TRINITY COMMUNITY OUTREACH.
Topic: The Meaning of Salvation.
Text: Acts 4:12 (AMP) (Adult Lesson 24).
"And there is salvation in and through no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by and in which we must be saved."
1). Meaning of Salvation.
Salvation simply means to be saved, or delivered, from the result of sin—eternal death. Salvation is possible through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It is the conclusion of the conversion process.
A concise definition of salvation can be summed up in one word: deliverance. But deliverance from what? When the Israelites came out of Egypt and reached the Red Sea, Moses told them to “stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD” (Exodus 14:13). In this case, God provided a physical deliverance for Israel from the armies of Egypt.
In the New Testament, the term salvation describes two essential components of a Christian’s life:
Being delivered from the penalty of sin, which is eternal death (Romans 6:23).
Being delivered from mortality and given the gift of eternal life (John 3:15).
Salvation is all about how a Christian can live a better life today and, ultimately, live forever in the future!
2). What are we saved from?
What do we need to be saved from? To answer that question, first we go back to the time when man was created by God.
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being [soul, King James Version]” (Genesis 2:7).
Later, the prophet Ezekiel noted that all souls (living beings) belong to God. “Behold all souls are Mine; the soul of the father, as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). This is repeated again in verse 20: “The soul who sins shall die.”
Many places in the Bible human life is described as “mortal” (Romans 6:12; 8:11; 2 Corinthians 4:11). All human beings face the same inevitable fate—we will die. But the doctrine of salvation shows us we can be delivered from eternal death.
Many believe that human beings need to be delivered from eternal torment in hell fire, but is that what the Bible teaches?
Every human being (except for Jesus Christ) has sinned. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The penalty for sin is death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Sin causes every person to earn the death penalty. Once we have sinned, we earn the penalty of death and there’s nothing we can do to remove that penalty ourselves. We have to be delivered from it!
So man needs to be saved—delivered from eternal death—and to be given the gift of God, which is eternal life. That is why salvation is necessary, and why Jesus came to the earth as a human being. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
We are all lost to the penalty of sin—eternal death—and the only way to be delivered from that penalty is through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
3). How and Why Jesus Christ is the source of our salvation.
The Bible shows that God the Father and Jesus Christ love human beings immensely. They created us in Their image and want to share eternal life with us. But in order for that to happen, God had to provide a way for us to be saved—or delivered—from sin and death.
God the Father and Jesus Christ have a plan to accomplish this. Jesus Christ came to earth and lived a perfect life—not earning the penalty of death due to sin—and then gave His life for us. Because He was “God in the flesh,” His sacrifice can pay the penalty for all human sins.
Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Jesus gave His life, a life of perfection, without sin, so that we can be saved. It is by His shed blood that salvation is now made possible for all humans.
But that doesn’t mean human beings only have to “accept” that sacrifice and—poof!—they are saved. The Bible shows we need to accept His sacrifice and also repent and turn from sin.
The prophet Isaiah wrote: “Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).
Changing our lives is an important part of the salvation process.
4). The Nature and Characteristics of Salvation.
a) Salvation is by Grace Alone.
Salvation is God’s gracious gift to man. Man is sinful. He cannot save himself or earn his salvation. Man does not deserve salvation. All humans are born with sinful natures. When we reach the point that we comprehend we are breaking God’s laws, we become responsible before God for our sins. We are no longer sinners by nature only, but also sinners by choice.
This is why God must offer salvation by His grace. Grace means that salvation is a gift from God to man. Man is too sinful to earn salvation through good works.
God says through Paul in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Salvation is an undeserved gift from God to man, not a payment to man for his religious works. If man could earn his salvation, he would boast about it.
Every other religion apart from Christianity requires man to earn his salvation by working his way up to God. However, God knew that man could never do that because man is sinful and God is holy. So, when we could not work our way up to God, He graciously came down to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. Paul said in Titus 3:5, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”
When Jesus came to this earth through the virgin birth, God offered to all sinners His love and forgiveness so He could reconcile them to Himself in salvation by grace alone.
4b). Salvation is through Faith.
The only way sinful man can receive the grace of God is through faith. Again, Paul said in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Sinful man must trust Jesus to save him. That involves more than assenting intellectually to the facts that Jesus died for sins and rose from the dead. Sinful man must trust that Christ died for his sins and rose from the dead to give him eternal life.
God gives grace, but it is our responsibility to believe in order to be saved. God does not believe for us!
4c) Salvation is through Jesus Christ Alone.
The object of one’s faith for salvation is crucial. There is only one way to be saved, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is not the best way to God; He is the only way to God. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Referring to Jesus, Peter said, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under Heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Paul taught in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” These passages all stress that salvation is in Jesus alone.
Buddha cannot save you. Allah or Mohammed cannot save you. Your religious works cannot save you. Only Jesus can save you. If you don’t know Jesus in salvation, you don’t know God. If you die without knowing Jesus in salvation, you will spend eternity in Hell, not Heaven.
According to Scripture, why does every man need to be saved?
Man is a Sinner who needs a Saviour.
Every person needs to be saved because each of us is a sinner. We have broken God’s laws. We are spiritual lawbreakers. Our “sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). We are born with a sinful nature (Ps. 51:5). By nature, we are “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3). We have a propensity toward sin.
- What is the Meaning of Salvation?
- What are we saved from?
- What are the Characteristics of Salvation?
By Edidiong Nde.