WHAT IS SALVATION ?
Salvation means being rescued by God from the consequences of our sins. God created humanity to have a close relationship with Him. But our relationship with God got wrecked when humanity chose to disobey God. That disobedience was terrible, bringing sin into this world. When we study the history of Israelites mentioned in the Old Testament, they had the law to make amends for their sin by offering animals as sacrifices. Although they knew God’s requirements for making sacrifices, they still did not make proper and pure sacrifices before their God; they brought weak, blind and lame offerings. As a result, they faced the danger of being punished and verdict of eternal death. But our God is a Holy God and Merciful God. He cannot tolerate sin but He wants our relationship with Him to be restored back. So God in order to save the world, send His only begotten Son – Jesus Christ to become a living sacrifice for the redemption of mankind. The scripture says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). And the stain of sin on humanity was so deep that none, but only the blood of Jesus could remove it. His sacrifice has made us righteous in front of God. Christ was crucified on the cross, thus becoming man’s eternal sin offering and completing the work of redemption. Salvation is a process that begins when we accept Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. If we personally accept Christ as our savior, confess and repent from our sins, He is faithful to forgive and cleanse us from all our sins (1 John 1:9). Having received the Lord Jesus’ salvation, we are qualified to come before God in prayer and fellowship. Salvation is being forgiven of our sins and no longer being convicted and executed under the law. However, being saved does not mean we have been gained by God, and having our sins forgiven does not mean that we no longer have sin within us. Satanic natures like arrogance and conceit, selfishness and baseness, greed and evil, crookedness and deceitfulness still control us and they still dominate our thoughts, words and actions, and cause us to frequently sin and resist God knowingly or unknowingly. If we can’t rid ourselves of these corrupt dispositions, we will never be able to genuinely submit to and worship God. As such, we will always live under Satan’s domain and be one of Satan’s people. According to Apostle Paul, the two conditions for salvation are God’s grace and our faith. God is the Giver – by grace and we are the Receiver – through faith. The scripture says “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God not a result of works so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). There is nothing we can do to earn or gain salvation. All that is required of each one of us is to humbly admit that we are sinners and receive in faith the free gift of salvation that God decrees. The word of God says very clearly “Christ is the atonement for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). The free gift of salvation comes from Jesus with absolute assurance and security. Apostle Peter puts it like this “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5).