What is Salvation

(What are We Being Saved From)

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What are the conditions for being saved? Ephesians tells us,

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

God saves us only because of His generosity toward us, which is grace. What He requires from us is faith, but even that is a gift from Him. What is faith? Hebrews 11:1 defines it,

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The ability to believe in what you have yet to see is a gift from God. Hebrews says,

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

Where does faith begin? How do you begin to know in what to believe? Jesus answered this in John 8:31-32.

Then Jesus said to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Jesusí word teaches us what to believe. The Bible is where we will find the truth. Is there a foundation for our faith; a basic truth that we can build on as we continue to learn? Jesus asked in Matthew and Mark,

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:13-18

Jesus did not say that Peter is the rock upon which He would build His church. It is what Peter answered that is the foundation of our faith. He said, “Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God.” We begin with this basic belief and build on it as we continue to learn from his word.

God considers us to be righteous, even though we continue to be imperfect as we grow and study in faith. We find the reason in Romans.

What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Romans 4:1-8

Our faith is the key to Godís forgiveness toward us, but that does not mean we can continue to sin willfully. We will inadvertently sin; for this God automatically forgives us. If we sin intentionally to satisfy our desire, there is no automatic forgiveness for that. He will still forgive us, however, if we remorsefully turn to Him and ask His forgiveness. Read Romans, chapters 6, 7, and 8.

Romans 10:6-9 describes the first condition of salvation,

But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Besides faith, there are a couple of other conditions we must meet to receive forgiveness and salvation. In teaching us to pray in Matthew, Jesus said,

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Matthew 6:12

In verses 14 and 15,

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

For Christians, salvation is conditional. The last condition is endurance.

… but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. Matthew 10:22

Perseverance is the key. Here is where we will find the strength to endure,

…, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 2:1-2

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:24-26

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Revelation 12:11

Related Articles:
Who is Jesus
Do You Believe the Truth
What About Baptism

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