a word used and a promise offered by almost all the religions
of the world. In Christianity, this fundamental doctrine finds
its basis in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. But what
does salvation actually mean? How do we understand what the
Bible teaches about it? When and how do we receive it? Who can
receive it? What does it do to a person? What dangers are we
in if we neglect it? These are important questions.
Salvation's a comprehensive word or idea signifying health,
well-being, help, cure, remedy, rescue, eternal life, etc. It
speaks of deliverance. In the Bible, the idea moves from a
stress in the Old Testament on the physical to a new Testament
stress on spiritual.
(1) We believe the New Testament emphasis teaches that
salvation is deliverance from sin.
(2) The Bible tells us that "all have sinned and fallen
short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). But in salvation, a
sinner is acquitted of his sins, his life's direction is
changed from that of a sinful lifestyle to a new life of
holiness and he's restored back the lost glory of God.
Salvation is possible here and now. That's what we believe the
Bible teaches. We receive it when we believe in Jesus Christ.
The Bible says, "now is the time of God's favor, now is the
day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:12b). When one jailer asked
Paul and Silas, "Gentlemen, what must I do to be saved?", they
told him, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved -
you and your household" (Acts 16:29-31).
When we believe, Jesus Christ forgives or acquits us of our
sins. He helps us live a new life of the Spirit. The Word of
God declares, "Christ has come for our salvation and the
Church is seen as an instrument of salvation. Man, caught in
the web of sin and rebellion, is called to respond to Christ,
to come to him in repentance and sorrow for his past sins, and
to accept the redemption Christ offers. As an act of
commitment, man is invited to make of himself a follower of
Christ and to live in Christ's style of life."
(3) Yes, salvation is in Christ alone, "He who has the Son
has life, he who does not have the Son of God does not have
life" (1 John 5:12). Salvation isn't just for a chosen few
only, though there may be few who choose it. God loves all and
his salvation is offered to all. "For God so loved the world
that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in
Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
Christ died that He may bring life to all (Rom. 5:18).
Salvation makes a person become new in his nature, attitude
and lifestyle. It changes a person completely, making sense of
what the Bible says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is
a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come" (2
Salvation enables a person to live a life of holiness. The
grace of God that brings salvation, "teaches us to say "No" to
ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled,
upright and glodly lives in this present age" (Titus 2:12).
Salvation brings hope to a person, both here and beyond.
Those in Chist have hope that whatever happens here on earth
they belong to God and they are waiting in hope for the coming
again of Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).
Salvation is free. It's an accomplished gift of God, though
we still have to choose it. When we don't choose it, we reject
it. For those who accept it, there's a new beginning, a new
life and a new hope. Those who reject it face condemnation.
They can't escape, for as the Bible says, "How shall we escape
if we ignore such a great salvation" (Hebrews 2:3). The most
important question is, ARE WE SAVED?