Being saved, or ‘salvation’ is commonly used in the world of religion. What’s the big deal, and is it really necessary?
Why do you need to be saved?
Man is mortal (subject to death), whereas God is immortal (not subject to death). The offer of salvation is deliverance from mortality into the promise of eternal life, or immortality.
How do you receive salvation?
By obeying the direction God gives to repent, to be baptised by immersion in water, and to receive the Holy Spirit. Salvation comes when you are born again by receiving the Holy Spirit with the biblical evidence of speaking in tongues. You will know, because the miraculous manifestation of speaking in other tongues indicates that a person is saved.
For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance – 1 Thessalonians 1:5
Where do you receive salvation?
Anywhere! But usually where the gospel is preached and the commandments of God relating to salvation are explained from the Bible.
Salvation is rescue, safety or security and it applies to everything. It is security for our lives, our peace of mind, our stable thinking, our necessary optimism, and our spiritual and physical well-being. Salvation is the transition from our natural aspirations and fears into a promised contentment and future hope. The saved have eternal life.
We need to be saved because we are born in sin, meaning we are mortal. To be mortal (from the Latin word mortis) means subject to death. There is not much security in dying. Sickness, difficulties, and the toils of life beset us daily and mankind has grown accustomed to its deficiencies, but there is an alternative.
Salvation brings blessing
Unfortunately modern religions fail to identify the blessings associated with being saved. Salvation has been replaced by religion, and because religion is inadequate it is assumed that salvation has failed.
Today, the world separates spiritual and moral issues. In modern thinking, a spiritual person is one who exhibits religious tendencies or his own moral beliefs, whereas a Spiritual person in the biblical sense is actually one who has received God’s Holy Spirit. The gospel is the good news that instructs us in the ways of salvation.
Much religious teaching today is actually political. Churches are involved with social problems and have joined the political world to try to help those in need. Politics is commendable for politicians, but the gospel of salvation has no relationship with politics.
Salvation is rebirth
We become saved by being born again. To be born from above or born of God is a new beginning. The approach to and completion of this experience is in three stages. These are repentance, water baptism by full immersion, and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). The net result is that we come to the stage where we are symbolically laying down our lives by immersion in water with the expectation of receiving or being baptised with the Holy Spirit. The scriptures make it quite clear that it is necessary to receive God’s Spirit and that without the Spirit we remain unsaved — in sin.
The new birth is accompanied by all the attributes or manifestations of the Holy Spirit. The promised sign of speaking in tongues is common to all people who receive the Holy Spirit and was referred to by the apostle Paul: For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth … (1 Corinthians 14:14). We are reminded of Jesus’ words: But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth … (John 4:23). From then on we … contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 3).
For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth …’ (1 Corinthians 14:14)
Salvation is from God
We preach and obey the gospel. Our message is that God exists, God offers salvation, and God delivers from sin (mortality). No longer are we to be … tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But (we are to be) speaking the truth … (Ephesians 4:14–15). The battle is on. We must now remain faithful; literally full of faith. We must walk by the Spirit, remaining true to our experience.
We have made no mention of being Catholic, Protestant, Islamic, nor of any other faith. These are not biblical identities; actually they are presented as alternatives: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:8).
When the Holy Spirit was first poured out on the day of Pentecost, those who witnessed the event said to Peter: ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Peter’s answer was simple and explicit: ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost’ (Acts 2:37–38). This response is the answer for everyone.
Christianity has not failed and truth will always triumph. Jesus said:
marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again (John 3:7)
This article originally appeared in the Voice of Revival – June 1995
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