Summary: This sermon examines the word "saved" and defines the Biblical meaning of it.
Some years ago I was visiting a man who caused me to rethink the wording I use in addressing unbelievers. I asked the man a question, "Are you saved?" Like most believers, I assumed the man knew what I meant by the word saved. After all, the word "saved" appears in the Bible. He put into clear perspective the fact that we Christians often use words that unbelievers do not understand.
A deacon, in the church I serve, shared a similar story with me. He indicated he had a family member who claimed to be a Christian; however, she did not understand the word "saved." With these two illustrations as a background I would like to examine the word "saved" and the Biblical meaning of it. For a text I want to examine Ephesians 2:1-10. To sharpen our focus we will begin with two verses and examine other verses as we move along. Look at the two verses: "by grace you have been saved" (vs. 5); "by grace you have been saved through faith,"(vs. 10)Paul uses the word "saved" twice in Ephesians 2:1-10. As we examine the context we can come to an understanding of the meaning of this phrase. I want to ask three questions and discover answers from the context of these 10 verses.
1. The first question is:What are we saved from? We find this answered in verses 1-3.
A. We are saved from spiritual death. The death referred to in verse 1 is spiritual death. As a sinner God views us as spiritually dead. Without the presence of Jesus Christ in our hearts we are spiritually dead.
The Bible indicates we will face the possiblity of three deaths.
(1) The first death is spiritual death. This occurs while we are still physically alive.
(2) The second death is physical. In Heb. 9:27 it is stated that "And as it is appointed for men to die once." This refers to the time when we will draw our last breath.
(3) The third death is eternal. For those who do not know Jesus Christ they will face an eternal death, separated from God. We find this recorded in Rev. 20:14.
B. We are saved from spiritual death but we are also saved from sin’s failure. Paul refers to "trespasses" and "sins." These words describe the failure caused by sin.
Trespasses- this word could be described as straying from the right road.
Illustration: This is similar to missing a turn while driving. A missed turn causes frustration and wasted time.
Sin- this word could be described as failure to hit the mark
Illustration:This is similar to shooting at a target and missing the bullseye.
2. The second question is: What are we saved by? (4-9)
A. We are saved by the grace and love of God.(vs. 5)
Illustration: John Macarthur uses a vivid illustration. He said "If you find a turtle sitting on top of a post you know someone helped that turtle get to that position." In like manner, a person who finds a right relationship with God finds it because God extends His hand and offers a second chance.
B. We are saved by our faith. (vs. 8)
- We are not saved by works.
- We are not saved by our religious affiliation
- We are not saved by our good deeds.
C. We are saved by being "in Jesus." At least four times in these verses Paul refers to being "in Christ"(5,6,7,9,10).
Illustration: I recently went with our young married class to Dollywood. While there I rode a roller coaster that made several upside down loops. The only thing that kept me safe was to be sitting in my seat and buckled down.
3. The third question is: What are we Saved to?
We are saved to reflect the handy work of God in our lives. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works"(vs. 10) God saves us to reflect His glory and to bear fruit to Him.
Illustration: Alabama fans are familiar with the work of Daniel Moore. He has painted pictures of many Alabama sporting events. At the bottom of each painting you will find the signature of Daniel Moore. That is how you identify the artist. Even so, God puts His signature on your life that you may reflect His glory and bear fruit to His name.