson

Emmanuel Baptist Church
https://www.whereloveabounds.org/statement-of-faith/
“Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith”

 

Mount Pleasant

Nevill's Chapel Baptist Church
http://nevillschapel.org/beliefs/
“We believe that the depraved sinner is saved wholly by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and the requisites to regeneration are repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ”

 

Plano

Watermark Community Church Plano
https://www.watermark.org/about/whatwebelieve
“From the moment of belief in the Son, the Spirit baptizes believers into the body, seals them for salvation, regenerates them to new life, bestows spiritual gifts on each one, and is fully present to continually fill (control and guide) His own.”

Willow Bend Church
http://www.willowbendchurch.org/about/our-beliefs
“When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. At that moment, we enter into a direct, personal relationship with God Himself, and eternal life begins.”

 

Allen

Cottonwood Creek Church
https://cottonwoodcreek.org/about-us/what-we-believe/
“When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.”

Allen Bible Church
https://allenbible.org/beliefs
“We believe salvation is a gracious gift of God received by anyone who trusts Jesus Christ alone as savior. One who believes in Christ is given spiritual life by the Holy Spirit, who immediately and permanently indwells him and baptizes him into the body of Christ as a child of God.”

 

Richardson

Christian World Church
https://www.cwcdallas.com/new-here/statement-of-faith
“Repentance is the commitment to turn away from sin in every area of our lives and to follow Christ, which allows us to receive His redemption and to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit.”

Christ Community
https://ccrichardson.org/im-new-here/what-we-believe/
“We believe Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead that we might have eternal salvation. Thus, eternal life begins the moment we exercise faith in Christ and will last forever.”

 

Mesquite

Centerpoint Church
http://www.centerpointmesquite.org/about/our-faith/
“Only those who trust in Christ are born of the Holy Spirit, and become children of God.”

 

Garland

Springcreek Church
https://www.springcreekchurch.org/core-beliefs
“When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.”

FiveStone Community Church
https://fivestonechurch.com/our-beliefs/#1454144336710-90227f75-e9ed
“When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.”

Livingway Church - The Vive
https://www.livingwaychurch.cc/our-beliefs/
“When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.”

 

Frisco

Stonebriar Community Church
https://www.stonebriar.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2018/12/SCC_StatementofFaith_2018.pdf
“We believe that when an unregenerate person exercises saving faith in Christ, which is illustrated and described as such in the New Testament, he passes immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual life …”

Hope Fellowship Frisco East
https://hopefellowship.net/about/
“When we put our faith in Christ, it triggers a spiritual chain reaction:

We are given eternal life (John 3:16).
…”
[There is a bulleted list of 10 items in the “chain reaction”; only a single one was shown here.]

Centennial Church
https://www.centennialchurch.com/what-we-believe
“We believe that all who personally trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior will receive the forgiveness of sins and the free gift of eternal life.”

Genesis Metro Church
https://www.genesismetro.org/about-us/beliefs/
“Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.”

Frisco First Baptist Church
https://www.friscofirst.church/beliefs
“Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.”

 

Lewisville

One Community Church
http://lewisville.visitonecc.com/about
“Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.”

New Beginnings Church FM
https://nbcfm.org/about-us/what-we-believe/
“We Believe in the Church as being composed of all such persons, who through saving faith in Jesus Christ, have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ of which He is the head.”

The Door Church
https://www.thedoorchurch.net/statement-of-faith
“Anyone turning from sin in repentance and looking to Christ and His substitutionary death receives the gift of eternal life and is declared righteous by God as a free gift.”

 

Prosper

Lighthouse Christian Fellowship
https://www.lighthousentx.com/our-beliefs
“We affirm that repentance from sin and faith toward God (Jesus Christ) results in regeneration by the Holy Spirit (becoming “born-again”).”

Legacy Church
https://legacytx.church/learn/vision
“WE BELIEVE THAT MAN MUST ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS THEIR SAVIOR TO RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE.”

Life Journey Church
https://www.ljcprosper.com/what-we-believe
“Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith”

 

 


Arkansas

 

Benton

First Baptist Church of Benton
https://www.firstbenton.org/beliefs
“Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.”

Revolution Church
“… God gives salvation and eternal life to anyone who trusts in Jesus Christ and in His sacrifice on his or her behalf.”

 

Fort Smith

Life.Church Fort Smith
https://www.life.church/beliefs//
“Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.”

 

Russellville

Grace Fellowship Church
http://www.gracefellows.org/beliefs/
“All who receive Jesus Christ as Savior are born of the Holy Spirit and become children of God.”

Second Baptist Church
https://sbcr.org/beliefs/
“Salvation is God’s free gift to Mankind. But, as with any gift, it must be accepted. Salvation comes only by trusting in Jesus alone and is never bought by a person’s good deeds.”

Grace Baptist Church
https://www.gracebaptist.tv/beliefs/
“God in His sovereignty purposed, planned, and executed salvation in eternity while a man’s freedom enables him to make a personal choice of time, either to receive his salvation and be saved, or to reject it and be damned”

 

Texarkana

Life House Church
http://life-house.us/what-we-believe/
“Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith and trust Him for forgiveness of his sins.”

Cornerstone Baptist Church
https://www.cbctxk.org/our_beliefs
“Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.”

 

 

 


North Carolina

 

Ashboro

First Baptist Church
http://fbcasheboro.com/statement-of-faith/
“We believe that salvation is an unmerited and unearned gift of grace from God that comes through faith in Jesus Christ, and that each person has the free will to respond to God’s gracious gift of salvation.”

 

Albemarle

The Gathering
http://thegatheringnow.com/about/our-beliefs/
“Salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in Jesus Christ …”

Vortex Church
http://vortexchurch.com/
“Repentance is the commitment to turn away from sin in every area of our lives and to follow Christ, which allows us to receive His redemption and to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit.”

 

 

Comments powered by CComment