Allen Nelson: How Salvation Works

Allen Nelson IV is the pastor of Perryville Second Baptist Church in Perryville, Arkansas. He also writes for Things Above , a Christian group blog dedicated to Missions, Evangelism, Theology, and Sports. He’s author of “From Death to Life: How Salvation Works,” a book focused on the Gospel and Soteriology, and the basis for our discussion.

An Outline of the Discussion
  • Allen is pastor of Perryville Second Southern Baptist Church, husband, and father of five.
  • Allen’s book started as a way to work through salvation. He was uncomfortable with how he was seeing people talk about conversions. It works through the Ordo Solutus (though it’s in accessible language, so the term never appears in the book.)
  • If we have a correct understanding of how salvation works, it changes (for the better) how we go about evangelism, preaching, and conversing about the things of the Lord.
  • By re-evaluating the Biblical basis for our Evangelistic methods, we’re in no way questioning anyone’s assurance or eternal security. Rather, we should see fruits of repentance in those who have real, saving faith.
  • Search the Scriptures!!!
  • The Gospel must be shared and proclaimed.
  • God is the one doing the work in regeneration. People respond correctly to the Gospel only because He has worked in them to receive it.
  • We tend to want to see the positive results of Gospel proclamation, but we just need to be Faithful and let God do the work. Sometimes we want to see people cross the finish line in sharing salvation, but we’re meant to be there at the starting line instead. The Lord will see them through if He is going to save them.
  • In the Ordo Solutus (order of salvation,) regeneration comes before faith, which comes before justification. This is a logical order, not a temporal order.
  • We hold to God’s sovereignty. We also hold to man’s responsibility. The reason people don’t repent & believe the Gospel isn’t that God hasn’t regenerated them, it’s that they don’t want to repent & believe.
  • Faith is three things: intellectual ascent to the facts, belief in those facts, and trusting in the facts.
  • The entire process (grace AND faith) is a gift from God.
  • Where repentance is real, reformation will follow.
  • Sanctification begins at justification, and is the working out of the righteousness imputed to us. Justification is a one-time positional event, and sanctification is the life-long process of working out holiness in practice.
  • Sanctification is continual. Even when it seems to stall, the Lord is working in us in ways that may not be apparent at the time.
  • Good works don’t come out of an attempt to get into God’s good graces, but rather a result of a change in our hearts to desire to do the things of God.
  • The Lord Preserves us in Him. He causes us to persevere.
  • Allen gives advice and counsel to those who might be going through a period of doubt, who may be questioning whether they are false converts or have saving faith.
  • We really must trust the Lord in the process of saving others. Beyond faithful, Biblical evangelism, it’s not on us to ensure the unbeliever comes to saving faith.
  • Paul refers back to his conversion, but the others in the New Testament do not. For example, John doesn’t articulate his salvation in his Gospel or epistles.
Scriptures Referenced
  • Jonah 2:9
  • Titus 2:14
  • James 1:18
  • Philippians 3
  • Acts 16:31
Additional Resources
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