What’s in a Word? – Salvation

So much has been said, debated, discussed, fought over and—*checks Thesaurus.com*—pettifogged about Christian salvation, it’s become something of a laughingstock for those outside the faith. It’s rare to find a Christian who hasn’t argued the finer points and potentials of salvation—I myself can’t cry innocent on that! But when it comes down to it, I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in arguing the details and deliberates of salvation, we lose sight of the word itself and its implication.

Salvation. From Latin root “salvare”, to save. For something to be saved, there must be something from which it is saved. Do you ever think sometimes we get so caught up in arguing for our particular view on salvation that we forget to stop and simply bask in the awestriking wonder, the humbling breadth, of what we have been saved from? Of the sacrifice that brought this salvation about? Sometimes amidst pondering the particulars of salvation, how exactly it came about, whether it’s permanent or loseable or forfeitable, I think we fail to fall on our knees and simply thank God and Jesus for their joint sacrifice—the Father giving His only Son, the Son giving his very life—to secure that salvation for us.

Sometimes it just hits me, out of nowhere, what I have been saved from eternally by Jesus’s sacrifice; then it occurs to me to wonder what trust and faith and co-laboring with God has saved me from in this life, likely things I will never know of until I see the tapestry of my years laid out before me in God’s presence. 

Just—WOW. No doubt the details of salvation are important, but equally as powerful is the sheer reality of it, of everything that word entails. Brothers and sisters, we have been saved from something, our lives redeemed; as one Dictionary says, we have been “[saved] or [protected] from harm, risk, loss, destruction, etc.” Sure, we will face struggles, even harm, risk, loss, and destruction in his life; but those things can’t keep us down forever like they would have had we not accept Jesus as Lord…because we have been, we are, and we will ultimately be saved.

What a powerful reality. Praise God!

What is Salvation?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines salvation as “deliverance from the power and effects of sin.” The only means of true and everlasting deliverance from the consequences of sin is through belief in Jesus Christ. While the culmination of our salvation is still future—in the sense that we will still die in this life—it’s also a present reality as well because it’s sealed up with God from the moment we make Jesus our Lord, until that future time.

While salvation does not guarantee anyone an easy life, it does guarantee us life in a coming age that will be absolutely perfect. This is made possible because when a person makes Jesus Lord in their life—submitting to his leadership and will—and truly believes in the depths of their heart that he died and was raised from the dead, they are also claiming that death as payment for the sins they will inevitably commit in this life. The only other alternative is for the individual to deny that payment, in other words agreeing to pay for their sin with their own blood when Jesus judges the world—and God makes it very clear that the wages of sin is death.

This is why accepting Jesus as Lord is the only true path to salvation. While many other religions claim to have a path to Heaven, only the path through the remission of sins by submission to Jesus invokes the blood price needed to save our lives. 

What Does the Bible Say About Salvation?

Acts 4:12 – And in no one else [but Jesus] is there salvation, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved.

Ephesians 1:13 – In whom you also, when you heard the word of truth—the good news of your salvation—and when you believed in him [Jesus], were sealed with the promised holy spirit…

Titus 2:11 – For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people…

How Can I Be Saved? 

Romans 10:9-10 tells us that if we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord (not just saying the words, but confessing him as our personal Lord—meaning that we surrender wholeheartedly to him and become his hands and feet, moving in submission to him) and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, we will be saved. We’ve accepted his blood as the price for our sins. Now we step forward in that new reality.

From the moment we believe and are saved, we start to see evidence of it: we can manifest the holy spirit within us through things like speaking in tongues, prophecy, receiving revelation, and performing miracles. Many Christians, especially new ones, feel a sharp friction between the sin of their past and the new creation they’ve become. This is perfectly normal and should be heeded! It’s part of God’s spirit working within us to want to do and to do His will. 

Another thing God wants for us is that we would not walk around wondering if we’re even saved after we’ve confessed Jesus as Lord. God wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of truth; He is not looking for the first excuse to toss you out. When you believe and confess, God will begin to work in you and with you to fulfill your glorious destiny as His child. This isn’t a time for fear, but for learning and growing and for embracing the powerful new nature as you step into relationship with the Creator.

Take Action!

Is there someone you can share the beauty of the salvation message with – either a person who’s not yet a believer, or a believer who needs a reminder of just how wonderful salvation is? Make it a point to strike up a conversation this week! 

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