Clarifying salvation's true biblical meaning and applications
Fundamental to all of Christianity is the foundational teaching of salvation. The problem is that the actual interpretation of salvation shifts dramatically depending upon which denomination or group you belong to. For some, it is speaking words of acceptance and offering a simple prayer. For others, it is belonging to a specific church, and for other groups it is a gift that will find you whether you seek it or not. So, what is salvation – what are we saved from and how does it work? Can everyone have it? If so, why and if not why not? Is it only offered now in this life or is there some way it can be offered after death and resurrection? Finally, if this teaching is SO important then why does it seem to be so elusive.
Several scriptures, especially in the book of Romans, seem to make salvation easy. In fact, they make it so easy that it becomes complicated. Consider the following scriptural phrases and their assumed meaning: “The free gift of God is eternal life.” Okay, being saved is absolutely free. Next, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But wait, it’s not totally free – you have to call upon Jesus! Next, “Confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Wait a minute – now you not only have to say it out loud, you need to really believe it in your heart! Which is right…or are they all right? These are only some of the potential “qualifications” that varying denominations put on salvation. Finding the bottom line truth on the matter requires seeing beneath the surface of where we are taught to look.
Let’s touch on two of the basic questions. First, what are we saved from? Is it a burning hell, eternal separation from God, becoming eternally evil? Are we being saved from ourselves, or could it be we are saved from going into a death that has no possibility of resurrection? While we are convinced that this last answer is the only scriptural one, we also realize that it needs sufficient proof. The second basic question is who “gets saved”? Here again there is no shortage in the variety of answers you can find among the vast Christian community, but we will tell you that we believe more will be saved than you may think!
Why not put this whole thing in perspective and get a sensible and sequential answer? Check out our December 3rd, 2018 podcast, “What Does it Mean to be Saved?” for starters. We walk through this subject with the objective of finding the truth of Scripture by putting it all in context first and then pulling all of the pieces together. What we find is a clear narrative that tells the story of salvation in great detail. This find defines the magnitude of God’s plan as we uncover why it can work, how and when it does work and who it actually works for. It is all amazing!
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