“The Meaning of the Word “Salvation”
Dr. Gary M. Barker
Published in the Paso Robles Press 2/12/20
The Bible states in Hebrews 2:3 that God has provided a “great salvation” that some people ignore resulting in not being able to escape God’s judgment. Escaping the judgment of sin is the basic concept behind the meaning of the word “salvation.” This English word is the translation of the Greek noun “soteria” which literally means to save, deliver, or rescue. God has provided a means of deliverance from the penalty of sin. Theologians refer to this biblical doctrine by the term “Soteriology”. Salvation has been provided by the grace of God: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11). The apostle Paul states in 2 Timothy 3:15 that salvation is received from God thru believing in Jesus Christ. There are three words that are essential to understand in order to come to a clear comprehension of the biblical doctrine of salvation: 1) Salvation; 2) Savior; 3) Saved.
Salvation has the idea of God’s PLAN for delivering sinners from the penalty of sin. This plan was proclaimed by the angel of the Lord to the shepherds concerning Christ’s birth in Luke 2:10 and to Joseph in Matthew 1:20-21. These proclamations stated that God had provided a Savior for the world and the He could save the world form their sins. The angel of the Lord told Joseph that the virgin born son of Mary was to be named “Jesus” which literally means “The Lord is salvation”. The plan of salvation was to provide in love a solution to man’s problem before God of sin. This was the message that the apostle Peter preached to the Jews in Jerusalem in Acts 4:12: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” The basic concept of the word salvation is deliverance.
The second related word is “Savior”. This word reveals the PERSON that God chose to provide salvation. The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus Christ is the Savior or Deliverer from sin (Luke 2:11, Acts 5:31, 1 Timothy 1:1, 2:3, 4:10, 2 Peter 2:20, 3:18, 1 John 4:14). God’s plan of salvation was provided thru a Person who was God the Son: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Jesus in this verse promised to deliver believers from perishing and going to hell. Jesus said that salvation thru belief would result in receiving everlasting life and being delivered from condemnation (John 3:16-18).
This finally bring us to our third word “SAVED” which means a person who has been “Delivered”. A sinner is delivered from sin’s penalty by believing the gospel of salvation (Ephesians 1:13, Romans 1:16). The gospel is the good news of Christ’s death for sinners, His burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-5). The apostle Paul states that the gospel saved believers. When a sinner believes the gospel, he will be delivered from sin’s penalty: “For by grace you are saved thru faith…” (Ephesians 2:8). When a sinner believes in God’s plan and Person who is the Savior, he will personally be saved. May these blessed truths bless and encourage you. Salvation is eternal (Hebrews 5:9) and is received as a gift thru faith (Romans 6:23). Have you received this gift?