What is Salvation?
WHAT IS SALVATION? How does one gain salvation? What does it mean to be saved? Saved from what? Saved for what purpose? How can we know that we are saved? How does salvation apply to our daily life now, and in the future?
The Holy Bible is the Word of the Almighty God. He is the creator of the heavens and of the earth and of the seas, and of everything in them except sin and its consequences. God's Word defines a condition which He calls Salvation. That salvation is the special object and purpose of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God.
Salvation according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, specifically means the spiritual and eternal deliverance from our sins and from the penalty for our sins. It includes God's gift of eternal life and the fact of the indwelling Presence of God within the believer's heart and life. Generally, the word Salvation defines everything that God has provided for the welfare of those who believe on Jesus Christ.
Salvation is immediately granted by God to all who accept His conditions of repentance, and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Along with that, God grants to every one who receives His gift of salvation, a Divine witness, a conscious knowing, that we ARE saved, and that we have God's Presence within us. He has promised never to leave us; although that does not say that WE cannot leave Him, should we choose to return to our old sinful way of life.
Repentance means to turn away from our sins, and to turn to Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. The object of repentance is for each of us who believe on Jesus to quit being a sinner, and to follow the Lord Jesus by obeying His Word, which is the New Testament in the Holy Bible.
Understand that the Word of God Almighty, i.e., all of the Holy Bible, is the revelation that God gave of Himself to mankind. Within that revelation, He especially focused on His Only Begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, as the Savior of all people. That portion of God's Word which focuses on Jesus Christ, is the record that God gave of His Son. It is commonly called the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The word "Gospel" means good news. The Gospel of Christ then is the good news that God gave mankind a Savior, Jesus.
The Gospel is the record of what the Lord Jesus said and did while He was on the earth in His humanity. It records what He did when He arose from the dead to immortal life. It is also especially the record of what He is doing now, and of what He is going to do in the future.
In the New Testament Book of Romans chapter 1 verse 16, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is said to be the power of God unto SALVATION, to everyone that believes. Meaning "...that believes on Jesus Christ."
In the New Testament book of Hebrews chapter 5 verse 9, it states that He (Jesus Christ) became the author of eternal SALVATION unto all them that obey Him.
In the New Testament book of Saint John, the Lord Jesus Himself said in John 5:24: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath eternal life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life." Again, in the book of John, Jesus said in John 6:47: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life."
In the book of Matthew (11:28-29) the Lord Jesus said: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."
In the Gospel of Jesus Christ, He invited every one who has a load of guilt and unrest because of their sins, to come to Him. He promised that He will give them rest. That is understood to mean a release from their burdens and from their guilt because of their sins.
The Gospel of Christ requires TWO steps in order to be saved, i.e., to gain SALVATION from God. First, to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and secondly, to be baptized in water. Mark 16:15-16: "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
Now turning to Romans 10:9, the Apostle Paul described in detail exactly HOW to be saved, (synonomous to being born again, John 3:3-5): "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." Again, notice that there are TWO steps involved: i.e., confessing the Lord Jesus with our mouth, AND believing in our heart that God has raised him from the dead. Now notice Romans 10:10: "For with the heart man believeth unto righteouness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
Romans 10:9-10 is how one fulfills the requirements in Mark 16:16, as noted above. Any time ANYONE sincerely does that in true faith, God IMMEDIATELY grants SALVATION. When that happens, many wonderful things happen to and for that believer, even though they may not know what they are, or even that they happen. We are saved by God's grace through faith; not by our intellect or ability.
In summation, the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth died on the cross at Calvary, during the rule of the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate. Jesus was buried, and on the third day afterward, He rose from the dead, in a glorified immortal, physical, body. He was seen in His resurrected body by many witnesses, and especially by His chosen followers, whom He called disciples and apostles. They also saw Him physically ascend to heaven.
He is thus alive today, because in His resurrected physcial, immortal body, He can never die again. Jesus Christ of Nazareth is now a glorified, physical, immortal MAN, at the same time being the Divine Son of Almighty God. He is the ONLY man who did such things, and had such experiences. No OTHER religious leader DARES to claim what Jesus Christ DID. Jesus Christ is therefore, the ONLY Saviour for mankind. To trust in any other religion, or religious leader, is to remain in our sins, with no hope of release from them. Observe John 14:6: "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by me."
So imminent and unique is the position that God has given to Jesus Christ of Nazareth, that God has commanded ALL men EVERYWHERE, to repent. That means to turn from their sins and to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. All who fail, or refuse to do so, are disobeying God's command, and shall die in their sins. Such unbelievers shall go into eternal punishment by fire: banished from the Presence of God and of all that is good and pleasant. Revelation 20:12-15.
That is why it is so URGENT that EVERYONE that wishes to be saved, and to avoid going to hell, and ultimately into the Lake of Fire, MUST obtain the forgiveness for their sins by God. We must receive salvation, and God's gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. As afore noted, Salvation includes forgiveness of sins from God, and His gift of eternal life. We list some of the elements in Salvation for the sake of clarity, here.
The Scripture warns that the way of the transgressor (the one that sins against God) is hard. But observe: "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 3:16. Again, 2 Peter 3:9: "The Lord ...is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
In His Word, God urges: "...behold, now is the accepted time, behold, now is the day of salvation." 2 Corinthians 6:2.
Observe Acts 17:30-31. "And the times of ...ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He has given assurance unto all men in that He hath raised Him from the dead." In that passage of Scripture, God is referring to Jesus Christ as the man by whom He shall judge the world.
Again, Philippians 2:7-11: "...made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
First John 5:10: "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son." According to that verse, it is a sin aginst God NOT to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord. If a person committed no other sin (not possible!) but that one, he would go to hell for that sin. It is a serious offense against God NOT to beleive on Jesus Christ.
Therefore, if we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and confess Him as our Lord with our mouth, believing in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead we shall be saved. Immediately! Read Acts 16:31: "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." According to the following verses in Acts 16, the jailer got baptized that very night. Thus, he met the conditions that Jesus prescribed in Mark 16:16.
Saved from what? First, we become aware that our guilt for our sins and condemnation is removed. Peace with God comes into our heart and mind. God bestows upon us joy and peace in believing, according to Romans 15:13. "Now the God of hope will you will all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."
Oh, such peace! Such joy! There is no peace and there is no joy like the peace and joy that God freely gives to everyone that comes to Him through faith in Jesus Christ.
Dear reader, if you have not yet received SALVATION from God, and His gift of eternal life, please do so today. He will forgive you for your sins, and remove your guilt and give you peace. Would you like to have the peace of God, and the joy of God in your heart and mind? You can receive all this and much more from God, by praying the following simple prayer.
"Oh, God, the Father of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I call upon you now. I desire to be saved, to receive your gift of SALVATION. I want to be saved from my sins, and to receive your gift of eternal life. I pray that you will now forgive me for all of my sins. I know that I am a sinner. But I am sorry for my sins, and I repent of my sins. I turn to you, and I come to the Lord Jesus Christ to follow Him as my Lord.
Therefore, just now, I confess with my mouth, saying out loud, that Jesus Christ IS my Lord (DO it!). I DO believe in my heart that you have raised Him from the dead. Your Word promises in Romans 10:9 that if I do these things, I shall be saved. I WANT to be saved, therefore I DO what your Word says, right now.
Since you cannot lie, I believe right now that I am saved. Thank you, Heavenly Father, that I AM saved, right now. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I now believe that I am saved.
Now that I am saved, I commit myself to follow the Lord Jesus every day, by doing what the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches to do. I am a believer on the Lord Jesus Christ, He is my Lord! Thank you, thank you. Teach me your ways and help me to please you. As much as I know how, I love you, my Heavenly Father, through my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen"
Finally, my dear fellow believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, make prayer to God in the Name of Jesus Christ a daily event in your life. Make the reading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Holy Word of God, a daily event in your life. Tell other people that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior. Gather together with other believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, which usually means going to Church, in order to learn more about the Lord Jesus, and His ways, and what He expects of you. At your earliest convenience, you must be baptized in water. Seek the assistance of a local minister of Jesus Christ.
Do not become discouraged, and do not give up, no matter what comes into your life from now on. You will find the Lord a constant companion and that He will never leave you, or forsake, or let you down. He personally loves YOU. God has already 'invested' so much in your SALVATION, by giving His Only Begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to save you. He surely will not fail you, but He will bless you and keep you, as you trust in Him and follow the Lord Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior. God bless you. We also love you as fellow Christian believers. Amen.
What is Salvation?, a booklet by Leon O. Poole and Adam Woeger -
Released June 18, 2001 to the Public Domain.