What Does it Mean to be Saved?
Being saved. Jesus. God. What does it all mean? How does it apply to you? We're going to try to answer those questions by talking about what you're saved from who you're saved by, what you're saved for, and how you can be saved.
What do you need to be saved from?
The answer is sin and death. Let’s explain.
God created man and woman at the beginning of time. God richly provided for Adam and Eve in the garden, He gave them every good gift, and they could approach God and speak with Him, and they were not afraid. They did not at first rebel (sin) against God. This sinless existence didn’t last long though.
In the Garden of Eden, though they were perfectly provided for, Adam and Eve desired to be their own masters and defied God. From that point on, in all generations, a nature of sinfulness has been passed down from parents to children, affecting all mankind, without exception. Pride infects most decisions we make, selfishness causes us to hurt the ones we love the most and a slew of other ugly scars from the effects of sin parade themselves through our lives. We either battle with these dark desires or we succumb to their seemingly endless power in our lives.
When sin entered the world, its consequence was death - both physical and spiritual. Mankind’s relationship with God was broken. And because we’re now inherently flawed, nothing we do is enough to mend our relationship with God.
Who are you saved by?
The answer is Jesus.
God knew that His creation would betray Him, and He had a plan from the beginning to fix (redeem) His relationship with us.
God the Father sent Jesus the Son into the world to live a perfect life, what we could not do. Jesus lived sinlessly and died a criminal’s death, the death we deserve, taking the sin of the world upon Himself. He took death to the grave on Good Friday many years ago. The following Sunday (Easter) Jesus left death in its grave and rose from the dead because death was not more powerful than God.
Because Jesus lived perfectly, died terribly and defeated death in our place, if we choose to put our faith in Him we can be restored to God through Jesus. Jesus is the Savior of the world and all who come to Him will not die. The debt of rebellion towards God has been paid by Him, and Him alone.
What are you saved for?
The answer? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
You may have wondered, “Why am I here?” “What’s the purpose of life?” “Who am I?” Those questions find their answer in God because He created us with purpose. God created man so that man might bring glory to God and enjoy being in a relationship with God, as Father, and with God’s people, brothers and sisters in Christ, who have also been saved. But because of our sinful state, this is not easy.
We naturally seek to glorify and enjoy ourselves, but our efforts are always temporary and unsatisfying. The only way to true and lasting joy is by seeking and glorifying God. As saved people spread His glory, more people are saved from the power of death and the frustration of life apart from God.
How do humans bring God glory? The answers are found in the book written by God, the Bible. The Bible lays out how God transforms our hearts and enables us to live righteous and holy lives on earth.
How can you be saved?
God says that “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
What does it mean to confess Jesus as Lord? It means that you are saying to God (praying) that you don’t want to be the lord of your life anymore, you want Jesus to be your Lord. It means obeying His words (Bible). It means a lifelong lifestyle commitment to bringing God glory and enjoying Him forever. The efforts we make in bringing God glory are not done out of our own strength or goodness but are done in light of His mercies and through the power of His Spirit. The efforts that we make to actively turn away (repent) of our sin are still vital, but God is our helper when we commit to Him.
It also means knowing and believing that Jesus is God, He became a man to live and die in the place of sinful people. He didn’t stay dead but rose again. Anyone who confesses Him as Lord and believes that He was raised from the dead is saved.