Published on February 5th, 2014 | by Jeff Price0
Jesus Jargon: “Salvation”
Redemption, salvation, repentance; the Christian religion is replete with it’s share of distinctive jargon. The majority of which is so unfamiliar to some that it seems that at times we Christians are speaking a foreign language. One word that seems to be very characteristic of the Christian vernacular is “salvation”.
But, exactly what is salvation? Webster’s dictionary defines salvation as, “Deliverance from sin and its consequences, believed by Christians to be brought about by faith in Christ”.
While that is certainly an accurate definition of salvation, in order to truly understand what salvation is, one would also seem to need to possess a sufficient understanding of what sin is and why we need saved from it. It would also help to be at least a little familiar with who Christ is and what it is that is so special about Him that makes Him able to save us from our sins.
To begin, let’s take a look at sin. Sin is any act that violates God’s divine law, 1John 3:4, 1John 5:17. But, what “acts” violate God’s law? That is a study unto it’s self. It begins with not doing good when you know you should, James 4:17, and branches out from there in multiple directions from anger to lying to stealing to cheating and lusting, just to name a few. In fact, the list of acts that God considers sins is virtually endless. That’s because the ways man has devised to do wrong to his fellow man and to God is virtually endless. So, Jesus makes it easy for us to comprehend the concept of sin. He tells us that in order to be sinless, we must love everyone else in the world as much as we love ourselves and we must love God with every fiber of our being, Matthew 22:37-39. This is easy to comprehend, but impossible to do. Impossible to do, because none of us love enough and we all sin, Romans 3:23, 1John 1:8.
Granted, some of us sin far less than others – or at least we think we do – and because of this, we deem ourself a “good person”. And those of us who would consider ourselves a “good person” tend to further presume that God will most certainly appreciate and perhaps even reward the contrast between ourselves and our more immoral counterparts. Unfortunately, we are mistaken. God does not demand goodness from us, He demands “perfection”, Matthew 5:48, and given the gravity of such a daunting obligation to perfection, it stands to reason that no one can manage to find favor with God. As a result, we are separated from Him due to our sins, Isaiah 59:2, and we are deserving of nothing but damnation. Romans 3:10. But, what is damnation, and why should we avoid it?
Some say damnation is not consistent with a loving God, therefore they say that the bible or perhaps our interpretation of it is inaccurate. Others say that damnation is indeed Biblical, but it is just a temporary thing. Some will claim that damnation is reserved for the most heinous of sinners while others maintain that it is something we experience in this life only – not the next. The constraints of time and staying true to topic prohibit me from expounding extensively on damnation. But, suffice it to say that it is something none of us would ever want to experience. It is an eternal punishment that perpetually separates us from God, 2Thessalonians 1:8-9. It is something so horrific that Jesus says it would be better for us to mutilate ourselves than to end up being damned, Matthew 5:29-30. Of course, this verse is more of an analogy than a command. If Christians were to take the verse literally, we would all be walking around looking like characters from a horror movie with missing eyes, ears tongues and limbs.
Being that we are all imperfect and can not avoid sinning in one way or another, we are all in danger of damnation – what God sometimes calls the “second death”. But, there is hope for all of us. God’s Son, Jesus Christ, has paid the price for all of our sins, Romans 6:23, Romans 8:1. And if we become converted from our old sinful selves into a new Christ-like person, Ephesians 4:23-24, we will have experienced what is known as salvation! This begs the question; how do we become converted from our old sinful selves? Yielding once more to time and topic I will point you to another article on our web site entitled, “What Must I Do To Be Saved?” to answer this question.
Now that we have examined what sin is and why we need to be freed from it, let’s look into who Christ is and what it is that is so special about Him that makes Him able to save us from our sins.
According to the Bible, Jesus Christ is the son of God, Mark 1:1, Luke 1:35, John 1:34, John 20:30-31. And God loves us so much that He sent His son to this world to make atonement for our sins, John 3:16, Isaiah 53:5, 1John 2:2, 1John 4:10, 1Peter 2:24. To make atonement means to appease someone or something for an offense that has been committed. How was the atonement for sin to be paid? It is paid through a blood sacrifice, Leviticus 17:11. A “sacrifice” is defined as the surrendering of something valued for an important cause. So, why was the sacrifice of the son of God able to nullify sin? Because He was perfect and sinless. He came to this world and exposed Himself to the exact same temptations, emotions and situations that cause all of us to sin, yet He never gave in to any of them, Hebrews 4:15. For approximately 33 years Jesus lived a sinless life. Then He quietly stood by as the people He loves hurled false accusations at Him and made Him endure beatings, humiliation and a mockery of a trial. He did all this so as to give Himself freely unto death, John 18:18, as a perfect sacrifice that would have the power to pay the penalty for everyone’s sins, 2Corinthians 5:21, 1John 1:7, 1Peter2:22, Hebrews 9:13-14, once and for all, 1Peter 3:18 and to introduce the world to what we now know as salvation.