What is Salvation?

It is important to see that "salvation" is frequently mentioned in the Bible. Note the following:

"Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him" (Rom 5:9)
"For by grace you have been saved through faith" (Eph 3:8)
"Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21)
"Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him"     (Hebrews 7:25)
"And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved"           (Acts 2:47)
"But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 15:11)
"For in hope we have been saved" (Rom 8:24)
"For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him" (John 3:17)

Many more verses could have been added. All refer to a salvation from "wrath" or "judgment" to come. This judgment is on account of sin and the Bible declares that all men are sinners:
 
"All are under sin" (Rom 3:9)
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23)
"There is none righteous, no not one" (Rom 3:10)

And all are enemies of God:

"For when we were His enemies …" (Rom 5:10)

Sin is not simply the act of lying or stealing. It is the principle of rebellion against God that is manifest in acts like lying and so on. We commit these acts because we have a nature that is corrupt, a nature that wants nothing to do with God. We may argue this point but it is because we see things in a relative way. We compare ourselves with each other, "I'm not as bad as the next guy!" God's standard is Himself and He is perfect in thought, word and deed.

Even if we concede this point we have an even greater problem. There is nothing we can do to change ourselves. We may try to behave better but we can never attain to the standards of perfection that God demands. A holy God can accept nothing less. Notice what the apostle Paul says about himself:

"For I know in me (that is in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do that I practice … I find then a law that evil is present in me, the one who wills to do good" (Romans 7:19-21)

This is why Paul tells us that every effort to keep the law of God will fail to satisfy His perfect demands:

"Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in His sight" (Romans 3:20)

To be "justified" is a legal term meaning, to be in a right standing before God. In short, there is nothing we can do to change our standing in the eyes of God. Justice must be served and we stand condemned. It is for this reason that Paul writes of the "wrath to come" (1 Thess 1:10).

Man's situation is awful! He stands condemned and there is nothing he can do change it. Religion seeks to minimize man's horrible predicament by falsely teaching that God will accept him on the basis of his good works. But this is utterly false and gives a false hope.

The truth is that God intervened. He sent His Son to take the judgment that we deserve. Jesus became our substitute:

"For even the Son of Man (Jesus) did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45)

Jesus took our sin that we might have His righteousness.

"For He (the Father) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21)

The Bible calls this the "good news" (or the "gospel"). Jesus died on the cross to meet the demands of a holy God. He took our punishment and God will accept no other payment for sin. This is why Jesus declared:

"I am the way the truth and the life. No one come to the Father except through Me"         (John 14: 6)

So what does God demand of us? We must first humble ourselves before God and acknowledge our sin. We must turn from our sin to God.

"[God] now commands all men every where to repent, because he hath appointed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead" (Acts 17:30,31)

We must place our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that who ever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16)

God will forgive the one who comes through His Son. Jesus said:

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment but has passed from death to life" (John 5:24)

He invites you to come to Him, Even now!