What is salvation? Is it from something, or for something? Is it spiritual? Social? Psychological? To whom
is salvation offered? What are some of the various metaphors with which the Bible speaks of salvation?

Salvation is the way of life where persons are freed from the past effects of sin and freed for the love and power of God in their lives. It is a present reality, because the Bible talks about salvation as something available in this life. but it also has a future aspect, since the saved belong to God and will be cared for by God in life after death, just as they are now.

Salvation is from sin. The Bibles teaches that sin is the fundamental human problem. Adam and Eve wanted to be like God, and their disobedience resulted in death and separation from the Lord. To be save means that we are forgiven for our sins and accepted by god, despite our wrong thoughts, words, and actions. When we deserve punishment, God chooses to pardon us and accept us as his sons and daughters because of Christ' s death on the cross. We are also freed from the power of sin in our lives. Anyone who has wrestled directly with a significant problem knows how hard it is to overcome it quickly. In the same way, God's love helps us overcome the continuing power of sin by helping us to grow and become more loving and holy persons as we grow in our relationship to him.
Salvation is for a life of joy and peace and abundant living. When we become God's children, all sorts of good things are in store for us. We share in God's love and the blessings he offers his people. We participate in a church family wheree the Spirit ministers to us. We often gain as much personally from serving others as we are able to give to them. The abundant life we experience haere is only a foretaste of the heavenly banquet prepared for all of God's people after death.

Salvation is thus a relationship with God that has spiritual, social, and psychological dimensions, Spiritually, we become new persons in Christ. Socially, we take on a new set of relationships. We atticipate in the body of believers called the church, and we carry Christ's message of love and forgiveness out into the world. Psychologically, we find a peac that the world cannot give (John 14: 27). Although God rejoices over finding every one of his lost sheep, the salvation of an individual is not only for that person's benefit. God wants to use that saved person as part of his overall plan to unite all things to himself and to bring all human being into the kingdom.

Salvation is offered to every human being. God's love for the world is so great that anyone who believes in Christ is given the blessings of salvation. No one is excluded because of their race, nationality, ethnic backgound, or any other reason. All that is necessary is faith in Christ. But it is true that not everyone accepts this salvation. Without Christ, there is no salvation, and it is important that Christans share the Good News that has so changed their lives and destinies with others. As Paul says, "As the Scripture says, Anyone who calls on the Lord will be saved." But before people can ask the Lord for help, they must believe in Him, and before they can believe in Him, they must hear about him; and for them to hear about the Lord, someone must tell them (Romans 10:13-14).

While God is the One who saves, human beings must respond with faith. the book of Hebrews records that "without faith no one can please God" (Hebrews 11:6). as a matter of fact, the Bible clearly teaches that no one can be right with God without have faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:2). As we think of faith, we must cone to grips with two facts that are seemingly in tension with one another. The first is that faith is an act of our own will. We must choose to have faith in God through Christ (John 14:1; Acts 16:31). But as Ephesians 2:8 indicates, our ability to exercise faith is a result of a gift from God. We are made right with God through faith in Christ.
Still, the act of salvation is not yet fully described because it includes our life with God. After all, we do not become automatically perfect when we become Christians. Sin still remains in our heart. Thus we must pursue holiness in our lives. Thsi part of our salvation, like all the other parts, both demands action on our part as well as recognition that our success in growing more like Christ is the result of a gift of God. We should purse a holy life (Hebrews 12:14), while noting that it is a work of God in our hearts.
The end result of the process is that God will bring us to glory. We were created in the image of God, reflecting God's perfect character. When he brings us to himself at the end of time, we will once again be restored to our original sinless state, and we will live in eternal bliss with him.



"Page copied from The Holy Bible, New Century Version, copyright 1987, 1988, 1991 by word Publishing, Dallas, Texas 75234. Used by Permission