Following is a quote from Spurgeon in the May 15th morning devotion (from Morning and Evening):
The believer in Christ receives a present justification. Faith does not produce this fruit by-and-by, but now. So far as justification is the result of faith, it is given to the soul in the moment when it closes with Christ, and accepts Him as its all in all.
I quote this as further exhortation to not chronologically separate salvation and faith. I believe the Bible unequivocally links justification as a result of the exercising of personal faith. And I do not see how one can speak of salvation apart from justification.
I believe the heated battle of which precedes which when talking of regeneration and faith is quite heated but with little benefit. For regeneration apart from salvation doesn’t mean a lot to me. Every single writer of the New Testament with the exception of Matthew exhorts us to believe (or have faith) to receive justification (in a narrow sense) or salvation (in a broader sense). By “in the broader sense” I mean that while we all know that salvation encompasses more than justification, it does seem strnage to think of salvation without justification.
We seem to argue over thingks that are not significant. To speak of salvation as anything but grace from God would seem to be unwarranted. To speak of receiving salvation apart from human exercising of faith would be unbiblical. Which precedes which is not as important to me as to know who is responsible for what. God is responsible for providing salvation, and man is responsible for receiving it.
As I urged you when I went into Macedonia–remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, [from] a good conscience, and [from] sincere faith, from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm. (1 Tim 1:3-7 NKJV)