Salvation

The Gospel of Matthew tells a story concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples. The disciples were on a boat in the Sea of Galilee, when a tremendous storm formed. The disciples were terrified, and their fear only grew when they saw a man walking toward them on the water. The man called out and said, “Take heart; it is I, do not be afraid” Matthew 14:27. Now the story begins to get interesting, because Peter called out to Jesus saying “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water” Matthew 14:28; and Jesus could respond simply “Come” Matthew 14:29. Peter stepped out of the boat, onto the water and began to walk on water! However, Peter became fearful and took his eyes off Jesus; as a result, Peter began to sink. Peter, who was helpless and unable to save himself, called out to Jesus saying, “Lord, save me” Matthew 14:30. Upon hearing Peter’s call for help, Jesus immediately reached out his hand and grabbed him. Peter was saved. The full account of this story can be found in Matthew 14:22-33. In the story, Peter was physically saved from drowning; but the Bible speaks of another type of salvation, spiritual salvation. In this article, we will briefly look at the basics concerning God’s Salvation. 

 

The Oxford Dictionary defines salvation as ‘deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss’. This definition clearly explains what is assumed in salvation of any kind, a need, and deliverance from that need. The same is assumed when speaking of God’s spiritual salvation; there is a need and there is a deliverance from that need. In terms of God’s salvation, the need is sin, and the deliverance from that need is Jesus Christ. 

 

Let us first look at the need, sin. What is sin? Sin can simply be defined as disobeying God. Romans 5:12 reads, “sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all people because all sinned”. We see that sin entered the world, when the first man who ever lived, Adam, sinned. Because Adam sinned, death, both physical and spiritual, entered the world. Sin is the reason everyone dies because every person has sinned. However, that isn’t even the whole story, the Bible says our sins have separated us from God (Isaiah 59:2). God doesn’t allow anyone with sin to enter heaven after death, instead, anyone with sin is sent to Hell, and from Hell to the Lake of Fire. There they will face eternal punishment for disobeying God. So we see a tremendous need, all have sinned, and our sin has separated us from God and forces God to send us to eternal punishment. We need our sins removed. 

 

Now, we will consider the deliverance from our need. The Bible not only says we need our sins to be removed but also that we cannot remove our own sin. In Romans 5:6, we are called weak in regard to removing our sin, we are unable to do it. But God has provided a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:6 says that we are weak, but Christ died for the weak and the ungodly. 1 Peter 2:24 explains that Christ placed our sins upon Himself when He died on the cross. We have already seen that the consequence of sin is physical and spiritual death, but Christ died for us at Calvary. He bore our sin; He died in our place. Christ laid down His own life so that we could be saved. He provided an answer to our tremendous need. But the story doesn’t end there, because Christ rose from the dead and anyone who repents of their sin and believes in Him will be saved. Jesus Christ couldn’t save anyone if he were dead, which is why He had to be resurrected so that He could save us. 

 

The Bible says that the moment people repent of their sin and believe in the risen Jesus, they are saved. In the eyes of God, their sin has been forgiven and removed; they will forever be considered righteous in the eyes of God; this is called justification. Once a person is saved, their life is forever changed, and they are guaranteed Heaven. We can also read that the moment a person is saved, they are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who changes their life and begins to separate them from sin and make them more like Jesus Christ; this is called sanctification. Once a person who is saved dies, they are immediately taken up into heaven and forever in the Lord’s presence. They are removed from the presence of sin, and they will never sin again; this is called glorification. There are many more results that occur when a person is saved, but these three cover the broad idea. They cover the past, present, and future tense of Salvation.

  1. When a person repents and believes in Jesus Christ they immediately receive:

    1. Justification (past tense)  - Salvation and separation from the penalty of sin.

  2. Throughout their Christian life, they recieve:

    1. Sanctification (present tense) - Salvation and separation from the power of sin by the Holy Spirit. 

  3. Once their life ends in physical death, they will experience:

    1. Glorification (future tense) - Salvation and separation from the presence of sin. 

 

God’s salvation is available to anyone willing to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. We want to leave you with one last scenario and question. Imagine you are drowning in a lake just as Peter and someone on the shore throws you a life vest. The need is that you are drowning, and the need is met by someone throwing you a life vest. All that is left for you to do is to grab the life vest and allow it to keep you above water. The same is true when thinking of God’s salvation, Christ has already died on the cross for your sins, the need has been met, and the metaphorical life raft has been thrown; will you grab it? Will you believe in Jesus to save you and be guaranteed salvation by the Word of God? Or will you let it pass and risk spending all of eternity separated from God and condemned to eternal punishment? Jesus is able to save you today; will you trust Him?

 

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

John 3:36