Plan of Salvation
by Foy E. Wallace, Jr
Number One Gospel Sermons, pages 46-47.
When the time came to reveal that great Plan of Salvation, God assigned that function of revelation to the Holy Spirit. God is the primitive cause of man's salvation, he willed it. Jesus Christ is the sacrificial cause of man's salvation, he purchased it with his blood. But the Holy Spirit is the revealing cause of salvation — the plan had to be revealed, and God assigned that revealing function to the Holy Spirit. The gospel of Christ is the instrumental cause of salvation — hence "go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" — and "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation." Then faith becomes the appropriating cause of salvation for "we have access by faith into this grace," and baptism is the consummating cause of salvation — "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." In the act of baptism remission of sins or pardon is received.
Where faith, repentance, baptism, and salvation are mentioned together, salvation is always last in the order. When faith, baptism and salvation are mentioned together, salvation is never put between faith and baptism. When repentance, baptism and salvation are mentioned, salvation is never put between repentance and salvation. When baptism and salvation are mentioned together, salvation is never put before baptism. Always the order when mentioned together is faith, repentance, baptism, salvation for remission; or when faith is not specifically mentioned, repentance, baptism, salvation; when neither faith nor repentance is mentioned — only baptism in connection with salvation — then it is baptism and salvation — salvation is always last and in the order, and baptism is put in the consummating order, as the consummating cause of salvation.
So the scheme of redemption is a divine plan, revealed by the apostles; that is the exact use of the term mystery in our New Testament. So when you hear preachers say that we are saved by the Man, and not by the plan, you are hearing a phrase which means nothing except a reflection on the gospel plan of salvation.