What Does ‘Saved’ Mean?

A swimmer gets into difficulties several hundred yards from the beach. His struggles are noticed by an alert life-guard, who dashes out into the surf and swims powerfully to the spot where he last saw the drowning man. By now he has stopped struggling. He is lying just below the surface motionless. The life guard pulls him to shore, and begins mouth to mouth resuscitation. Half an hour later the first breath of life animates the man’s chest. He is alive. He has been saved.

In situations such as this it is natural to use the word ‘saved’. Someone was in peril, at the point of death. And by the efforts of a third party they were rescued from their plight…saved. Yet when we use the same verb in talking of religious experience, or ask ‘Are you saved?’ it seems in some way artificial. After all, these pleasant, respectable, law-abiding people in the pews—where is the need for them to be ‘saved’? The word seems too stark, too extreme.

And so does the word ‘salvation’, which has the same root with such words as safe, saved and salvage. It is a very ‘big’ word, with many shades of meaning, and it is at the very heart of what we believe. So we are going to examine seven factors involved in ‘salvation’, in ‘being saved’.

1. Salvation is from sin.

2. Salvation is after repentance.

3. Salvation is by grace.

4. Salvation is through faith.

5. Salvation is with assurance.

6. Salvation is to holiness.

7. Salvation is for eternity.

Salvation (or Save)
The most common words for the process by which God fits someone for heaven are salvation or being saved. As Earl Radmacher notes,

The word salvation has its root in the Hebrew word yasa, {meaning} “to be wide or roomy” in contract to “narrow or restricted.” Thus words such as liberation, emancipation, preservation, protection, and security grow out of it. It refers to delivering a person or group of people from distress or danger, from a “restricted” condition in which they are unable to help themselves.

The Greek nouns for salvation are soteria and soterion; the adjective is soterios, from which we derive the word soteriology. The meaning of soteria and soterion is “deliverance”, “preservation,” or “salvation.” Salvation is often used of physical deliverance (Luke 1:69, 71; Acts 7:25; 27:37), such as Paul’s desire to be delivered or released from prison: “I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance” (Phil. 1:19).
Spiritually, salvation refers to the process by which God, through the work of Christ, delivers sinners from the prison of sin. Paul declared, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation of everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16; Eph. 1:13). He later says, “It is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Rom. 10:10). Peter announced: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to man by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Salvation is a broad term that encompasses three stages: Salvation from the past penalty of sin, from the present power of sin, from the future presence of sin. These are often called, respectively, , and glorification. So we are going to examine three stages involved in ‘salvation’, in ‘being saved’.
1. Salvation from the Penalty of Sin (Justification)

2. Salvation from the Power of Sin (Sanctification)

3. Salvation from the Presence of Sin (Glorification)

As we continue this week in our studies we are going to look closely to what the Word of God says about salvation. Now that we understand what God expects of us through repentance we can move into salvation. As I dig into the Word, take time to study yourself. My study results will be posted randomly the next two weeks. This lesson will be for the week of the 22nd.


Posted on June 14, 2009, in Christianity Series (The Conversion), Last Weeks's Teaching. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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