The subject “On Being Saved” is of extraordinary concern to every Christian. It is not a topic that can be ignored, avoided or treated lightly. Much of our peace of mind as Christians rests upon a clear understanding of this subject. Yet we find that people may often exhibit greater concern over their financial portfolios than they do about the health of their relationship with Christ. This must not be so with us.
A dictionary definition of “save” in a theological sense is, “to deliver from sin.” The theological definition of “salvation” is “spiritual rescue from sin and death.” This would seem easy to understand because the Bible clearly teaches that we are all sinners and, therefore, God’s judgment stands against us. We also have learned that a way has been provided to lift that judgment against us through Christ. All Christians are in agreement on this. Other religions may have different approaches to sin. Christianity is unique in presenting Christ as the only means of lifting the judgment of death from us.
Jesus said, “I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved” (John 10:7-9). That may seem dogmatic, but this is the message of Jesus Christ himself.
It is easy to use words such as “saved” and “salvation” without regard to the biblical context or some of the overriding qualifications when the entire subject is brought into focus. Anyone may quote a scripture or two, and if it is quoted long and loud enough, it is easy to come away feeling that is all that the Bible has to say. Yet the Bible is a book with many texts that are qualified by other Biblical texts. When there are over a hundred verses on “being saved” and only one or two are used, there is a danger that we may come away with an improper or inadequate view.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” is a beautiful text (Acts 16:31). But what does it mean to “believe”? James tells us, “The devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19). Are they “saved”? No! What does it mean to be “saved”? These are questions that, hopefully, will be answered in this biblical presentation. Why did Jesus make the terms for receiving “everlasting life” so difficult for the young nobleman? Why is this so often overlooked? How can we harmonize all the Bible has to say on being “saved”?