The Appropriation Of The Fellowship Of God Restored In Christ Jesus.

THE APPROPRIATION OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF
GOD RESTORED IN CHRIST JESUS.

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  1. The Appropriation of this Fellowship may be discussed under two general headings,

    1. The Personal Appropriation of Salvation, which will be discussed under the Work of the Holy Spirit, and to which this volume is devoted, and
    2. The means which God uses to bestow this Salvation, which will be treated of under the topic of the Church in general, in following volumes.

1. The Arrangement of the Material.

  1. The dogmatic topics discussed under this subject were not fully developed until the time of our later Dogmaticians. They were not arranged until the time of Calovius (d. 1686), and from the time of Quenstedt (d. 1688), the topics were embraced under the head, The Grace of the Holy Spirit in the Application of Redemption.

  2. Hollaz (d. 1713) says: “The acts of applying Grace, according to the order in which they cohere, and follow one another, are the call, illumination, conversion, regeneration, justification, mystical union with the Triune God, renovation, preservation of faith and holiness, and glorification”.

  3. You notice that Hollaz uses the word regeneration in its wider sense. In this enumeration nearly all our later Dogmaticians agree.

Hollaz thus vindicates this arrangement: “This order, and, as it were, concatenated series of acts of applying grace, we learn from Acts 26:17, where Christ says to Paul, ‘I send thee to the Gentiles’; behold the grace of the call! ‘to open their eyes’; behold the illumination! ‘that they may turn from darkness to light’; behold the act of conversion! ‘and from the power of Satan unto God’; behold regeneration itself, through which we become the sons of God! that they may receive remission of sins’; behold justification! and an inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith in me’; behold union with Christ by faith, sanctification, the preservation of holiness, and glorification!”

The doctrine of the Church, as the fellowship of Salvation, and of the means of grace as the medium of the saving activity of the Church, connects itself with this doctrine of the personal application or appropriation of Salvation.