Salvation is one of the “themes”of the Scriptures, and is expressed in some form in the many accounts and narratives recorded in the Scriptures. In the Old Testament, the word salvation sometimes refers to deliverance from danger , from an oppressor . It can also refer to national deliverance from military threat , or release from captivity . Man’s universal need for salvation is one of the clearest teachings of the Bible.
Man’s need for salvation originated in his expulsion from the Garden of Eden, and since then life for mankind has been marked by strife and difficulty; increasingly, corruption and violence has dominated our world. God used the nation of Israel to illustrate the subject of salvation, and the central experience of Old Testament salvation is the Exodus from Egypt. The nation of Israel, although delivered from bondage, consistently disobeyed God’s commands and ended up in captivity once again. God promised a “new and better” Exodus . Israel’s return from captivity failed to fulfil all these hopes, so a new understanding arose: the full realization of God’s purpose of salvation would involve the coming of a completely new age ; and this doctrine of salvation reached its fulfilment in the death of Christ on our behalf. Jesus’ mission was to save the world from sin and the wrath of God . The salvation that comes through Christ may be described in three tenses: past, present and future; and is also described as: “the act of saving or protecting from harm, risk, loss etc:”; “the state of being saved or protected……” ; “a source, cause or means of being saved or protected…”; “deliverance from the power and penalty of sin; redemption…”; (Webster’s Dictionary) and these definitions are observed throughout the Scriptures. There are other facts about salvation contained in the Scriptures as well.
IT WAS PROMISED:
THE SOURCE/MEANS: (“a source, cause or means of being saved or protected”)
SALVATION IS FOR ALL PEOPLE:
IT WAS ACCOMPLISHED BY THE SHED BLOOD OF CHRIST: (“the act of saving or protecting from harm, risk or loss”)
THE METHOD OR APPLICATION:
IT IS THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS:
IT IS NOT TO BE DELAYED/DISMISSED:
IT IS THE WORD OF TRUTH:
THE BIBLICAL TRUTH
Salvation is the work of God by which man is saved from the eternal doom of sin. In salvation, God gives to man the riches of his grace, meaning, eternal life both now and forever. Salvation, therefore, is the work of God and NOT a work of man for God. Salvation is the “new birth” which Jesus described to Nicodemus : it is a spiritual birth, and the only way to become a Christian is to be “born again”. The Hebrew and Greek meaning of salvation implies the ideas of deliverance, safety, and preservation; and until a person is “born again”, that person is lost and has no assurance of deliverance, safety or preservation. Good works will never bring salvation, and being a “good person” is not salvation, for the Bible declares that we are not saved by good works .
SALVATION ‑‑ THE PURPOSE OF GOD: It was conceived in the mind of God before the world was formed . Is the result of God’s foreknowledge ‑ not an afterthought . Is the result of the Grace of God, not of anything we can/might do. Grace means “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense” . Salvation is offered because of God’s love to mankind .
SALVATION BEFORE THE CROSS: God dealt with sin before the cross by atonement, meaning that sin was “covered” , by the Levitical offerings until, and in anticipation of the cross, but did not “take away” those sins . Note that in Rom. 3:25 the writer states that sins committed before the cross were unpunished, because the Levitical offering was in anticipation of the supreme Sacrifice of Christ. God had promised a Lamb and had forgiven sin on the basis of His promise. Paul in his address to the Athenians on Mars Hill indicated that God had overlooked the times of “ignorance” to God’s word, but the new command for all people everywhere is to repent .
SALVATION AFTER THE CROSS: God’s method of dealing with sin since Christ died is based upon ONE OFFERING ‑ which is the offering of Christ upon the cross and in His death Christ did not “cover sin”but took away or cleansed sin .
THE PRICE OF SALVATION: God’s Son, Jesus Christ, had to die in order to provide salvation, and by His death, burial and resurrection He provided a way of salvation for all humanity .  Jesus suffered for the sins of the world, “that He might bring us to God” .  In His suffering His blood was shed for the remission or forgiveness of sin .
SALVATION ‑‑ PAST: PRESENT: FUTURE
PAST: Christ saves from the guilt and penalty of past sins, because Christ became sin for all who will believe . Christ will save all who come to Him seeking His forgiveness, for He has declared that He is not willing that any should perish. The final decision, however, is left up to the individual; God never forces anyone to accept Him even though it is not His will that any should perish .
PRESENT: once the past has been forgiven, God now delivers the believer from the Power of sin on a day‑to‑day basis, because Christ “ever lives” to make intercession for us. Even though we may be saved we are still prone to sin . The Christian can thus live a victorious life over sin, even though the two natures within us are constantly at war striving to control us. The apostle Paul speaks about this conflict in his own life and he tells us that he was victorious, and so can we. The Holy Spirit settles the strife in the believer’s life.
FUTURE: One day the Lord Jesus will take all His redeemed ones from the “presence” of sin, this is His promise to all those who have accepted His salvation . Although Christians are not yet perfect, God sees us as such: we are sons of God NOW, we do not have to wait until some future time. On that day when Christ returns for us He will make the distinction, and only those who are “sons” will go to be with Him .
SALVATION ‑‑ THE FREE GIFT OF GOD: Salvation is God’s free gift to mankind and is available to ALL who will believe : and since salvation is a free gift it must be accepted by the sinner who must first admit and confess that he/she is a sinner and is worthy of the penalty for sin which is spiritual death or eternal separation from God . All mankind is faced with the great decision: accept the “wages” or the “gift”. It is an individual decision and the choice is left to every person born into this world . The power to live the Christian life is given to all who believe, even though we are all prone to sinning . The Lord is willing to forgive; but this is not a licence for believers to wilfully sin. When we do sin, as we most definitely will, Jesus Christ is our advocate with the Father, and we must seek God’s pardon by confessing our sin to Him and request His forgiveness.
CONCLUSION: : (vs.1-2) “Salvation comes from God”: rest and confidence is the experience of the child of God. (vs.3-4) Satan’s job is to capitalize on the fragile condition of saints and sinners. He never gives up and his assault is continuous: he knows that we have no strength of our own to withstand his attacks: we are like the “leaning wall” or “tottering fence”: this was David’s experience because of his enemies and this is also our experience as a result of Satan’s attacks upon us. (vs.5-8) We are encouraged to “trust” in God at all times and in all situations because our “salvation depends on God”, we are exhorted to “pour out” our hearts to Him. (vs.9-10) Our social standing means nothing to God, because we can never “measure up” to His standards, “if weighed on a balance they are nothing”; neither riches or wealth can buy us entrance into His kingdom. (vs.11-12) God has spoken and the David has heard two things: “You O God are strong”: “You O Lord are loving”. As we consider God’s salvation these two things should also be evident to us.
SALVATION: (1) was very costly to God (2) is a free gift of a Holy God to a sinful world . (3) is obtained only by believing on the Son of God and receiving Him as saviour (4) is an act of faith (5) requires a personal decision . (6) cannot be attained by Church membership or by anyone acting on our behalf . (7) cannot be inherited or purchased . (8) changes the heart, mind and every part of a person: we become a “new creation” . (9) is revealed by the Scriptures . (10) is everlasting . (11) was not understood by the prophets (or angels) . (12) is a promise of God . We never become good enough to be saved because we can never attain a degree of excellence good enough for God. Once we trust Christ to be our saviour, however, God sees us as being perfect in Christ , and we can be confident “that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” .
Is the word “salvation”relevant in today’s society? Yes it is! Is the word “salvation”offensive to people today? Yes it is! Should the word be changed or modernised? No it should not! It was used by our Lord in His day, and it still carries the same meaning today: it is a word that all can comprehend. Salvation is so simple that all can understand it, but unfortunately there are those today who seek to make it complicated. There are those who say that the normal person cannot understand what God’s word means and they either reject it or give their own interpretation and rules. Some people look for salvation in things and people, rather than looking to God; while others live in fear of what the future without God holds for them. There are people who refuse to accept what God’s word says in regard to sin and its consequences and enter into unnecessary dialogues, debates and arguments as to why the Bible should be rejected. The words of an old hymn sums it up very simply:
My faith has found a resting place ‑ not in device nor creed:
I trust the Ever living One ‑ His wounds for me shall plead.
Enough for me that Jesus saves ‑ This ends my fear and doubt;
A sinful soul I come to Him ‑ He’ll never cast me out.
My heart is leaning on the Word ‑ The written Word of God:
Salvation by my Saviour’s name ‑ Salvation thru His blood.
My great Physician heals the sick, The lost He came to save;
For me His precious blood He shed, For me His life He gave.
Chorus: I need no other argument, I need no other plea;
It is enough that Jesus died, And that He died for me.
[L. H. Edmunds]