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What is 'salvation'? (Higher)
The dictionary definition of salvation is: ‘preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss.’
For Christians, the term takes on a different meaning. Salvation is central to their beliefs.
Christians believe that ‘salvation’ means being delivered from sin and its consequences. The Bible makes it clear that we are all guilty of sin. God is a holy and just God. Because of this, He cannot allow sin to escape judgement. The incredible thing about salvation is that we are all delivered from God’s judgement. So how does that work?
When he was asked about salvation, Jesus replied, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God: all things are possible with God.’ Mark 10:27.
God is the only one who can offer salvation. We can’t buy or earn our salvation. What’s more, we will never be good enough to enter God’s kingdom by our own merits. But because of Jesus, we can have eternal life. God has made it possible for us 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.
This is the only way to gain salvation.
Through faith in Jesus Christ, we can experience the redemptive power of the cross and enjoy reconciliation with God.
This is an eternal thing; nothing can ever separate us from God.
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. None of us 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 this incredible gift from God. 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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