What the Bible Says on Salvation?

When a friend knocks at your door and tells you that your Mom or Dad needs to be saved, what would be some thoughts that would immediately come to your mind? Probably, you would be asking: "Why does he need to be saved?" or "Where is he saved from?" Or, maybe, the last and most important question you would raise is: "What should he do to be saved?"

The Bible, God's Holy Word, uses the term "salvation" in the same manner and tells us that God desires "... all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth," (I Timothy 2:4). It is logical and natural to ask: But why does man need to be saved? Where are we to be saved from? And, what must we do to be saved?

 

THE NEED FOR SALVATION

Why do we need to be saved? Here's what God says:
"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5.

"God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one" Psalm 53:2-3.

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one," Romans 3:10-12.

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," Romans 3:23.

In other words, we all need to be saved because we are all sinners before the eyes of Him to Whom we have to give an account. And we have been in this spiritual condition since our very first parents fell into sin.

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Romans 5:12.

This is why we sin, because we are naturally born sinners. We are sinners by nature and by choice. It is no wonder why we find such passages in Scripture:
"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." Psalm 51:5.

"The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies." Psalm 58:3.

When Adam sinned, we all sinned in Adam. And for this, we are all guilty.

This does not look good for any of us. As a matter of fact, this only shows that we need to be saved more than we would probably ever want to.

 

WHERE ARE WE TO BE SAVED FROM?

Since God says we need to be saved, where are we to be saved from? Here's what God says:
"Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die." Ezekiel 18:4.

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Romans 5:12.

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23.

If we will ever be saved, we shall be saved from sin's penalty - death. While death, from our viewpoint, may appear to mean the cessation of existence (when life ceases), from God's perspective, death is not a cessation but a separation. Of what?

Note the three kinds of death mentioned in the Bible:

First, there is physical death. This is the separation of the soul and spirit from the body, man's immaterial part separated from his material part.

"... the body without the spirit is dead..." James 2:26.

Second, there is spiritual death. This is the separation of man from the holy God because of our sinfulness.

"Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." Isaiah 59:1-2.

"And you ..., who were dead in trespasses and sins..." Ephesians 2:1.

Third, there is eternal death. This is a separation from God. This lasts forever, for all eternity.

"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power ..." II Thessalonians 1:8-9.

"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Revelations 20:14-15.

The Bible refers to all three when it says, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23. When Adam fell into sin, he began to experience the deterioration of his physical body, which led to physical death. He also was immediately separated from God, for they were expelled from the garden of Eden. If they had remained in this condition until point of physical death, they would have spent eternity in hell, separated from God.

Likewise, we are all born into this world sinners already separated from God, spiritually dead, regardless of our religious affiliations. If we remain in this spiritual condition at physical death, we will be spending eternity in hell, permanently separated from the God of love. Since all of us are found guilty, we all deserve this judgment. This is our awful predicament.

 

WHAT MUST WE DO TO BE SAVED?

Since we all need to be saved from sin's penalty, what must we do to be saved?

To answer this question more clearly, it will help us to ask what must we do so as not to be saved? Answer: NOTHING. We are already sinners deserving God's wrath. One may ask: Are we, therefore, to do SOMETHING, like do good works, or keep God's commandments to be saved?

Most people believe they are going to be saved by doing good deeds, by law-keeping, by being religious, or by doing some charitable work. They think that by doing so, they just might outweigh their sin by their good works, thus, making them deserve heaven.

But God says:
"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." Romans 3:20.

"For by grace [unmerited, undeserved favor] are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9.

"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." Galatians 2:16.

The man who tries to enter heaven by his own merit is, in reality, foolishly, making himself his own Savior. If our good works can't save us or can't make us merit heaven, what can? Here's what God says:
"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:18.

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36.

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John 5:24.

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6.

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12.

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus..." I Timothy 2:5.

Nothing and no one else can save us, and that includes ourselves. Because we have all offended the holy character of God, His justice demands that we all be penalized for it, by death. God will never compromise His perfect standards just so to get more people into heaven. But because of God's great love for us, He offered His only begotten Son as the perfect sacrifice to die for our sins.

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." II Corinthians 5:21.

"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." I Peter 2:24.

"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit." I Peter 3:18.

No other sacrifice for sin will ever be acceptable to God except the perfect bloody sacrifice of His sinless Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. That alone satisfies God's holiness and justice. Herein also is the greatest display of God's love for us.

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8.

Dear reader, this is salvation according to the Bible. We urge you to escape the wrath of God before it ever becomes too late. Would you now ask the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sins and trust Him as your personal Savior?

-written by Dr. Roberto-Jose M. Livioco