We may think that salvation is a Christian only idea, but infact it is across multiple religions, including Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. In its pure sense, it means for someone to be saved from evil, or sin, or suffering. But where most religions place the source for salvation with yourself, working hard to achieve righteousness, Christianity places the source for salvation upon God.
We also assume salvation in the Christian sense is a modern day idea, that prior to Jesus it didn’t exist. But Salvation is also referred in the old testament by the Jewish people as something being given from God
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father's God, and I will exalt him.
God is the source of our salvation, not ourselves. God knew we could not be sin free by doing good things, or working to earn our salvation. Gave us the Law to show us that we constantly failed and could never do what we needed to do. We could not produce our own salvation. Jesus then came to the earth and died so that we could be sin free, not through our works, but through relationship with him.
A single verse I find helps to summarise this idea of salvation
because God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth
These scriptures show the plan was always Jesus, Jesus was not the back up plan. It has always been about being cleansed of our sins through the connection to God’s personal spirit, and believing in God’s word, the Truth. Jesus is the embodiment of that Truth, and the embodiment of righteous living. He was completely blameless and sin free. And whoever looks upon Jesus and recognises that he is the embodiment of sanctification, of righteousness and purification, and God’s word the truth…. shall be saved.
But why do we even need salvation?
God is a god of justice, just as the world we live in is a world of justice. There are checks and balances, and consequences and rewards, so that people who do the wrong things are punished and people who do the right things are rewarded.
But it is hard to accept that we ourselves, our lives are filled with wrong doings. We hurt others, we are selfish, prideful, and we will do what we want to do at the expense of those around us.
Heaven is the purest place you can imagine, filled with love and peace and joy. But more importantly, it is filled with a God who loves us. And in order to spend eternity with that God and be with that God, we have to love that God.
The people who don’t love him, who have chosen not to accept his love or receive his love, and don't want to have a relationship with Him won’t go there, because God won't force us to spend eternity with Him if we haven't chosen Him.
But God wants us to go there desperately, which is why He has gone to such great efforts to ensure we know of Him and have the ability to live sin free.
Seems simple enough right?
But why is there even sin in the first place?
Well, evil was introduced into the world out of the pride and selfishness of an angel called Lucifer, who had the desire to do what he wanted to do rather than what God wanted…. And he was cast out of heaven along with a third of the angels who chose their way rather than God's way, and they came down to the earth and spread their evil and it has resulted in all the pain and heartbreak and suffering that we see today. And the sad part is that he has twisted our minds so much to make us think we are experiencing freedom while doing it… yes we may engage in more things when we live outside of Gods law, but those things also cause more pain and consequences and mental health issues and disease and death . We have bee blinded that the freedom that we have is actually killing and corrupting us.
Salvation is the knowledge that there is another way… and choosing to follow that way rather than what weve been led to believe is the right one
Salvation comes by simultaneously declaring and believing.
At this point, nothing has changed about our lives. We are still at the same job, in the same relationships, and have yet to interact with anyone else. And yet we are saved. We are saved by grace not by works.
In the same way, we cannot make ourselves saved. We cannot, by doing good things, cause ourselves to be saved. This is a hard truth for people who have lived good lives and done good things outside of the covering of Jesus. You may have been a good person, but without identifying your creator and all He’s done for you, you remain outside of the covenant and presence of God love.
The law was never able to save us, for we were constantly in sin and were constantly unfaithful to him. It is simply by the grace and mercy of God upon us, despite our constant failings, that he made a way to bypass the separation sin causes for us in our lives, in order that we can have relationship with Him and spend eternity with him in Heaven.
This part is the works . The works comes as a natural follow on from understanding the sacrifice Jesus made and understanding your freedom from your previous life. You don’t want to continue living the way you were, but it is a process to unlearn the things you’re used to doing and to learn how to say no to sin.
The difference is that now, with revelation of Christ, we can see another option, where as previously we knew no other way to live. Now we can see the path of faith, of trust, of love, of confidence and assurance in the God who is looking out for us and in the revelation of our worth and love in His eyes.
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Our faith is credited to us as righteousness. And as a result of our faith, we want to grow and be better and live more like Jesus. But it is not through the works that make us righteous, but by the faith in God. And this faith is only able to be obtained by God’s mercy upon us, that after everything we’ve done he would still want to have a relationship with us and help us.
When Jesus was still on the earth right before he died he was talking to his disciples and he was sharing about how someone called the Advocate would be coming, and when the advocate came it would guide them into all truth and they would know everything and God and Jesus wanted them to know.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.
When we accept Jesus by declaring and believing, we then receive his Holy Spirit. And it is this Holy Spirit that guides us and helps us grow and unlearn all the past ways of doing things that we have done up until that point. He shows us another way to live and to react and to be, and this is the part of salvation called santification or purification. We will discuss this more in depth in a separate post but essentially is the process we go through after accepting Jesus and now becoming more like him and less like the sinful, broken version of ourselves.
So we can see , we become saved by believing and declaring our belief in Jesus and our willingness to follow him, and then we become purified and grow through the Holy Spirit guiding us to live righteously.
If you want to say yes to living a life full of love, and selflessness, and joy, and peace and confidence, you can invite Jesus into your heart right now. You can believe in your heart and declare with your mouth that you believe in Jesus and wish to know Him, and He will show himself to you. And He will send you His Holy Spirit so you will never be alone, and He will always be with you and guiding you. He has been waiting for you to come home to him from the moment you were born, and he will always wait for you until the end of your days. So why waste another day turning your back on unconditional love and continuing to live a broken, half life.
It's your choice, he will never force you to love Him. But your family of believers are waiting for you for when you do. <3