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Salvation - what does it mean for you?
SALVATION is really quite a word but unfortunately throughout the Church world we have not expressed it well and have left out of our teaching so very much that has to do with this great word. Words and their meanings are very important and since I have been studying a new language in which words and how they are used and what they mean, that fact has become even more apparent. For instance, in the Spanish language you might use a single word that changes everything one is saying or trying to convey.
Like the word love for example: in English we use the same word for love for everything. We love our family and we love ice cream and we love our car and we love God. There is even a fast food chain that uses the phrase “I’m loven it”... all the same word. But not so in Spanish. To say 'I love my wife' or ' I love God' is one word with a totally different meaning than to say 'I love going to the park'. Why? Well we don’t have time for that and this is not a language lesson, but the easy answer is active and passive verb tenses and mood. In the Greek language one verb can have 90 verb tenses and it can be active, passive, perfect, active voice, passive and a middle voice and more.
So back to our word salvation - it has been called the great inclusive word of the Gospel. The Hebrew, and Greek, “sōtēria”, meaning “safety”, “preservation”, “healing”, and “soundness”. It gathers to itself all the redemptive acts such as justification, redemption, grace, propitiation, imputation, forgiveness, sanctification, and glorification.
Paul said in Romans 1:16, which I think is really where the book of Romans starts, Paul made this statement (Romans 1:16) 'For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.' (bold print added)
It says it this way in some other translations……
· (Romans 1:16 AMP) For I am not ashamed of the Gospel (good news) of Christ, for it is God’s power working unto salvation [for deliverance from eternal death] to everyone who believes with a personal trust and a confident surrender and firm reliance, to the Jew first and also to the Greek,
· (Romans 1:16 Darby) For I am not ashamed of the glad tidings; for it is God’s power to salvation, to every one that believes, both to Jew first and to Greek:
· (Romans 1:16 CEV) I am proud of the good news! It is God’s powerful way of saving all people who have faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles.
· (Romans 1:16 NKJV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Many things can be drawn from this one verse and from this single word “salvation”. Remember I spoke of tenses? Well, salvation is in three tenses.
The believer has been saved. Therefore what has he been saved from?
· 1.The believer has been saved from the guilt and penalty of sin. (Luk_7:50); (1Co_1:18); (2Co_2:15); (Eph_2:5); (Eph_2:8); (2Ti_1:9) and is safe.
· 2.The believer is being saved from the habit and dominion of sin – Rom.6:14, Rom. 8:2, Gal. 2:19, Gal. 2:20
· 3.The believer is to be saved in the sense of entire conformity to Christ – (Rom_13:11); (Heb_10:36); (1Pe_1:5); (1Jo_3:2)
· Salvation is by grace through faith, is a free gift, and wholly without works; (Rom_3:27); (Rom_3:28); (Rom_4:1-8); (Rom_6:23); (Eph_2:8).
Paul also points out in verse 16 that salvation is by grace through faith, it is a free gift and wholly without works.
· Rom.3:27 – The law of faith
· Rom.3:28 – justified without the works of the law (obedience of rules and regulations)
· Rom.4:1-8 – Abraham counted righteous, New Testament believers made righteous.
· Rom.6:23 – Gift of God eternal life.
· Eph.2:8 – Saved by grace through faith, not performance based
· The word “gospel” is an English word translated from the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον literally, “God’s good news.” *In English, the word gospel is laden with religious meaning, but when Jesus and the apostles used the word euangelion (good news/gospel) they were using a nonreligious word from their culture. This word meant more than just good news and was really only seldom used because it was considered a word of exaggeration, something that is “just too good to be true.” The word gospel was a word meaning “nearly-too-good-to-be-true news.” Let me illustrate it like this: when Paul said “the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to everyone, Jew and Greek” it was such an intense statement that the gentiles looked at him and said, “You mean we can now be just like the Jews” in terms of being under the covenant.
Because, remember, they had seen the Israelite people
protected by God, and provided for by God. They had heard of the stories
of the cloud by day and the fire by night, God had provided the Jews
every want and need with supernatural provision of water and food and
being able defeat all their enemies, if an enemy came in one way, like a
flood God would come to their aid. The gentiles said 'we can now be the
sons of God and be in a right position with the God of Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob simply by believing?' (But of course the Jewish religious
leaders were so angry with this saying “What! We have
kept all these laws and regulations and kept the Sabbath and ate only
certain foods and done this and that and now they get everything and
don’t have to do anything?” )
· In other words, as the oldest son put it, “I have been here all along and you never killed the fatted calf for me and my friends” and what did the Father say? “You have been in the house all along and could have had everything anytime you wanted it, but this is my son that was lost and now he is found”. Wow!! How radical was that! And to the Gentiles it really was good news - that almost to-good-to-be-true news.