Hi John. Recently I heard a Pastor speaking about our salvation as a three-step process. We were saved, are being saved, and will be saved. Is this a new way of talking about the doctrines of sanctification and glorification, or is there something else to it? I did notice that there seems to be a difference in the wording of KJV vs ESV (and other new translations). Specifically 1 Cor 1:18, I Cor 15:2, 2 Cor 2:15. Thanks!
Thank you for your great question! The idea of salvation past, present, and future is a common concept, but perhaps more in theological circles. That’s why it may seem new to you.
In salvation, there is a part of you that is completely saved, a part that is being saved, and a part that will be saved. The past, present and future aspects parallel your spirit, soul, and body.
Your spirit is completely saved. This is the truth of regeneration. At salvation your human spirit was regenerated with divine life, and something of God’s nature was implanted in you (1 John 3:9). This is the new man created after God in righteousness and true holiness (Eph. 4:24), and this part of you is completely saved. It must be for it is God’s nature (His life) in you. There had to be a part made completely holy so the Holy Spirit could move in to indwell you.
Your soul is being saved. This is what theologians call “progressive sanctification.” Progress occurs through choices of faith and is hindered through choices of unbelief. It’s not automatic. Walking by faith allows for progress or what is described scripturally as the “saving of the soul.”
Your body will be saved. This is the truth of glorification. For now, the body is not saved at all, and won’t be until it is glorified. Because of this, we need to be vigilant, mortify the deeds of the body, and not give it a chance.
The spirit is made righteous at salvation (2 Cor. 5:21). The soul is being made righteous as sanctification progresses. The body will be made righteous upon becoming glorified. Thankfully, we are justified the moment we trust Christ. Justification means that legally we are declared righteous—even though the soul and body have yet to catch up.
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