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salvation:- 3


By Nelson Thomas Evangelist, Mumbai


         Salvation is the major topic of the New Testament. In fact here we see the completion of the truth that God revealed to the Old Testament writers little by little. Cf. Hebrews :1:1, 2. Every aspect of salvation is found here.

The word used:-
          The Greek word ‘soteria’ means ‘to restore to health’, ‘to make whole’ and ‘deliverance’. ‘sozein’ means ‘to save’.  Cf. Jude v.25; Acts 7:25; 27:20, 34.

         The English word ‘salvation’ refers ‘to save’, ‘to deliver’ or ‘to heal’. Cf. Matt8:45; 14:30; Matt 9:22; Luke 7:50; 18: 42. Luke uses the word ‘salvation’ frequently referring to healing, forgiveness, wholeness, and new life in individual’s life.  In many passages the term ‘to save’ (sozo) refers to something more apart from a physical cure or deliverance. Cf. Matt 9:16ff; Mark 10:17ff; Luke 18:18ff.
For example, notice the story of the rich young ruler. He sought eternal life; the Lord said, “Hard for a rich man to enter in to the kingdom of heaven”. Disciples asked, “Who then can be saved?”

         That means to enter the kingdom of heaven, to be saved and to have eternal are three ways of saying the same thing. Three things are noteworthy in connection with salvation in the New Testament.

1. Salvation was the purpose of our Lord’s ministry. Luke 19:10; Matt. 9:13, 33; 10:8; 20:28.
         New Testament begins with the story of Christ’s birth and while the angels announced it they also referred to His mission that was to save man from sin. His name itself meant it and He is called the saviour too. Cf. Matt. 1:21, 23; Luke 1:47; 2:11. Even the enemies knew of the purpose of His coming. Cf. Matt. 27:42

         Christ took up the idea of salvation that prophets spoke of in the Old Testament and gave a more spiritual and universal application. He showed that in His person and ministry men are seeing ‘God’s salvation’. Cf. Luke 2:30; 3:6; 1:69, 77; 19:9. He taught that salvation is not something merely physical and environmental. He came to seek and save those who are lost, like a physician to heal. Cf. Matt 18:11—13; Luke5:17; Mark 10:30.

         He spoke of a salvation that lead people in to the kingdom of heaven which would guarantee security and peace in life, not only in the present world, even the world to come, in fellowship with God. It was this truth that attracted disciples to Christ. That’s why disciples endured persecution. Cf. Luke 10:15; 12:4.

         In John’s gospel salvation is presented as ‘eternal life’ through the knowledge of Christ. Cf. Jn 17:3; 3:15, 16, 17 etc. This eternal life is not just an everlasting life, but a life of new quality, the kind of life God has. Cf. Jn3:16; 10:28. Life apart from God is eternal destruction of the soul.

2. Salvation was the message of the Church’s witness. Cf Acts 2:39; 16:17, 30; Matt 28:18ff; Acts 4:12.

         The New Testament reveals that salvation was the main theme of the preaching of the early Church. They were aware that the purpose of the existence of the Church on earth is nothing else but proclaim the gospel of salvation. With all zeal and faithfulness they proclaimed it. They knew that with out experiencing the salvation God has accomplished through the sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ, people are going to the eternal condemnation.            

         They knew there is no other way for salvation than Christ. That’s why they were willing to suffer any thing to share this good news.

3. Salvation was the theme of apostolic teaching. Cf. Rom 1:16; Gal 1:11.

         New Testament writers, particularly Paul explains the doctrine of salvation. Paul shows that there is no salivation by means of the law. Cf. Rom 3:20; Gal2:16. The gospel of Christ is that God freely justifies those who trust Christ. Rom 3: 24

         Paul sees the gospel of Christ as God’s power for man’s salvation. It is deliverance from sin and is realized in a life of holiness. Its initial conditions are repentance, renunciation of sin and trust in the grace of God manifested in Christ. The fact and offer of salvation in the Christian gospel is distinct from any other. Act 4:12; 1Tim 1:15. The whole work of salvation is finished in Christ and man can add nothing more to it. Salvation from first to last is the gift of God.

The writer of Hebrews says many valuable truths about salvation:-

  • Its so great salvation. 2:3
  • Christ is the captain and author of it.  2:10; 5:9
  • He is able to save us to the uttermost. 7:25
  • It’s an eternal salvation.
  • Angels protects the saved one. 1:14

         Peter explains the doctrine of salvation in the OT terms. Prophets diligently sought about salvation. 1:10. The cost of this salvation is more than the cost paid for Jewish redemptions refereed in the Old Testament. 1:18. Jews rejected their Messiah. 1Peter 2:4—8.

   John reaffirms that the Father sent His Son to save the world because of His love. 1Jn 4:14 He took away sins, destroyed the evil one and brought life. Cf. 1Jn. 2:2; 3:5; 3:8.

          Jude refers to the one who can keep us from falling. Book of Revelation responds with the note of victory and join in an everlasting chorus “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb”. Rev 7:10, 14; 19:1

Conclusion: -
         Salvation is the main theme of both the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. As in many other biblical doctrines, the complete truth about salvation is revealed progressively in the Bible. In the beginning of the Old Testament, salvation is more about physical well-being or deliverance from danger, but in the New Testament it is deliverance from sin, Satan and the eternal punishment. Bible unequivocally proclaims that there is no other way for salvation other than The Lord Jesus Christ.




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