What is the Order of Salvation? (Ordo Salutis)
Romans 8:30 says, "And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified." This is commonly referred to as the golden chain of redemption, a summary of the ordo salutis, or the order of salvation, the way God brings about the salvation of His elect.
Scripture expounds further on this beautiful work of God. First of all, God predestined those whom He foreknew, placing His affections on us before the foundation of the world. Second, God atoned for our sins by sending His Son to die on the cross, and He rose again from the dead.
Third is the gospel call. Someone preaches to us about our sin and need for a Savior, and how Jesus is that Savior. Fourth is the inward call, or effectual calling. Many will hear the gospel, but only a few will believe it. This is, fifth, a work of the Holy Spirit called regeneration, when God puts His Spirit in us and causes us to obey His word.
Sixth is conversion, or faith, or repentance—turning from sin and to Jesus Christ. Seventh is justification. Before God, we are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Eighth is adoption, that we might be called the children of God. Ninth is sanctification. We're not only predestined to be justified, but to be holy and blameless before Him.
And finally, glorification. "For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory" (Colossians 3:3-4).
We can take heart in knowing that God will save all whom He means to save. Not one will be lost. Salvation is, from beginning to end, the gracious work of God, when we understand the text.