We’ve established in a previous post that the cross of Jesus is a pivotal point in the Bible. We look back at how Jesus bled and died on the cross so our sin could be forgiven and we could be brought into a relationship with God the Father. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn. 14:6). The cross was part of God’s eternal plan of salvation, not a last ditch effort.
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. (1 Pet. 1:18-21)
Consequently, teaching about salvation is very important as the Bible is God’s message of redemption. The doctrine of salvation, called soteriology (from the Greek word ‘soteria’ which is used for salvation), affects life now, not just our future.
Words Used to Describe Salvation:
conversion (Acts 15:3), salvation (Rom. 1:16), redemption (Rom. 3:24), regeneration (Titus 3:5), born again (Jn. 3:3) .. and variations of these words
While these words have some distinctions they all convey the idea of a change or transformation wherein we are taken from one place to another. We are delivered from something negative to something good. – from idolatry to the true and living God, from sin to righteousness in Christ, from enslavement to freedom, from death to life, from darkness to light, etc.
Hence, Jesus paid the price for our sin so we can be made new. — “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5:17)
Words Used to Describe How to Get Saved:
There are many terms used in Scripture regarding the kind of response we should have in order to be saved.
believe (Jn. 3:16), call on the name of the Lord (Rom. 10:13), faith (Rom. 3:25; Eph. 2:8-9), receive (Jn. 1:12-13), repent (2 Pet. 3:9)
While there are many terms used in Scripture regarding the kind of response we should have to Jesus in order to be saved, all of them combined would be insufficient apart from grace. Salvation is a free gift (Rom. 3:24; 5:15; 6:23), something we cannot earn nor deserve. — “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Eph. 2:8)
Words Used to Describe What Happens at Salvation:
adoption (Gal. 4:4-5), forgiveness (Eph. 1:7), glorification (Rom. 8:30; 1 Jn. 3:2), imputation of His righteousness (Rom. 4:22-25), justification (Rom. 4:25, 5:1), propitiation (Rom. 3:25; 1 Jn. 2:2, 4:10), reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-21), sanctification (1 Cor. 6:11; Heb. 13:12)
Due to the purpose of this post, we will not look at the meaning of these terms. Each word brings with it a deeper understanding of salvation. They are presented to remind us of how rich a salvation we have. We have many spiritual benefits as a result of salvation in Jesus.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Eph. 1:3)
Despite all the various words used to describe it, getting saved is not complicated — “For by grace are you saved through faith” (Eph. 2:8-9). What happens at salvation is pure grace and can only be received as a gift.
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Salvation: God’s Marvelous Work of Grace by Lewis Sperry Chafer