Summary: Understanding salvation in a generation that thinks everybody is save, is the need of the hour.
1. Meaning of the term.
The Greek verb is defined as "to save [from peril, injury or suffering]." It is used "of healing, restoring to health" and especially in the N.T., of salvation from spiritual sin and death.
Therefore the idea is that of wholeness, soundness, safety, prevervation, and healing are all included in the word.
The idea of "rescue" is prominent in the term of salvation as found in the scriptures. It is sometimes used of a temporal deliverance (Ex.14:13), but usually it is used in the spiritual sense.
2. Much is included.
Doctrinal range includes much: Guilt; penalty; justice; atonement; grace; substitution; satisfaction; imputation; redemption; reconciliation; propitiation; conviction of sin; repentance; faith; forgiveness; regeneration; adoption; justification; sanctification; preservation; and glorification.
3. Means of, it is all of God.
It is impossible to emphasize this truth too much. The think of men in general is that they must do something to save themselves.
"But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the LORD." Jonah 2:9
All man can do is to receive it. John 1:12
4. Meaning of salvation.
a. Negatively - Salvation is the rescue from eternal hell.
"And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. "Revelation 20:15
b. Positively - Salvation brings one into a condition in which they are the object of all of God's blessings.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ," Ephesians 1:3
5. Multiple tenses of salvation.
a. Past - saved from the Penalty of sin (Lu.7:50/2 Tim.1:9).
b. Present - saved from the Power of sin in life (Rom. 6:1-14; 8:2/Gal.5:16).
c. Promised - saved from the Presence of sin upon arrival in glory (Rom.13:11/1 Pet.1:3-5/1 Jn. 3:1-2).
6. Marvelous salvation.
This is the greatest work God does! It cost Him more than anything else, i.e., the death of His Beloved Son. Jn.3:16
Creation is the work of God's fingers (Psa. 8:3);
Salvation is the work of His own arm (Isa. 53:1-3).
7. Mention of salvation is the various dispensations.
There is never a salvation apart from the grace of God, no soul under any dispensation could be saved by human merit. Salvation is always on the basis of Christ's substitutionary death - whether before or after Calvary.
"25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." Romans 3:25-26
Therefore salvation is always by faith and never by human merit of any kind. It is simply believing God, taking Him at His word, receiving His gift.
Now the difference comes in the expression of faith for salvation. In the O.T. times men expressed their faith in a coming Redeemer by offering animals in sacrifice according to God's instructions (Gen.3:21; 4:4/Heb.11:4).