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What it means to be Saved

BIBLICAL SALVATION is one of the greatest concepts ever to encounter the mind of man. The word "salvation" comprehends all that God does from eternity, to eternity, to deliver man from sin; and its effects. SALVATION IS A WORK OF GOD FOR MAN, AND IN MAN, NOT MAN'S WORK FOR GOD; ALTHOUGH, A TRULY SAVED MAN DOES WORK FOR GOD! We trust that this discussion will enlarge the knowledge and appreciation of the reader for God's salvation.

Salvation comes from God. God the Father is the ultimate source. He loved the world from all eternity, and sent His Son to die on the Cross, for the sins of the world. God, the Son, is the immediate source of salvation, as Jesus Christ, God's Son, wrought our salvation on the Cross in His resurrection, and heavenly ministry. The PERSONAL and vital source of our salvation is God, the Holy Spirit, who convicts, illuminates, regenerates, and empowers us.

The revealed source of salvation is the Scriptures. The message they contain is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth (Rom. 1:16), they are able to make us wise unto salvation (1 Tim. 3:15), and they contain all that is necessary to eternal life (John 20:31; 1 John 5:13).

The New Testament contains many words, phrases, and statements, indicating the various aspects of salvation. THERE IS ONLY ONE SALVATION, BUT ITS TERMINOLOGY IS DIVERSE IN SALVATION ACCORDING TO THE TIME ELEMENT, PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. We wish to see what God did for us before we believed, what He did for us at the very moment we believed, and what He will yet do for us because we have believed.

The New Testament reveals that God was at work for us before we ever sought Him. He took the initiative in our salvation. Let us consider it.


I. What God did for us before we believed:

A.  What He does for all men, in general, whether they believe or not:

1.  He created them.

2.  He preserved and sustained them.

3.  He gave them reason, judgment, conscience.

4.  He enacted the entire plan of salvation.

5.  He inspired the Bible, preserved it, and providentially caused its printing and distribution.

6.  He sent the Holy Spirit into the world on an evangelizing mission (John 16:8-11; 3:5).

7.  He loved them (John 3:16).

8.  He calls and sends preachers and missionaries to bring the message of salvation to them.

9.  Through the world of nature, He makes a sufficient revelation of His eternal power and wisdom to convince sincere seekers of His existence and sovereignty (Rom. 1:19-20).

10. He suffers long with unbelievers and gives them abundant time and opportunity to be saved (2 Pet. 3:9; Rom. 2:4).


B.  What God did for believers before they believed, in addition to the foregoing:

1.  He foreknew them (Rom. 8:29, 1 Pet. 1:2).

2.  He chose them (Eph. 1:4).

3.  He redeemed, or purchased, them (Heb. 9:12).

4.  He reconciled them (2 Cor. 5:18, 19; Rom. 5:10).

5.  He gave them the Son (John 6:37; 17:6, 12).

6.  He called them effectually (Rom. 8:30).

7.  He convicted them of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11).

8.  He drew them (John 6:44).

9.  He caused them to come to Christ (John 6:65).

10. He opened their hearts (Acts 16:14).

11. He led them to repentance by His goodness (Rom. 2:4; Acts 5:31).

12. He gave them the faith to believe (John 10:26; Acts 13:48; Eph. 2:8, 9).

These references reveal what God did in bringing us to the point of saving faith. Now, we are ready to look further.


II.What God did for us the moment we believed:

THESE STATEMENTS are New Testament expressions for the blessings of initiation into the Christian life. They reveal the exceeding greatness and mighty power of God's salvation. Since they are simultaneous, there is no chronological, or logical, order for them.

1.  He forgave us (Eph. 17; Acts 10:43).

2.  He regenerated us (John 3:3-7), or granted us the new birth (John 1:13).

3.  He quickened us, or made us alive (John 5:25; Eph. 2:1).

4.  He justified us (Rom. 3:28; 5:1; Acts 13:38, 39).

5.  He sanctified us in our relationship to Him (Heb. 10:14; 1 Cor. 1:30).

6.  He perfected us forever (Heb. 10:14).

7.  He cleansed and washed us (Rev. 1:5; Titus 3:5).

8.  He baptized us by the Spirit into one body (1 Cor. 12:13).

9.  He sealed us by the Spirit (Eph. 1:13, 4:30).

10. He made us the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19).

11. He brought us into vital union with Christ (John 15:1-7).

12. He delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son (Col. 1:13).

13. He raised us up and made us to sit together with Christ in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:6).

14. He saved us (Acts 16:31; John 10:9).

15. He opened our eyes spiritually (John 3:3; Acts 26:18).

16. He turned us from darkness to light (John 8:12; Acts 26:18).

17. He gave us rest (Matt. 11:28, 29; Heb. 4:3).

18. He gave us eternal life (John 3:16; 5:24; 10:28).

19. He made us saints (Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2).

20. He adopted us and made us children of God (John 1:12; Eph. 1:5).

21. He delivered us from condemnation (John 5:24; Rom. 8:1).

22. He made us free (John 8:36; Rom. 8:2).

23. He baptized us with, or in, the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11; Acts 1:5; Rom. 8:9).

24. He gave us peace (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:14, 17; John 14:27).

25. Christ the Son and God the Father took us into their hands for safekeeping (John 10:28-30).

26. Christ became our righteousness (Rom. 1:17; 10:3-4, 6) our wisdom, our sanctification, our redemption (1 Cor. 1:30).

27. He made us a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15).

28. Christ came into us to dwell (2 Cor. 13:5; Gal. 2:20).

29. He delivered us from this present evil age (Gal. 1:4).

30. He made us His heritage (Eph. 1:11, 18).

31. He made us complete in Christ (Col. 2:10).

32. He gave us access into His grace in which we stand (Rom. 5:2).

33. He delivered us from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13).

34. He made us Abraham's spiritual seed (Gal. 3:29; Rom. 4:16).

35. He made us heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:29; 4:7).

36. He counted us dead to the old life, to sin, and to the law (Rom. 6:2-10; 7:4).

37. He blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ (Eph. 1:3-14).

38. He made us a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people (I Pet. 2:9).

39. He made us nigh by the blood of Christ (Eph. 2:13).

Many of the above items may be synonymous, but bringing them together enables us to understand the many-sidedness of our salvation.


III.What God does for us after we believe and because we believed:

1.  Christ intercedes for us (Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34).

2.  He keeps us (John 10:28, 29; Rom. 8:29-35).

3.  He continues to perform in Heaven the good work which He began in us when we first believed (Phil 1:6).

4.  He keeps for us an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, that fadeth not away (I Pet. 1:4).

5.  He will raise us up at the last day (John 6:39-40).

6.  He chastens us for our profit that we might be partakers of His holiness (Heb. 12:6-11).

7.  He will glorify us at Christ's second coming (Rom. 8:29-30; Phil. 3:21; I Cor. 15:51-57; 1 John 3:2).


WE HAVE NOT included in this list what God does for us, and through us, because of our loyalty, love, consecration, and prayers. Everything we have listed above tends to show God's part in our salvation.

God's part in our salvation is so great that some might think that man has no part at all. But, there is the human side to salvation. God has given man the power of FREE WILL, and God respects that freedom.

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