Salvation – What does it mean?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” –John 3:16
God intended from the beginning of creation that man would live in peace and harmony by living in his will. He was given instructions on what to do and was told the outcome of not following those instructions. However, man did not listen to God’s instructions. He submitted to the temptation of Satan and did that which was contrary to the will of God. Sin is contrary to the will of God. This was the beginning of sin. As a result of sin and disobedience to God, man was banished from the beautiful Garden of Eden. The judgment of man was to till the ground for his bread and the woman will have sorrow in childbearing. (Genesis Chapters 1-4)
The banishment from the Garden of Eden clearly demonstrates God’s separation from man. Oh yes, God loves man, but he does not approve of sin. In order for man to be at peace with God, God had made way through the prophets and spiritual leaders to instruct his people to offer various types of sacrifices as a petition to forgive sins. These offerings were a shadow of the perfect sacrificial offering which was to come. (Colossians 2:17)
Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrificial lamb slain for the sins of the world. Through his painful death and blood that he shed, we have the wonderful plan of redemption through salvation. Salvation means to be saved from sins. When the believer accepts Jesus as his Lord and Savior, he repents from his sinful life and he has direct access to God because of his faith in Jesus. Sin no longer separates us from our heavenly Father. But one must choose for himself.
Conversion is getting rid of the old man and putting on a new man. Before anyone comes to Christ, he is an old creature in sin with a judgment of death. When he accepts Jesus, he becomes a new creature with the hope of eternal life. Our only way to be accepted with God is to believe in his Son who is the only advocate with God. The old man of sin is now dead and the new creature is born to live a life in the will of God. (John 3:3)
Repent is to ask Jesus to forgive us for our sins and to create in us a clean heart. We confess that we are sinners and want to be forgiven. We realize that sin has separated us. We can now ask Jesus for forgiveness of sins and ask him to change our heart. No longer are we separated from God. We are free to pray to Jesus and in his name. We belong to Christ because our name is written in the blood that Christ shed on Calvary’s cross. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 8:23)
Have a continual fellowship with the Savior. The Holy Spirit must come into the life of the saved person to help him in his new relationship with the Savior. The Holy Spirit will teach us the will of God and give understanding as we commit to prayer and to study the holy scriptures. (John 14:26)