By Dr Cecil Stewart OBE
First study in the Basic Truth Series
First of all, let us have a look various definitions of Salvation from the Greek:
Salvation (soundness, prosperity, rescuing)Greek word: soteria as used in Luke 19:9
Deliverance, preservation, soundness, prosperity, happiness, rescue, general well-being. The word is used both in a material, temporal sense and in a spiritual, eternal sense. The New Testament especially uses the word for spiritual well-being. Salvation is a present possession (Luke 1:77; 2 Corinthians 1:6, 7:10) with a fuller realization in the future (Romans 3:11; 1 Thessaloniciens 5: 8-9)
Salvation (releasing, deliverance, liberation)Greek word: soterion as used in Acts 28:28
Rescue, deliverance, safety, liberation, release, preservation, and the general word for Christian salvation. Soterion only appears 5 times in the bible (the above term soteria appears 45 times). It is an all inclusive word signifying forgiveness, healing, prosperity, deliverance, safety, rescue, liberation, and restoration. Christ’s salvation is total in scope for the total man: spirit, soul and body.
Life Greek word: zoe as used in 1 John 5 20
Zoe refers to the principle of life. In the New Testament zoe denotes not only physical life, but spiritual life, which one can only possess through faith in Jesus Christ. Eternal life refers not only to duration of life, but to quality of life. It is a present life of grace and a future life of glory.
The greatest gift that God ever gave to man is the gift of Salvation. Without Salvation, we are all lost and without hope. But Jesus, the Son of God, took our sentence of death and shed His blood instead of us. Now all who repent of their sins and put their trust totally in what Jesus has done on their behalf at Calvary can receive the gift of eternal life and forgiveness of all their sins. And this is only the beginning of the benefits through coming into the Kingdom.
First however, we must recognize that we’re lost.
Romans 3: 23 says: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 6: 23 says: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Isaiah 53:6 reminds us that we have all gone astray like lost sheep.
Our sins separated us from God so we had no relationship or fellowship with him.
But our Heavenly father has always longed to have a relationship with His creation. So He bridged the gap from Himself to us when He gave His only son to pay the price for our sins, see John 3:16. He has now made it possible for all to receive His pardon, to come back into relationship with Himself and live in the good of all the inheritance that our heavenly Father has provided. Many people are hindered from coming into relationship with Jesus because of their traditions. They think that eternal life is available on the basis of their effort or self-righteousness. But Isaiah 64:6 says: “And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags”.
Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us that: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast”.
Acts 4:12 reminds us that: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
What a tragedy that multitudes struggle all their lives to become accepted by God through following their traditions that can never save them.
Jesus said in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” and in
John 10:9: “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved.”
Jesus is the way into salvation. If your salvation had been available on the basis of good works or through suffering and self effort then Jesus would never needed to have died in our place.
But 2 Corinthians 5:21 reminds us that “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Now all we have to do is repent and believe the Gospel, see Mark 1:15. A miracle takes place in our spirit when Jesus comes in and we are born again, read John 3:3.
In Luke 15, Jesus talked about the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. He showed that every effort must be made to recover that which is lost, how much greater urgency and importance must be placed upon finding those that are lost for eternity unless they are made to realize that they are lost and discover God’s way of salvation. Today few people are aware of the reality and horror of hell. But Jesus spoke clearly about it and warned that it is a place of eternal punishment in a lake of fire that cannot be quenched.
Read carefully the following verses: Luke 16:23, Mark 9:44-45; Revelations 20:10; Matthew 25:24; Revelations 21:8; Matthew 7:13-14.
Many people say if God is good, loving and kind, how could he send anyone to a lake of fire to be tormented forever? The fact is that it is sin that sends people to hell because they have not repented and forsaken their sin. Therefore sin can never be allowed into Heaven for nothing that defiles shall enter, see Revelations 21:27.
If one sinner is permitted to enter Heaven, then Heaven will be no longer Heaven that is why Jesus, the Son of God shed His blood to cleanse us from sin so that we can repent, believe and receive the gift of eternal life and be justified by His grace just as if we had never sinned.
Romans 3:24: “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”.
Titus 3: 4-7: “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
See also Acts 13; 38 and 39; 2 Corinthians 5:21.
Satan, who comes to steal, kill and destroy has stolen multitudes through deception and taken them to a lost hell. That is why 2 Corinthians 4:3 says: “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.”
Everyday we meet lost people who have been deceived by Satan. But the answer to sin and deception is the light of God’s Word which shows us our lost state and what Jesus has done on our behalf. That is why Satan hates the Word of God because it shows the truth about what we are and what we can become in Jesus Christ. It also shows how Satan has been defeated through the cross of Christ.
The good news is that we have been found by the good Shepherd: “I am the good shepherd…” John 10:11.
There is a plan already in place for your future and it is the highest plan for a wonderful future.
Isaiah 55:8-9: "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
There is no more exciting plan that your creator has for you, Ephesians 2:10: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
You were created to enjoy the presence of the Lord and to make a difference in your generation.
As you submit daily to His leading and allow Him to use you as His ambassador, see Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
When we miss God’s plan, we miss the purpose for which we were born, and live our life in vain. So let us live our life according to the manufacturer’s handbook, the Bible. And we will not just enjoy the days of our life, but the life in our days.
Once we are found, we have a future in the purpose of God. Everyone has a purpose and a destiny given to them by their creator. That is why millions of born again believers have found peace and purpose in their relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Our future is to do His will.
Paul the apostle, in Acts 26:16-18, said how he had found the purpose for living: But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.'
Without Jesus and His eternal Life, we have no future, hope or purpose beyond this life. In fact, our full potential can never be realized in this life until we surrender our lives to Jesus the Son of God and allow him to reveal his purpose and destiny to us. Then we discover the greatest life of adventure possible on this earth. And many others will be brought into the kingdom of God through our witness and example.
God’s salvation is the greatest gift, and it is free, read Romans 10:9-11.
These definitions are taken from The Nelson Spirit Filled Bible.