What Does It Mean To Be “Saved?”
As Christians, it is important that we understand our need for salvation so that we are able to communicate to others their need to be saved. Some might question, “Saved from what?” The direct and simple answer is “saved from our sin, ourselves, and our rebellion against God.” Even in our southern culture we wrongly assume everybody knows about Jesus. We may find ourselves answering the question, “What does it mean to be saved?” As followers of Christ, we will want to be able to give a reason for our hope and a defense of our faith (1 Peter 3:15).
Humanity Has A Problem
To understand salvation, we must understand humanity has a problem. Meaning, there must be an understanding that sin has destroyed our relationship with God. We are born into sin, therefore, we are evil. We do evil things and evil is in our world. People often ask, “Where did evil come from?” The Bible tells us in Genesis 3 that humanity sinned against God, thus, being separated from Him because of that sin. Our sin separates us from Him, and the world is sinful. In fact, the world is evil because of sin. God is a holy and righteous God, and that is why our sin separates us from His presence. Therefore, to understand salvation we must know that we have a sin problem. That sin problem separates us from God and His presence in our lives. One author writes, “Sin comes naturally because everyone is born a sinner.”
There is good news for us sinners! God loved us so much that he provided a way for our sins to be forgiven and for us to have a relationship with Him (John 3:16). Our first step is repentance. We must repent of our way of doing things and turn to Christ in faith and trust (Luke 13:3). Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Once a person has repented of sin and turned to Christ, they are a new person through God’s gift of salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Lastly, when a person has repented of their sin and trusted in Christ, they will need to grow in the spiritual disciplines. For example, those are things like growing in knowing God more, knowing Scripture more, learning how to pray, and living like Jesus. The theological term for that kind of growth is “sanctification.” Believers are to live their lives modeling Christ for a lost world. In doing so, they will honor God with their gift of life and in the process be a bold witness for Him. Ephesians 5:8 says, “for at one time you were in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.”