Summary: Believe week 4 looks at Salvation!
Believe - 3 (Salvation)
September 28, 2014
There are times when I am meeting with someone, especially someone who hasn’t really been active in a church and now they’re really starting to contemplate where they will be spending their eternity. It’s not unusual for some people to be really bold and ask – what will happen when I die? Those can be some really serious conversations. Today, I am not going to talk about what happens when you die, but I want to talk about how you gain heaven. So . . . WHAT IS SALVATION?
What does it mean, when some Christians ask the question, “are you saved?” I generally try not to use that term, because people who aren’t Christians, and even many Christians, don’t really know what that means. Saved from what? But the word SAVED is a really important Christian word. So, if someone were to ask you “Are you saved?” How would you answer? Or would it better if they asked, “Do you have salvation?” But we might still be stumped. What does it really mean? And Pastor, try to give an answer which is not too complicated.
I want to look at a few scriptures that may surprise us at how the word is used, then we will wrap up with a better understanding of what salvation means and the phrase to be saved.
Luke gives us a couple of great examples.
There’s a story in Luke 7 where Jesus goes to eat at a Pharisee’s house. While sitting at the table a “woman of the city,” a sinner, comes and anoints Jesus’ feet with her tears and ointment from an alabaster jar.
The Pharisee thinks this proves Jesus is not a prophet because he would have known the woman was a sinner and He would never have allowed a sinner to touch Him. Jesus knew what the Pharisee was thinking and told him a story about 2 people who owed money to a moneylender. One owed ten times more than the other and both were forgiven of their debt. Jesus asked which one would love the moneylender more. The Pharisee correctly answered, “The one who had the greater debt canceled.
Jesus then explained to the Pharisee – he had not washed Jesus’ feet, greeted Him with a kiss, nor did he anoint Jesus with oil. These were all things a good host would do for an honored guest. But the woman did all three.
His point is that the one who is forgiven little — loves little while the one who is forgiven much — loves much. Then Jesus tells the woman her sins are forgiven and He tells her in Luke 7:50, “Your faith has SAVED you; go in peace.”
What Jesus is literally saying — is her faith in Jesus has made her well. Her faith has restored her back to health. She is whole once again. Hold that thought!
In Luke 8, we read about a woman who was bleeding for 12 years. When she reached through the crowd and touched the garment of Jesus, He felt power go out of Him. She was immediately healed. When Jesus asked who touched Him, no one would admit it.
Then the woman came and told everyone why she touched Jesus and how she had beeSLIDEn immediately healed. In 8:48, Jesus then said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
You don’t see the word saved in there, do you? Yet, the word for being made well is the identical Greek word in the Luke 7 passage. Compare the 2 lines ~
Luke 7:50, “Your faith has SAVED you; go in peace.”
Luke 8:48, “Your faith has made you WELL; go in peace.”
They have identical meanings.
They both have the same understanding for us. At the root of the word salvation is the image of restoration. We are restored back to wholeness of health and spirit. Now, because you find salvation in Jesus, does not automatically mean you will be healed. But it does mean you should now be a different person! That is crucial in salvation!
Now stay with me. We’re getting a little more technical today. But if we look up the word salvation in the Bible, in the New Testament we find the word - 45 times. And it’s pretty straight forward, salvation means just what it says, salvation, to be delivered. We read that in Acts 4:12, as Peter spoke before the Jewish council, he told them about Jesus and he said this, which gives us both salvation and saved ~
12 And there is SALVATION in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be SAVED.”
So, Peter was telling us our deliverance / salvation, comes from only one person, through Jesus, and we are saved / restored through Jesus. Now the interesting thing about the word salvation . . . the root word for salvation in Greek is . . . SAVIOR! Isn’t that cool!! Amazing what you learn in church.