What really is salvation?
Many people don’t know the meaning of salvation. Is salvation means going to heaven with God? Is salvation the prize for making Christ as our personal savior? and giving our hearts with the Lord by accepting Him?
Many fundamentalist churches believe that they are already saved, yet some of them don’t know how and what is the real meaning of being saved.
As a Christian, we do know that it is important to know what is salvation according to the Bible. We know that it is really important and everybody must be part of it. It is God’s will that everyone knows the truth and receive salvation.
There are many teachings about salvation.
There is a belief that “once saved, always saved,” but is it valid and according to the will of God?
There is also a belief that we need to be poor to be saved. They believe that the poor will inherit the kingdom of God. But there is also a belief that to be able to be saved, one must be rich and wealthy. God is their provider and will provide prosperity in their lives. Are all these beliefs in accordance with the will of God regarding salvation?
If we try to look for the real meaning of salvation, nothing can give us the authority to explain its full details except the Bible. The Bible contains the words of God, and only God Himself can provide us the truth regarding this matter.
Why do we need salvation?
Salvation is important because everyone sinned against God. And there is a penalty for the sins we have committed against God. Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; We all transgress and broke God’s laws. So, salvation is necessary to save us from the consequences of sins. Sin is a transgression of the laws of God. 1Jn 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
The commandment of God was summarized into two -to love God above all else and to love others as we love ourselves.
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Sin has consequences. Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A wage is payment for work. If we commit sins, we pay for it. Therefore, death will be the end result of the sins we committed against God.
There are two kinds of death – the physical death, which will happen to all (Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: ) and the spiritual death or the second death mentioned in the Book of the Revelations (the eternal death – Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. )
The wages of sin is death – this is what God said to Adam when He commanded them not to eat the forbidden fruit. As a result, Adam dies, although not right away, but eventually death comes to every person. All people will experience death, except of course for those who will still be alive when Christ comes again. We might escape the physical death, but what about the second death mentioned? If we continue to sin, and our sins will not be forgiven, eventually this will lead us to eternal death.
God is offering salvation to everyone. We need to be saved so that we will escape the penalty of death – the eternal death. And God offers eternal life but only to those who are willing to meet His conditions. So, being saved means to be free from the consequences and penalty of sins, which is to receive the gift of eternal life. The only way to receive eternal life is to receive it as a gift from God.
When John the baptist was born, the Bible says,
Luk 1:76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
Luk 1:77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
Therefore, John preached about the message about Jesus Christ ministry, the one who would give the knowledge of salvation through remissions of sins. When Jesus came, God manifests Himself in the flesh and dwell among us, for the purpose of saving His people from their sins.
Mat 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Salvation, therefore is a process whereby sinners are rescued from the consequences and penalty of sin.
What must we do to obtain salvation? Salvation is a process – made up of elements or components. We must take each component to attain salvation. Each component is important.
The Bible says, the first step is to have faith. And faith is through hearing the words of God. Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
What else is needed?
We need repentance. Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. We repent not only to say to God that we are sorry for the sins we have committed, we repent means to change our ways from being a transgressor of His laws to being a follower of His laws.
But according to Apostle Paul, simple repentance and obeying God’s law will not justify us before God. Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Therefore, another requirement is to be justified and being justified means, the sins must be forgiven and then there is the chance to come to God to have a proper relationship with Him.
How to be justified?
We are justified by faith in the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. Because Jesus Christ’s life was worth more than all the rest of humanity combined, His death paid the penalty of the sins of the whole world. Through faith in His suffering and death, we receive forgiveness of sins and are brought into a right relationship with God.
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
But does being justified means we are already saved? From Romans 5: 9, we see that “we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Being justified doesn’t mean we are already saved, it means that all our sins have been wiped out because Christ has paid the penalty of our sins.
Being justified by His blood means, we come to his church and be part of it. Christ blood was shed because of His church. Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
After justification, what comes next?
Pauls says, Eph 4:23 – 24 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
A justified member of the church of God must renew the spirit of his mind. He must walked as a new man, created in the righteousness and true holiness. He cannot afford to walk back from being disobedient again. People who claim to be Christians, yet continue to break God’s laws are not worthy of His salvation.
So, there is the process of renewal and walking according to the perfect will of God. The Holy Spirit which was given to all who received baptism unto His church will help us to overcome everything and will give us the gift of eternal life through resurrection, like Christ did. That is the time we receive salvation.