What is Salvation?

Ever since I found out a friend didn’t know if they were saved, I find myself asking that question more and more often. Not really what it means to me, but more how do I convey that meaning to them.

Part of the problem I have, is due to the religious terminology that goes with it. We church people can talk about being saved or believers or redeemed, but what does that really mean?

Acts 16

29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.

The Message says it this way:

29 -31The jailer got a torch and ran inside. Badly shaken, he collapsed in front of Paul and Silas. He led them out of the jail and asked, “Sirs, what do I have to do to be saved, to really live?” They said, “Put your entire trust in the Master Jesus. Then you’ll live as you were meant to live—and everyone in your house included!”

This is the simplest explanation that I could find on how to become saved, saved from a life of death and eventually Hell. All you have to do is believe and put your trust in Jesus Christ and your there.

So what are we believing and trusting Him for?

1 Corinthians 15
1Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Peter,[b] and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

Here it is in the Message:

1 -2Friends, let me go over the Message with you one final time— this Message that I proclaimed and that you made your own; this Message on which you took your stand and by which your life has been saved. (I’m assuming, now, that your belief was the real thing and not a passing fancy, that you’re in this for good and holding fast.)
3 -9The first thing I did was place before you what was placed so emphatically before me: that the Messiah died for our sins, exactly as Scripture tells it; that he was buried; that he was raised from death on the third day, again exactly as Scripture says; that he presented himself alive to Peter, then to his closest followers, and later to more than five hundred of his followers all at the same time, most of them still around (although a few have since died); that he then spent time with James and the rest of those he commissioned to represent him; and that he finally presented himself alive to me.

Is it really that easy? The gospel or good story is that Jesus died for our sins (He took our punishment), was buried and rose again because He is God.

I have heard it so many different ways, I even questioned if I was saved. Each group seems to put their own religious spin on what it takes, but that is it. Straight from the Word of God, salvation comes from believing Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose from the dead. Of course there is a lot more to the story, but the rest explains who Jesus was and why God did this for you and what it means to you. That is a really fascinating and never ending story that will totally change your life.

I feel like now I can explain it, the next time a person asks what does salvation mean, in an easy to understand and true format.


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