For those curious about what the word “Salvation” really means to a Biblical Christian, below are very short answers to very important questions.
What is Salvation?
Salvation can be defined as a change in the state of man. It includes a change in who we are aligned with on earth (Jesus Christ), and in our eternal destination (Heaven). Ultimately it is a deliverance from both the power and effects of sin.
Why do we need Salvation?
Adam and Eve sinned by eating from the tree of good and evil (Gen. 3:6-7) which God specifically told them not to (Gen. 2:17). As a consequence, all humanity that followed has an inherent sin nature exhibited when we do bad things (Rom. 5:12). In the Old Testament, this sin was covered over by animal sacrifices (Gen. 8:20). However, that was only a temporary fix (Heb. 10:4). God offered His only Son to live a sinless life (1 John 3:5) on the earth, and to willingly be crucified as a substitute for the sins of man (1 Peter 2:24). This sacrifice provided payment for our sins, but only if we accept that payment (John 1:12).
How do we accept God’s path to Salvation?
Accepting the payment that Jesus provided is the foundation of Biblical Christian faith. The way we do that is to acknowledge Jesus Christ as both our personal Savior, and Lord (Rom. 10:9-10). Often done through sincere prayer, it’s a heartfelt acknowledgment that it is only through God’s grace and our faith, exclusively, in what Jesus did for us, that we can turn from our sins and serve Christ (Eph. 2:8).
What does it mean to have Jesus as both our Savior and our Lord?
This is a sensitive issue. Many only recognize Christ as the one who “saved” them from Hell. They say a quick prayer and then move on in their lives, unchanged from the experience. However, there must be some evidence of a change in one’s life that would suggest a transformation or being “born-again” (John 3:3). We are a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). If one truly believes that Jesus paid the penalty for all our sin so we could have a relationship with the creator of the universe, that would have to be demonstrated in an outward change (James 2:18). That change is a recognition that we are no longer in control of our lives; Christ now is our Lord (1 Cor. 12:3), not just our Savior. We, therefore, are commanded to follow His leadership as we continue to navigate this world (John 2:26).
Sanctification is the process of continuing to grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3:18). We will always struggle with sin (Rom. 7:18:20); however, we have been given new strength to resist because the Holy Spirit now lives within us (1 Cor. 3:16). This change in who we are is a God-produced difference and should be obvious to all.
Where does the Bible fit in?
Our growth in the Lord is dependent on learning more about Him (John 17:17). Many choose to use “feelings” to define who God is and what He wants us to do (Prov. 28:26). This is both dangerous and unnecessary. Biblical Christians believe that the Scriptures we hold today are nearly the exact inerrant words of God, penned by man (2 Tim. 3:16). The Bible is a love letter God has written to mankind and is the unchanging foundation in learning who God is and what He calls us to do (Heb. 4:12).
What happens at the end of our “lives”?
Mankind is immortal in that we have a point we were born, but we will never cease to exist (Dan. 12:2-3). When we die, “time” becomes irrelevant. Those who are saved will spend eternity in Heaven and those who have not accepted Christ as Savior and Lord will spend eternity in Hell (John 5:24). Clearly, for mankind, (and for me personally) this is very hard to accept. For this and many other reasons, the majority of people turn away from the God of the Bible, calling it foolishness (1 Cor. 2:14).
At the end of our time on this earth, we will all be presented with the truth by an all-powerful Creator. By then, it will sadly be too late to revise our beliefs (Heb. 9:27). To say that “Salvation” is the most important decision one can make during their time on this earth is an understatement.
Matthew 25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.