A.W. Tozer once said
Jesus is not one of many ways to approach God, nor is He the best of several ways; He is the only way.
A core tenet of the Christian faith is the doctrine of salvation.
Broken and sinful, all of humanity needs a Savior. Separated from God, we need a mediator. A way to be restored and reconciled back to God the Father.
This plan for redemption is found in, and only in, Jesus Christ.
Jesus Himself said it like this
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 [NIV])
And Luke, writing in the book of Acts, penned
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12 [NIV])
The doctrine of salvation centers on the truth that Jesus is the only way to the Father. It’s the reality that Jesus is God’s redemption plan for a broken world.
Let’s explore the doctrine of salvation further to see what it is and how it applies to our lives today.
What is Salvation?
The word for salvation in the Greek is soteria, which is derived from the word sozo, meaning to save, heal, and deliver.
Salvation is a broader term in Greek than we often think of in English. Other concepts that are inherent in soteria include restoration to a state of safety, soundness, health and well being as well as preservation from danger of destruction.
Salvation is the all-encompassing term for what Jesus does in our lives.
And when we choose to follow Jesus and receive the free gift of salvation, we are:
Let’s take a brief look at each of these.
At its foundation, to receive the free gift of salvation from Jesus is to be saved.
Romans 6:23 states
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 6:23 [NIV])
Sin not only brings separation from God, it brings death.
Nevertheless, that death is what Jesus saves us from. In Jesus, we are saved from our sins and brought into the right relationship with God. It’s the foundation of what God does in our lives through salvation.
The Apostle Paul writes
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. (Titus 3:5 [NIV])
Jesus saves us from the wages of sin, rescuing us from the power of sin and reconciling us back to God. And He does this not because of our works but because of His grace and mercy.
When we come to Jesus, we also receive healing.
All throughout the New Testament, we see examples of people receiving healing from Jesus. Because when we encounter Jesus, we receive healing physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s God’s nature to heal and restore our lives externally and internally.
In one instance, Jesus is teaching in a house, and during His message, a group of people begin to lower down their paralyzed friend through the roof.
Shocked, all the people wait for how Jesus will respond.
Friend, your sins are forgiven. (Luke 5:20 [NIV])
The Pharisees in attendance couldn’t believe Jesus forgave the man’s sin, as forgiveness was something only God could do.
Then Jesus, to demonstrate the salvation this man just received, heals his body.
But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.” (Luke 5:24-26 (NIV])
In this moment, a man receives healing spiritually and physically.
This is one of many examples of the all-encompassing nature of salvation in Jesus Christ.
Another aspect of salvation is the deliverance Jesus brings.
David penned in Psalm 34
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. (Psalm 34:17 [NIV])
Deliverance is an important part of what God does in our lives.
When we come to Jesus, He not only saves us and heals us, He delivers us from our bondage to sin and shame. He delivers us from the stronghold of sin and darkness.
God not only delivers us from our past but also from the present. He will be faithful to deliver us in the future.
This is yet another benefit that we receive because of salvation.
Oswald Chambers summed it up beautifully when he stated
The heart of salvation is the Cross of Christ. The reason salvation is so easy to obtain is that it cost God so much. The Cross was the place where God and sinful man merged with a tremendous collision and where the way to life was opened. But all the cost and pain of the collision was absorbed by the heart of God.
The doctrine of salvation is vital to our faith as followers of Jesus.
In Matthew 28, Jesus commissioned us to preach the Gospel, and the foundation of that good news is that in Christ, we are saved, healed, and delivered. As we dive deeper into the beauty of salvation, we can better understand and communicate its power to a world that aches to know:
What must I do to be saved?
Understanding the Doctrine of Salvation
If you’re ready to learn more about the doctrine of salvation, check out our course: The Doctrine of Salvation.
In this online course, Dr. Ronn Johnson walks you through Old and New Testament examples of people becoming right with God. You’ll also learn about the ministry of Jesus and how He is the “pioneer and perfecter” (Hebrews 12:2) of our Christian faith.
After completing this course, you’ll be able to:
- Describe the problem which stands behind the human need to “become saved” in the biblical story.
- Identify how important concepts such as sin, faith, idolatry, sacrifice, and atonement function within the story of salvation.
- Define how individuals were saved in the Old Testament and compare this to the offer of salvation in the New Testament.
- Define the role that Jesus Christ plays in the attainment of our individual and corporate salvation.
It’s time to deepen your understanding of the doctrine of salvation.
Sign up for our online course today!
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