You may be wondering what is meant when a Christian speaks about salvation. Salvation means several things.
First, when a Christian mentions salvation, we are implying that people (everyone, even the Christian) is a sinner. Now, you may be asking what a sinner is. That one is simple; a sinner is someone, anyone, who thinks or acts in a way that is contrary to Almighty God and His character. For us, as disciples here at Central, the character of God is most fully revealed through the Bible. So, we look to the Bible to determine what sin is, as the Bible is the best revelation we have concerning the character and nature of God. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that everyone is a sinner. There are no exceptions to this.
Second, when a Christian mentions salvation, we are implying that we cannot save ourselves. No one is good enough to deserve God’s forgiveness. Now, many people are what we would consider “good” people. That is exactly the problem. We consider people as being good, and we do so because compared to other people they are good. The Bible, in Romans 3:9-18, tells us that no one is good. What this means is that, compared to God and His perfection, we aren’t good. In fact, we can’t be good because of what we are, sinners.
Third, when a Christian mentions salvation, we are implying that there is a way for our sins to be forgiven, and for the “not good” condition to begin to be reversed. The true Christian believes that Jesus Christ came into this world, being born of a virgin (a girl who never had sexual relations with anyone). The pregnancy came about through the power of the Holy Spirit, causing her (her name was Merriam, although we typically call her Mary) to become pregnant. When this Son was born all kinds of things happened that were foretold centuries earlier by prophets. Jesus was truly the Son of God, not the son of a man. He grew into an adult, and about the time he turned 30, he began to publicly speak about his Father’s kingdom, and what it meant to live as a believer, follower and disciple of His. After three years (roughly, as specific dates are few in the gospel accounts) of public ministry, during which time some pretty amazing things happened, Jesus was accused of blaspheming against God because He claimed to be God’s Son. After an unjust trial, He was turned over to the Roman governor, with a request that He be executed. Even though Jesus was declared innocent of any crime deserving of death, He was nailed to a cross…for six agonizing hours He hung there. Finally, after suffering the physical, emotional, and spiritual agony of being publicly executed, He died. He was buried in a nearby tomb, borrowed from a wealthy follower. However, on the third day after being buried, something truly miraculous happened. The stone covering the tomb was rolled away, and Jesus was no longer dead and buried, He was alive!
Now, you should be asking what this has to do with salvation.
Salvation to a Christian means that we have accepted as true what the Bible declares about who we are. We are sinners, and the Bible declares that as sinners all we deserve is punishment. In Romans 6:23 we read that the punishment for being a sinner is death. Not just physical death, but an eternal separation from God and His presence. It is an eternal punishment where the individual will be aware of their sin, and their punishment. It is characterized as alone, terrifying, and even excruciating.
Salvation to a Christian means that we believe as true what the Bible declares about Jesus. He is the Son of God, crucified, dead, buried, yet resurrected to life. He alone is the one sacrifice that has been made to God so that our sins could be forgiven, as He died in our place. We are told in Colossians 2:14 that our legal debt of sin was wiped clean when our sins were nailed to the cross in the Person of Jesus Christ.
Salvation to a Christian means that we have made a public confession (declaration, statement) that we accept our status as sinners, believe in all that the Bible tells us about Jesus, and we have asked Jesus to take away our sins and our old life and give to us a new life. We have prayed to God and asked Him to forgive us, we have asked Him to accept us, not because we are good, but because we have placed our faith in who Jesus is and what He has done for us. We have determined to no longer live our lives for our own pleasure and pursuits, but will live our lives to please and honor God.
If you would like to know what being forgiven feels like, you can. If you would like to know what it feels like to be loved like no one else, you can. If you would like to experience salvation, you can. Simply pray to God, speak to Him. As you do, here is a sample prayer (yours doesn’t have to be exactly like this) to get you started:
Dear God, I know that I am not a good person. You have told me that I am a sinner, and that is what I am. I believe that you have made a way for me to be saved, to be forgiven, and to be given a second chance at life. I believe that Jesus Christ is your Son, that He died on a cross for my sins, and that He was buried. I believe that on the third day after He died, He rose again to life, and is alive today. I ask you, right now, to come into my life and take away the old person that I was. Please take away my sins. Take away anything that doesn’t please You. Give to me, please, a new life, a new outlook on life. I commit to living in a manner that honors You. Lead me, and I will follow You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you have prayed this prayer, or something like it, would you do us a favor. Let us know so we can pray for you. Here’s all you have to do, click this link, and tell us about your prayer. One more thing you ought to do. Go find a church and tell the pastor about the decision you have made. If you’re in this area, come tell our pastor. He’ll pray with and for you, again. He’ll give you a Bible so that you can start learning more about what it means to be a Christian. Thanks for taking the time to read through this, and we pray that it will make a difference in your life!