The Work of the Trinity in Salvation

This post is adapted from Our Triune God by Philip Graham Ryken and Michael LeFebvre.


God plays the symphony of our salvation in three movements. Each of these movements is associated with and facilitated by a different Person of the Trinity.

The Father: Salvation originated with the Father.

Ephesians 1:3–6 tells how the Father chose us before the foundation of the world, and predetermined our adoption as this children through Jesus Christ. The Father is the administrator of salvation, and he oversees the process from beginning to end.

The Son: Salvation is brought to fruition in the Son.

Everything the Father does for our salvation, he does through Christ. The work of the Son means redemption, adoption to the Father, reconciliation,  sanctification, and glorification (Ephesians 1:7-12). It operates horizontally as well as vertically, and it is for Jew and Gentile alike. It is through the Son that we achieve salvation and come into full relationship with the triune God.

The Spirit: Salvation is communicated by the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit changes us from the inside out, preforming the gracious act of regeneration. With this comes the gift of faith and the spiritual ability to believe in the Resurrection. Through the Holy Spirit, our salvation becomes a present reality, applicable to our lives in our own specific context. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives that serves as a seal, establishing us as children of God (Ephesians 1:13–14).


Philip Graham Ryken (DPhil, University of Oxford) is the eighth president of Wheaton College. Formerly, he served as senior minister of Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church. He has written or edited more than forty books, including the popular title Loving the Way Jesus Loves, and has lectured and preached at universities and seminaries worldwide.

Michael LeFebvre (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is the pastor of Christ Church Reformed Presbyterian in Brownsburg, Indiana, and an adjunct professor of Old Testament at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He serves as a fellow with the Center for Pastor Theologians.

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