Christian Words, Part Eight – Salvation

Salvation – a : deliverance from the power and effects of sin b : the agent or means that effects salvation c Christian Science : the realization of the supremacy of infinite Mind over all bringing with it the destruction of the illusion of sin, sickness, and death

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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
–John 3:16-17

As we end our series on Christian words, we come to the point of the whole series. I am sure many of you realize that the word salvation was left for last on purpose. It’s really the whole point of the series. The passage above, the most quoted verses of the bible, are essentially what salvation is all about. Salvation is about our trust and faith in Jesus Christ. Of course while John 3:16 is well known by most of us, I always like to include the next verse, which explains to us why Jesus came. As Christians, we are to understand that Jesus did not come to condemn. He did not come to chastise us. He came to show us the way to Heaven. If we follow Him, we are assured of eternal life.

So how do we achieve salvation? Most Christians will agree that salvation is pretty straightforward. First, we recognize that Jesus Christ is our Savior, our Messiah, the Son part of the trinity. Jesus is God, in the form of the Son. Second, we recognize that we are sinners, in need of a Savior. Third, we confess our sins to God, asking for forgiveness. That’s it. That is what is involved in salvation. No, we don’t have to be perfect. Yes, we will fail from time to time. Jesus knows that. He knows everything we have done, and everything we will do. He loves us anyway and salvation is there for all of us. All we have to do is surrender, throw up the white flag, and let Him change our hearts.

So the rest of this post, I will list the words we have been discussing throughout this series, and how they relate to salvation.

Jesus

He is our savior. It is His gift of salvation that grants us eternal life. He came down to earth, led a sinless life, was crucified on a cross, rose on the third day, and sits in Heaven, waiting for us to accept His gift. His life and teachings in the bible show us how we should live our lives on earth. Following Jesus is our path to salvation.

Sin

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”
Romans 6:23

Sin entered the world through Adam and Eve in the Garden. God created us in His image, and gave us free will. We made the choice to eat from the tree of good and evil, and so evil entered the world. Sin separates us from God, and the wages of sin is death. Yet God our father loves us more than we can imagine. He cannot allows us to be condemned without giving us a way out of this condition. It is our recognition of the fact that we are sinners, imperfect and living within a fallen world, that allows us to accept the gift of salvation. Surrendering to God’s will is about recognizing that we cannot save ourselves. Our sin does not allow it. Only Jesus Christ our Messiah can save us from our sin.

Love

“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
–1 John 4:8

What is love?

God is love. Love started with God, and we can only love because God loved us first. God created this world for us. Look around you. Look at this incredible world around us. How can we look around at nature, watching how well the world works and provides for us, without knowing that God created it? If we recognize that this world was created for us, then we must acknowledge that God must have loved us so much to create a world like this for us to live in. It was this love from God that gives us a way to grow closer to Him. We do that through His son Jesus Christ. God loved us so much, He chose to allow His son to be crucified, knowing that this would give us a path to salvation, a way to eternal life.

Grace

“Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth, Would care to know my name
–Casting Crowns, Who Am I

An essential part of being saved is recognizing that God’s salvation is a gift. Who are we to deserve salvation? What have we done to earn it? Nothing. As sinners, our wage is death. It is not because of anything we do in this life that we are saved. There is nothing we can ever do to earn our way to Heaven. It is all about grace. God grants us eternal life as a gift, because of His great love for us. When we are saved, we do good things, not to be saved, but because we are saved. It is Jesus Christ dwelling within our hearts that changes us, allowing us to grow closer to Him.

Forgiveness

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you”
–Colossians 3:13

Once we accept that we are sinners, we realize that God loves us, and His loving grace gives us the gift of salvation. As sinners, we ask for His forgiveness. We know that we can never be perfect. While we ask for His forgiveness, we understand that we will fail again. We ask for Jesus to work on our hearts to make us better Christians. As a result, we are asked to do the same to others as was done for us. Just as Jesus forgave us, we are to forgive others. This forgiveness is as much for us as it is for others. Being more Christ-like means for us to love others as Christ loved us, which includes forgiving them.

Humility

“The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.”
–Proverbs 15:33

Accepting salvation from our God is in itself an act of humility. Pride is the root of evil and sin. When we accept the salvation we are given as a gift, we realize that we are not the center of the universe, God is. We must surrender control, and give God the control. We are no longer in charge. We humble ourselves, recognizing that we are but a spec of dust in this universe, with a blip of time at our disposal, and that God has complete control of that blip.

Faith


“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.“
–Galatians 2:16

It is only through our faith that we are saved. Faith is about trust. In the beginning, God gave us a beautiful garden, a utopia to live in. Because He gave us free will, and we chose to allow sin to enter the world, we put our trust in something other than God. Faith is about maintaining our trust in God, and God alone. In our society, we see so many people put their faith in earthly objects and desires, and the fact is that all of those things are fleeting. You can’t take it with you. Only our faith in God will grant us salvation. Nothing we do can earn salvation. Salvation is a gift from God, and our faith gets us there.

I hope you have enjoyed this series. I know that I have learned some things. In writing these series, I have had to read more about my faith. This thing called Christianity is a life long struggle, a life long study. Everyday I realize that the more I learn, the more I realize how much I do not know. However, as I study more, my faith is strengthened. As I learn more about Jesus, I grow closer to Him.

What was your opinion about this series?

Please let me know if there are other topics you would like to see on this blog.

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