As I think about Resurrection Sunday coming up this weekend, I want to talk about our salvation. It seems like we hear about it so often that it loses its appeal. It’s so important that we keep what God has done for us fresh in our hearts.
In this series, I’m not going to give you a detailed theology of Biblical salvation. Rather, I want to talk about some important aspects that we’ve glossed over in the modern church. The saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ is so rich and powerful, yet in many Christian circles we’ve reduced it to only a fraction of God’s desire.
There’s a tendency in the evangelical church to use this word in the past tense.
“I’ve been saved. Are you saved?”
“When did you get saved?”
Statements like these relegate our salvation to an event that happened sometime in the past. It was a great thing. It changed my life. But now it’s something I can look back on. This is the furthest thing imaginable for the true definition of our salvation.
The Greek word sozo is what’s normally translated as saved in our English Bibles. It is a huge word that’s crammed full of meaning.
To enter into sozo means that you’re not only saved, but kept safe and sound, and are rescued from danger and destruction. Also included in that word is the fact that you’re saved from disease, healed, and restored to health. It applies to both the physical and spiritual realms.
The word saved includes the entire scope of everything that Christ paid for on the cross. It contains the answers for our past, present and future. To see it as anything less is an affront to the Gospel – the Good News – of Jesus Christ.
Let’s look at what the Scripture has to say about it. We’ll start with our entrance into this great work of God.
…That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
This is the only way possible to enter into the salvation of God. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to God apart from His work on the cross. The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is the only door to our salvation.
In this sense we can look back at the initial work of God’s saving power in our lives. It was the day we heard and understood the Good News. We learned that we were incapable of pleasing a Holy God. Yet, because of the work of Christ, His Son, we could be saved.
We believed the message in our hearts. Then, in an outward response to that faith, we confessed with our mouth that Jesus Christ was Lord.
It doesn’t matter the semantics you used. Whether you say that you received Jesus or prayed the sinner’s prayer. If you bowed your knees to Christ in the above manner, you entered into the salvation of the Lord.
It didn’t matter who you were or where you came from. Your good works or your evil past had no bearing on what God did in you. When you called upon Him, you were saved.
Question: What were the events surrounding your initial salvation experience?
© Nick Zaccardi 2014