”He who created us without our help will not save us without our consent.” ― Augustine
”Christ died for men precisely because men are not worth dying for; to make them worth it.” ― C.S. Lewis
“You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary.” ― Jonathan Edwards
How would you respond to the following?
Why is salvation necessary?
Why do I need to accept Christ to be saved?
Can’t I just be good enough?
If Jesus paid for my sins, aren't they forgiven even if I decide not to accept His gift?
I’ve included this section on salvation because some of the significant details about salvation throughout this guide have not been referenced in complete context. Also, since the details are located at different locations throughout this guide, they are also not in a logical progression. Without a logical progression it might be difficult to gain a well-rounded understanding of the subject .
If you didn’t have a clear understanding of the concept of Salvation before reading this guide, hopefully you have a more accurate understanding now. If you are still a little unclear, I’ve attempted to present the concept of Salvation as completely and logically as I can think to in this section. Hopefully you will then have a fairly complete understanding of the subject.
A basic understanding of Salvation is:
We are sinners because we have violated the just laws of our infinite creator God. Our sin has damaged the relationship God originally established with us and wants to have again. God has made a way to resolve this damage by sending his Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the sin debt for the sin we’ve committed. Jesus Christ freely chose to allow Himself to be sacrificed on the cross to fulfill the payment penalty for our sin. If we decide to accept this gift He offers, we will spend eternity in a relationship with Him. If we decide to reject the gift He offers, we will spend eternity separated from Him. Our desire to live our lives consistent with God’s will is the evidence of our having truly accepted his gift. Will we still fail and fall short? Yes, but our desire will be to live for Him, and look to follow His will rather than our own.
One of the most important things we can do is to have a good understanding of the meaning of the words in the Bible. Misunderstanding the meanings of words in the Bible will cause us to misunderstand the Bible and its teachings and core message of salvation.
When I was young and came across a word I didn’t know, I would often ask my dad what the word meant, (I didn't know what a Thesaurus was). He would then ask me to read the sentence the word was in so that he could see how the word was used. Words frequently have different meanings depending on how they are used. When you see all the ways a word is used, it gives much better understanding of the range of meanings of the word.
A Concordance is one of the tools used to study the Bible, and is similar to a Thesaurus in how is helps us understand the Bible. It lists words from the Bible, and then under each word is a list of different verses with that particular word. Reading the different verses with the same word will give you a very good understanding of the full Biblical meaning of a word as it is used in the Bible.
Bible Study Tools
Another good Bible tool site
This section on salvation is similar in that we will look at many of the verses which not only have the word salvation, but verses which also speak on the subject of Salvation. This will allow us to gain a more complete understanding of the Biblical teaching of Salvation. Similar to the term Trinity though, there are verses which don’t use the word Salvation but the concept is clearly taught in the verses. The verses presented in this section will show:
Why salvation is necessary?
What Christ has done to provide salvation?
What is required on our part to receive salvation?
And other aspects of this subject.
I have included a series of questions about salvation which I wondered about when I was younger and questions I’ve heard people ask. I then use verses from the Bible to answer these questions, so that we have an accurate Biblical understanding of the different aspects of Salvation.
I believe that most of us have initially thought that our Salvation was based upon how good we were and how many good works we have done. I initially thought that God would weigh my works to see whether my good works outweighed my bad, and if my good outweighed my bad, I would go to Heaven.
Without any other information to bring us to a different conclusion, thinking this way seems reasonable, especially considering the experiences most of us have in life. So many aspects of our lives are based upon what we’ve done or not done. Just think about some of the questions you probably hear, and have also probably heard in your household if you are a student:
“Did you clean your room?”
“Did you do your homework?”
“How did you do on your test?”
As an adult, we hear questions like, “Did you make the deposit?”, “Did you make the payment?”, “Did you get the documents in the mail?” Depending on your answer, the subsequent results can be either positive or negative.
With only our reasoning to go by, it is natural to conclude that with Salvation, God will judge us by what we have done or have not done. However, should we base our conclusions about Salvation on our human reasoning, or on the Bible?
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
When we think of the Bible, the word of One who knows everything, or our human reasoning, which has been proven to give us the best understanding of God, which is usually based upon limited information? When we consider what the Bible says, we see God’s perspective on Salvation, which really is the only perspective that matters.
I’ve tried to think of many of the questions that one might have about salvation and answer them using the Bible. Since the Bible shows such great evidence as being from God, we can have confidence in what it states as being the perspective of God. In the end, we each need to answer the question we looked at earlier in this guide as related to salvation and the Bible,
“Will we make the Bible flexible to our human reasoning and will, or will we make our hearts, lives, and motivations flexible to the Bible?”
Next Page: Why Is Salvation Necessary?