What Is Salvation?
Salvation is what we need. Everyone needs to get to heaven for instance. Often that is the first thing on a person’s mind when they go looking for God. But there is so much more to salvation than getting to heaven. In any area of your life where you need help, God wants to come to your rescue. He provides everything necessary for saving you by His grace through your faith.
“Being Saved” Is a Good Beginning
Why did you want to be saved? Some people seek Jesus as a way of getting to heaven. They want to be saved from hell: from the fear of death or from the fear of punishment. Others seek Him to be saved from some form of hell on earth: from the pain of a lost love one, or a failed career, or fears, or depression, or weaknesses. A few may possibly come to Jesus just wanting to be saved from not knowing the Beautiful God who created them. All of these are great reasons for wanting to be saved!
If you are reading this, hopefully one of those reasons has already prompted you to seek Jesus for salvation. (If not, do it now! Follow the prayer steps in "How can I get saved?") But being saved and feeling the joy of it—as terrific as that is—is just the beginning of a saving embrace that goes on into all of eternity. Listen to this passage from the New Testament:
Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25
Being saved "to the uttermost" is a very wide word indeed. It covers everything about us that needs rescue, repair, restoration or refreshing. What is salvation? As great as our need is, our God's salvation is even greater. Never imagine that "being saved" means that you have no further need of God to save you. Don't put this in the past tense! You are in a process of being saved from all that is not heavenly. You definitely need Jesus to save you from your sins so that you have a hope of heaven; but you will also need Jesus to save you from yourself—so that He can get His heavenly life into you down here.
Think of it: You are being saved from all that is not heavenly in your heart, mind, soul and body. Of course the fullness of salvation in all of these areas won't come until you enter into the direct presence of Jesus after death. But it is going on now! And the world around you is also in a process of being saved from all that it, too, has fallen into of spiritual darkness and material decay. God is at work to rescue, repair, restore and renew the entire earth. True, the final outworking of the earth's salvation will require Jesus to come personally and take direct charge of the process. But His Kingdom has already started the invasion!
Pray then like this: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10
Since all of this lovely and desperately needed salvation come by grace, it is time to take a "grace break."
Father, You’re right! I don’t just need Your salvation to get me to heaven. I need You to be saving me in all kinds of ways here on earth. For starters please begin saving all of my loved ones. Bring them to know Jesus, too! I also need Your help in all my relationships. Save me from being selfish and self-centered, from taking more than giving, from hurting more than helping, and from hating rather than loving. While you are at, go to work on all of my attitudes and ways that don’t match up with how Jesus in me wants me to live. As I learn to trust and obey Jesus, send Your salvation into every area of my life. Especially save me from living for myself, rather than for Jesus. May Your Kingdom come!
More to Explore of God’s Live-Saving “Formula”
What is grace? Grace is the part God plays in saving us. It’s definitely the lead role. Without His mercy, His help, His wisdom, His guidance, His comfort, His provision we’d be back right where we started, trying to rescue our life by our own means. Happily, our Father is an outrageous giver. You don’t have to earn or deserve His saving help: You just have to become more adept at receiving it.
What is faith? Our “job” is to get really, really good at believing in the grace that is being offered us by our loving Father. If someone wants to give you a present, you still have to trust enough to receive it. Believing leads to trusting and trusting leads to receiving. That is the way of faith which opens wide the door for the Lord’s salvation to stream into our life.
On to the Next Question!
How can I be sure I'm saved? It should come as no surprise that doubt and unbelief are enemies of the life of faith. God has overcome your unbelief—now you know who Jesus is—but you will soon have to fight off your doubts in order to keep your confidence in Him flying high. Make sure that you know how to stay sure…
Scriptures and Foot Notes On the need for being rescued from self-rule, see Jesus’ teaching on the disciple’s cross, repeated three times in the gospels (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23): Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25
 How complete and far-reaching will the Lord’s salvation become in your life? Don’t set any limits to it! Go for the gold: Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23
 The vision that has always stirred me (as a former hippie and nature lover) is that our “glorious liberty” and creation’s are intertwined. Let’s go for this: For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. Romans 8:20-21 What is salvation? It is entering into the glorious liberty and being set on fire with it all the way home to heaven!