As I’ve said many times over, giving my heart to God was the best decision I ever made for my life. Did you know that Salvation was the very mission of the Son of God when He came to earth? Yes, Jesus’s purpose was to bring Salvation to the lost and sinful men of this world. So when the Son of God came and died on the cross for our sins, He gave us a means to Salvation. Salvation is not for a few, but it is for everyone. God sent His Son to the entire world to save all men and women, and He faithfully continues to strengthen and help us grow in Him afterward.
Today is the day of Salvation. Salvation can be a reality for each of us today; if you do not know God as your personal Savior, you can ask for Salvation this morning. Salvation is possible for you. The Bible teaches us that in Bible times, many obtained Salvation, and since, we can say millions of people have turned their hearts to God.
Salvation means the act of saving or delivering one from their sins. But what does this look like, or what does it mean? We can think of it in this way. Let’s suppose you were in a boat, out in a lake without paddles or oars, and had no way to get to shore. Then someone on land not too far from where you are sees you in your situation and throws a rope in your direction. To be saved, you need to grab hold of the rope and let that person pull you in.
On the other hand, if you ignore the rope, you would not be saved from your situation and remain stranded in the lake. Likewise, God offers Salvation to everyone, but we need to choose to accept it. Sometimes, unfortunately, young people will have an opportunity to regularly hear the message of Salvation, but some repeatedly reject this message and refuse to turn toward God. I challenge you to choose this day to serve God. Remember, the Bible teaches us that today is the day of Salvation.
Did you know that the Bible uses the words justification, conversion, and the term “new birth” to provide a different way of understanding what God does for us through Salvation? We will look at all three terms in more detail to help us understand the act of delivering by Salvation more powerfully.
Justification is the legal aspect of Salvation and means to absolve from guilt. In Luke 18, Jesus talked about two people that went to the temple to pray, and one was a Pharisee. In Bible times, the Pharisees were the religious people in the land. The Pharisee began to pray and his words showed he was very proud. As he prayed he said, “I’m glad I am not like other people.” Then he began to talk about his twice-weekly fasting and all the other good deeds he does. Jesus contrasted the Pharisee and his prayer with the Publican’s prayer. The Publican was a sinner, and as he began to pray, the Publican beat his chest and said, ” God be merciful to me a sinner.” The following scripture shows us how Jesus concluded the story.
“14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
Jesus said this man was “justified” or made right with God, meaning the Publican received Salvation. Justified is another word Jesus used to describe someone who receives Salvation.
“38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
Paul was preaching here about Christ as the Savior. When Jesus came, the conversion, justification, or Salvation that came with Him was different from what they had under the law of Moses.
“16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.”
This scripture teaches us that man is not justified by their own works but by faith in Jesus Christ. As we see, the word justified is another word the Bible uses to describe Salvation.
The Bible says that Salvation is a conversion or a change. Conversion is a fundamental change of heart and life. There is a story in the Bible about the Apostle Paul when he was on the road to Damascus. Before his conversion, his name was Saul, and he was a horrible person who killed the saints of God and threw them into prison. Saul did a lot of damage to God’s church. One day, he was on his way to the city of Damascus to look for saints he planned to kill when suddenly God shined a bright light around him. God arrested Saul, and a true conversion happened within him. After the encounter with God, Saul’s name was changed to Paul. Paul went on to become one of the great Apostles of Jesus Christ. Many witnessed a change in his whole life direction. Paul shared the message of Christ in cities throughout the land, and thousands upon thousands believed and also converted. Paul wrote several of the New Testament books. His conversion changed him from a sinner to a saint and touched every fiber of his life.
Salvation A New Birth
In learning about the meaning of Salvation, we find that we are justified by faith, made one back with Christ, converted (meaning truly changed), and lastly, Salvation is likened unto a new birth.
“3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.”
Here Jesus was speaking with Nicodemus about the new birth. The book of John 3 verse 5 shows us what Jesus meant by the new birth. He told Nicodemas, we are born of the Spirit or the blood of Christ. Jesus said you must be born again. This new birth is a necessity because a man must become spiritually alive to obtain Salvation. Before Salvation, we are not in the right relationship with God. But through this beautiful Salvation Jesus brought to us, we can be born again, we can be changed, we can be in the right relationship with God. It is possible for us to be born again in this life, but Jesus was not talking about physical birth. A physical birth can only happen for each person once. Jesus was talking about a spiritual birth, this means a change happens within our spiritual life. It is impossible to get this new birth through good deeds or living a good moral life. This new birth comes from above. So there is no other way to get this new birth but from our Lord Jesus Christ.
So we’ve learned that Salvation is Justification or that legal aspect when we become one with Christ. Salvation is a conversion, meaning we are changed or made different. Salvation is a new birth and each of these terms has the same meaning – Salvation. If you do not know God as your personal Savior, you too can have a new birth. You can be born again today. When you come to God asking for forgiveness of sins, He is just and faithful to forgive you of your sins.
In closing, when Salvation takes place, there is evidence. I will mention one piece of evidence specifically. When God saves us, we will love our brother or sister regardless of what has been done to us. When God changes us, He gives us a love for others. Just like Saul before becoming Paul. He was angry and mad, always trying to destroy God’s work. But when God converted him, he loved God’s people with all his heart and helped build the church by sharing the gospel and showing others the power of God through Salvation.