What is Salvation?
The word Salvation is used in the New Testament some 45 times and is found in 43 verses.
The New Testament meaning of the word is: “rescue” or “Safety” and can be in the physical realm or the moral realm.
Consider this brief analogy: If we were on a boat that was sinking and it was miles to the nearest shore with no other boats nearby, we would need to be “rescued” would we not? Our very lives would be in jeopardy. Our salvation would be another boat coming by and pulling us out of the water, (saving us from certain death) and onto their boat, therefore they would be our salvation. But this would only be a temporary event, because you could go boating again, sink and lose your life. This would be the physical realm meaning of the word “Salvation”.
This is not the realm that we will discuss here, for here we will deal with the “moral and spiritual” realm.
If you have read the Bible at all, you might have read the account of creation and how God made the man and called him “Adam”. And, so Adam would not be lonely, God made Adam a mate and called her name “Eve”. Adam and Eve were made “sinless” and given a paradise to live in and a lovely garden. Adam and Eve were given instructions on tending the garden and God told them that it was a place that they could meet with God and talk to Him. Everything was there for their enjoyment except for one tree, the tree of the “knowledge of good and evil”. Now you might ask “Why did God put that tree there in the midst of the garden?” “Did He do it just so they would be tempted and be forced to eat of the fruit of that tree?” No, not really, God created Adam and Eve with a mind or their own, He created them with emotions, He also created them with a “free will”. This is what we call free moral agency. They were free to choose to follow what God had said or to disobey and go against the instructions that God had given them. You see, God wants people to love Him out of their own free will, not because they are forced too. God provided the best of everything for them, now it was up to them to choose to obey God and live forever in the garden, or to disobey and risk the consequences. If you have read the first three chapters of Genesis then you know the answer to the question.
Genesis Chapter 3 verses 1-5 (Gen 3:1-5) relates the account of the serpent talking to Eve. We see that the serpent tells Eve a lie and that Eve believes the serpent’s lie over what God has said. She looks at the fruit and thinks it is pretty and would taste good, so She makes a conscience decision to pick some fruit off the tree and eat it. (Gen 3:6) I picture in my mind the serpent dancing around joyfully knowing the he had beguiled (tricked) Eve into disobeying God. (2cor 11:3) Sin has now entered the world in that Eve has disobeyed God but what happens next is even a sadder transgression. Gen 3:6 This passage gives us the account of Eve sharing the fruit of the forbidden tree with her husband, Adam. We do not see the serpent talking to Adam only that Eve gives him the fruit and that he eats it. Adam’s sin was willful, he was not beguiled, he made a choice of the will and ate of the forbidden fruit. (1Ti 2:13-14) Now both Adam and Eve have committed an offense against God’s will. They have now “transgressed” (sinned) against God and now God must come and talk to them about their sin. Gen 3:8-12 relates the account of God coming to talk with them and asking them some questions when He sees that they have sewed fig leaves to cover their nakedness. God is not pleased with their newfound ability to know right from wrong. God now does some marvelous things, although He removes Adam and Eve from the garden and places Cherubim (angels) at the entrance, He make a provision for them (salvation).
Now we see the provision of God (Gen 3:21) The sin of Adam and Eve was so great that something or someone had to die to provide protection for them. We see in this verse that God made coats of skins to clothe them. I pose the following question,where did the coats of skin come from? The answer should be quite obvious, God shed the blood of animals to provide the clothing for them, (Heb 9:22) something had to die so that they could live, otherwise they would be naked in a hostile environment and spiritually dead.
Because of the sin of Adam, sin has passed to all of mankind, male and female alike.
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
The Scriptures tell us in Rom 3:10 “that there is none righteous, no not one” so what are we to do? Well, if the Scriptures tell us that we have sinned against God then should they also not tell how to get back on the good side of God? They certainly do, the Scripture is full of the ways that we can be reconciled with our loving Creator. God provided a way, He provided the shedding of blood, just as He did for the first family, He has also done for us. The bad news is that we have all fallen short of meeting the perfect standards of a just and loving God, but the good news is that He has provided a way that we can be reconciled.
Getting back to the Scriptures we find in Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. You might ask, who is Christ and that would be a good question, so allow me to tell you who Jesus Christ is.
According to the Bible Jesus Christ is the Son of God, John the Baptist spoke these words, John 1:34 “And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.” He was speaking of Jesus whom he had baptized in the river Jordan, then we have, Matt 8:29 where the demons recognize Jesus as the Son of God, And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? The rest of that passage tells us that Jesus had authority to cast the demons into a herd of pigs and that the pigs then ran into the sea and killed themselves. At the baptism of Jesus we see that God the Father speaks and calls Jesus His beloved Son, Matt 3:17 and Matt 17:5 where Jesus is called the “beloved son”, again in Mk 1:11 and Mk 9:7 Jesus is called the beloved son. Now we have established who Jesus is, “The Son of God” how does this relate to Jesus rescuing us from the world and a life of sin? The following verses of scripture should give us the answer: This Scripture should shed all the light that is required to understand the price that was paid to redeem sinful mankind back into a right relationship with God. Jon 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
We are instructed by the Scriptures that if we “believe on the Son, (Son of God) that we would have everlasting life. This is a promise of the Scriptures and of God Himself. This leads us to the question that was asked in the book of Acts, chapter 16 verse 30:
Act 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? The answer was given in the following verse:
16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Wow, it really is that easy, but what about Jesus do we need to believe in?
First, we need to believe that Jesus “is” the Son of God.
Secondly we need to believe that Jesus shed His blood (remember the shed blood of Genesis chapter 3?) so that we could be covered with His righteousness. (Just as God covered Adam and Eve with animal skins, symbolic of God’s righteousness.)
Thirdly, we need to confess our sins (transgressions) and ask for forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 states If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This verse means that we must confess that we have sinned against God and the that sin was willful and that we are sorry for having sinned and that we repent of those sins and want to follow after God’s ways. We ask God to forgive us and then we request that the very Son of God would come into our life and cleanse us.
Now if we believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for our Sins and that through Him we can be reconciled to God then we will be saved (rescued). (See we are back to the beginning of what salvation means.) The plan of God is that all would come to repentance (be rescued).
Salvation is but a prayer away!
Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Let me ask you two questions, If you died tonight, are you sure, beyond any doubt that you would spend eternity with God in Heaven? You can know for sure!
Secondly, If you were to die right now and stood before God, and He asked you, “Why should I let you into My Heaven, what would you answer?” You can know the right answer!
Now if you want to have Jesus in your life, you can pray right now and He will come into your heart and (rescue) save you.
Please pray this simple little prayer, and afterwards you will know for sure that you are on your way to Heaven:
Heavenly Father, Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus died on the cross of Calvary for my sins and that through His shed blood my sins will be forgiven. I ask that you would forgive my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness and I now receive Jesus Christ into My life and heart. Change me Jesus so that I may be more like you every day. I repent of my sins and ask you to save me in Jesus name, Amen.
If you prayed this prayer then I welcome you into the body of Christ and I would like to send you some literature that will further explain what you have done, along with the Gospel of John to start your Christian life. Please go to the feedback page and send us a quick note with your name and address. There is no charge for any resources from this ministry as we are called of God to spread His word, and we will not share your name with any other ministry or organization.
May God richly bless you.