Ask most Christians what happened when they were saved, and they will probably tell you their sins were forgiven and that they will go to heaven when they die. Well they’re right — and if that was all there was to it, it would be wonderful. But Jesus died to give us much, much more, and we are really missing out if we only receive what is, in effect, a small part of the total package. We are going to look at salvation — why we need it, how God provided it, what is included, and how we can receive it.
Why Do We Need Salvation?
Originally, when God made man. He made him in His Own image (Gen 1:27). God is a Spirit (Jn 4:24), so He made man a spirit being with a soul and a body. Our spirits are the real life-giving part of us (Jas 2:29), and through our spirits, we can communicate with God (Jn 4:24).
God placed the first man, Adam, in a garden where He could enjoy fellowship with him and gave him a wife, Eve, and various instructions (Gen 1:28; 2:15-19), He told Adam that he could eat from any of the trees in the garden other than the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If he ate that fruit, he would die. The time eventually came when Adam disobeyed God, ate from the tree, and the results were catastrophic—Ada’s spirit died. When someone dies, they lose communication with those who are alive, and there is a separation. So, in spiritual death, a separation occurred between God and man, and man’s spirit was no longer able to have fellowship and communion with God.
Adam’s “dead” human spirit still functioned, but it began to function independently of God and became united to Satan. Adam and Eve didn’t die physically that day, but their spiritual death resulted in emotional misery all their days and, eventually physical death (Gen 5:5). Their disobedience had far-reaching consequences. When they had children, those children were born with dead spirits (Ps 51:5; Rom 5:12), enslaved to sin. Death, sin and separation from God passed down through the generations to every man and woman (Rom 5:12, 17, 19). Through Adam’s one act of disobedience, all had become sinners (Rom 3:23), slaves to sin (Rom 6:17), under the wrath of God (Eph 2:3), and in need of a Savior.
How Did God Deal with the Problem of Sin?
After Adam, every man and woman born inherited his sin nature, and it caused them to sin (Rom 3:23) Man could no more stop sinning than a leopard could change its spots (Jer 13:23). He was powerless to save himself. However great his efforts, he could not remove his own sinfulness and pay the penalty for the sins he’d committed, and it seemed that the problem was incapable of solution. A man had introduced sin into the world, and only a man could remove it. However, God had known beforehand what Adam would do and had made provision for the problem of sin to be overcome. Thus, all could be saved (1 Pt 1:18-21; Rev 13:8). God Himself would become a man (Jn 1:14) and, as a man, take away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29). He would take the punishment of every sin that man had ever committed, and ever would commit (1 Jn 2:2), and make a way for him to have eternal life and a spirit-to-spirit relationship with God (Jn 3:16; 17:3; 1 Cor 6:17).
So God sent His Son, Jesus, Who was both God (Heb 1:8) and man (Ph 2:7), to die for us on a cross. There—just as by Adam’s disobedience, sin had entered the world, and all men had become sinners—by Jesus’ obedience, all sin was dealt with (1 Jn 2:2), and many would become righteous (Rom 5:19). This, however, is not an automatic process. God offers salvation to everyone (Tit 2:11) as a free gift (Eph 2:7-8), but He will not force it one anyone who does not want it.
The Benefits of Salvation
For those of us who decide to accept God’s offer, there are incredible benefits. When we are saved, we are spiritually reborn (Jn 3:3-6; 2 Cor 5:17), we have passed from death to life (Jn 5:24), and our newborn spirits are eternally sealed so they can never again be contaminated by sin (Eph 1:13; 1 Jn 3:9). We receive eternal life (Jn 3:16; 17:3)—an intimate, loving relationship with God Himself, which is the primary objective of salvation.
But there are other benefits that come with salvation too. Jesus bore our sickness and disease on the cross (Lk 4:18; 1 Pt 2:24). He died so we could prosper (2 Cor 8:9; 3 Jn 2), be delivered, have right standing with God, and have forgiveness.
Although being saved is often assumed to be a one-time experience, it is in fact a process. When someone gets saved, they immediately become a totally new creature in their spirit, their spiritual salvation is complete., and they don’t need any more faith, joy or power. It is already present in their spirit, and they are complete in Him (Col 2:9-10). However, it isn’t God’s will that they just be changed on the inside, He wants them to manifest this salvation in their physical life. That takes place by them renewing their mind (Rom 12:1-2).
We all have a spirit, soul, and body (1 Th 5:23), and if we will change our thinking so that we believe what God says in His Word about who we are and what we have, then we will experience the life of God that has been placed in our spirits. If we fail to renew our minds, we can live our entire time on this earth without experiencing the abundant life that Jesus provided for us (Jn 10:10).
Ultimately, when we go to be with the Lord, our souls will be completely renewed, and we will be given new spiritual bodies (Ph 3:21; 1 Cor 15:44). The process of salvation will then be complete.
How Do We Receive Salvation?
Choosing to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior is the most important decision you’ll ever make! God’s Word promises, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Rom 10:9-10)...For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Rom 10:13)
By His grace, God has already done everything to provide salvation. Your part is simply to believe and receive.
Pray Out Loud
“Jesus, I confess that You are my Lord and Savior. I believe in my heart that God raised You from the dead. By faith in Your Word, I receive salvation now. Thank You for saving me!”
The very moment you commit your life to Jesus Christ, the Truth of His Word instantly comes to pass in your spirit. You are saved (born again) and completely new in your spirit (2 Cor 5:17). This is the start of your new life!