What is Salvation
Is Salvation Misunderstood ?
One very misunderstood term today concerning Christianity, is that of Salvation. What is salvation? What are we saved from or unto? To some, salvation is wrongly thought to be merely a prayer that was prayed at one time in your life and nothing more is needed on the part of the individual. Whereas the bible clearly shows that salvation is an ongoing part of every believer’s life. Peter said to the believers of his day. “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” Tied to this term of Salvation is another phrase we hear and that is, of being born again. These two terms are pointing toward the same event, which carries on into one’s future. “Jesus said unto Nicodemus, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jesus then clarifies it a bit more in this next verse. “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” This is the only way into Gods Kingdom. I would like to add that salvation occurs in a moment but is also a continuing process. “I was saved, I am being saved and I will be saved.”
Some would ask, saved from what? The bible shows that we are being saved from our sin and Gods wrath against it. Initially we were born into this world with a fallen nature which we received from the first man Adam. The bible says; “the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” We were spiritually dead according to the bible. “And you - who were dead in trespasses and sins.” The bible also tells us that, “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” So, the only way to be made alive is to be “in Christ” and since the natural human cannot clearly see our need nor the solution, God must open our understanding. He does this thru the proclamation of His Word in the world, thru The Church. “For it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” Those who have believed, shall be saved; Romans 10:9 “if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and shall believe in your heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Like those in Israel, one must be able to prove their genealogy to have been a part of the priest hood. Meaning they had to have been born into it. They could not just show up and agree with the way Israel functioned and be a part of the priesthood of that day. In the same way we “must be born” into the family of God to have a place in His Kingdom. It is not simply a prayer said in agreement to a few bits of information, rather it is a complete transformation in our spirit. It is the place where our understanding is opened to see that we have lived in rebellion against God and His laws and where we agree with God against ourselves and repent; (meaning to turn from our own understanding and pursuits and begin to obey God). This is only possible with God. We cannot save ourselves. Being “born again” means that God has anointed and sealed a person with His very own Spirit also called the Spirit of Christ. “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
This reality of salvation and being born again is also pictured in baptism. Not only is baptism an act of obedience, it is also the place where we enter into His service, dying to self. Having been born again by Gods Holy Spirit. Our spirit is now alive to receive the things of God along with the ability to obey Him. “Therefore, we are buried with Him by baptism ‘into death’: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Baptism is the cutting off of the worlds grip. This is what we see when Israel came out of Egypt (which represents the world) and went thru the red sea (baptism), which cut off Egypt’s control over them and also their ability to return. They were now dead to Egypt. We also are raised up thru baptism into the resurrection life of Christ.
Now, a caution! even though the nation of Israel went thru this process, not all of them continued in it and many later died in unbelief. For this reason, we are told to: “Examine ourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove your own selves.” Many today say a prayer to invite Christ into their life and go thru the baptism process but have not truly committed to the Savior. Salvation is not a just a prayer, but a heart receiving Gods truth and repenting of sin against God, which leads to a life of obedience from the heart in response to Gods mercy. The prayer cannot save you, Jesus Christ does, thru faith and trusting obedience in His Promises.
Romans 2:7 To those who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: