In church circles its common to hear such phrases as “saved” and “born again.” But what doe these terms really mean? To many people “saved”, means saved from hell. Its like a kind of eternal insurance policy, that so long as I go to church and try to be a good person, then when I die I will go to heaven and not hell. But is this what Salvation is all about?
|T.B. Joshua preaching God’s Word|
In Matthew 1:21 it is told that Jesus will come to save His people from their sins. This is what I believe salvation is all about. My Pastor puts it this way, “Salvation is to be set free from sin and its penalty”. You see death and hell are part of the penalties of sin. The main thing that sin does is bring separation between us and God (Isaiah 59:1-2). So Jesus came to save us from our sins and therefore to restore our relationship and fellowship with God. Its far more than just a safe passage to heaven, but its the truth that it is now possible for us to have a special friendship and closeness with God! Sin is a misunderstood and not very popular word, but try this for a definition: “sin consists not only in doing those things we should not, but also in failing to do those things we should.” Its more than just lying or being a greedy, its when we fail to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, its when we fail to love our neighbors as ourselves. The amazing truth is that Jesus came to set us free from sin. It is possible for every purpose and passion of your heart to be guided and regulated by the Word of God. This is when we discover true fulfillment.
From this many questions that arise, such as, “How can I be saved?” and “How do I know that I am saved.” I will address some of these in more detail later in the week, but one thing that it is important to say is that no person can tell you that are saved, or you are a Christian or you are born again. There is no special prayer to pray that automatically makes you “saved.” The question “How can I be saved?” was asked in Acts 16:30-31, the answer was quite simple: Believe in Jesus. But look at the person who is saying “Believe”. A good way to look at belief is this:
- Knowledge of the truth
- Acceptance of the truth
- Commitment to the truth
Going back to the fast food analogy. Anyone can say they believe that easting too much junk food is unhealthy. But if they continue eating too much, then what good is that belief? That’s only knowledge of the truth. When a person accepts this truth, that means they will stop eating too much junk food. The question then remains, do they remain committed to that truth. Its not much good adjusting your diet for 1 week, and then the next week you go back to an unhealthy diet – there’s no commitment there.
So too, our belief in Jesus can be understood in these 3 ways:
- knowledge of Jesus Christ and His saving grace through reading and meditating on the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)
- acceptance of Jesus as our Savior, which will result in a changed life (the evidence of Jesus is lives changed – Matthew 7:16-21)
- commitment to Jesus Christ, through good and hard times alike, to keep standing for Him in the face of persecution, opposition and name-calling. (Matthew 24:13)