RE:QUESTA space for resources to help RE teachers and their students explore the Christian faith
Lat Blaylock, Editor, RE Today
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What is salvation? (Higher)
For Christians, the term takes on a different meaning, and salvation is central to their beliefs.
The Bible makes it clear that all people are guilty of sin. God is a holy and just God and, because of this, He cannot allow sin to escape judgement.
The 'Good News' is that through Jesus' death, all humanity is forgiven and restored into a relationship with God. The Bible states that Jesus offers the only way for people to receive salvation:
'Jesus is the one of whom the scripture says, ‘The stone that you the builders despised turned out to be the most important of all.’ Salvation is to be found through him alone; in all the world there is no one else whom God has given who can save us.' Acts 4:11-2
Christians believe that people can’t buy or earn their salvation, it only comes through faith in Christ. Because of Jesus, people can have eternal life: God made it possible for them to enter the kingdom.
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ John 3:16
God does this through the death of Jesus on the cross. Christians believe that through Jesus’ death, all who have sinned can be forgiven and delivered from judgement if they choose to repent of their sins and put their faith in Jesus.
The New Testament
In the New Testament, we read about how Paul and Silas were imprisoned. After much prayer and worship, their prison door flew open and their chains were loosed one night. Paul and Silas didn’t run away though. When the jailor rushed to see them, he asked them what he should do to be saved. Paul and Silas replied:
‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.’ Acts 16:31
Salvation is a gift that anyone can freely receive from God. Nobody deserves it, yet God freely offers it through the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus, which provides atonement for all our sins.
The amazing thing about salvation is that the story of the whole Bible is concerned with it. Right at the beginning, when Adam and Eve committed the Original Sin in the Garden of Eden and were exiled, God didn’t give up on humans.
Throughout the Old Testament, we read that the people were unfaithful to God, but He sent many prophets to get His people back on track. Some of these prophets spoke about a Messiah, a chosen one, anointed by God, above all other men.
This Messiah would come and free people, saving them from the spiritual consequences of their own sin: separation from God. The prophets said that the Messiah would come and save everyone in an unexpected way; a way they couldn’t have imagined in their wildest dreams.
The Messiah’s name? Jesus.
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