As I mentioned a few weeks ago I am helping to teach a new class we are offering at Pascack Bible Church, my church home. We are going though the Church’s statement of faith and teaching those who are new to the faith, or new to the Church, and even those who have been in the faith for many years and want a refresher.
Foundations are so important. As Jesus said:
Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. - Matthew 7:24
As you can see here, foundations are not simply head knowledge, but a good foundation is actually putting into action those things that we hear. These foundational principals are so important for our transformation; I think it would do every follower of Christ good to look at these on a regular basis.
So as I prepare to teach these classes, I thought it appropriate to share here these wonderful principles with my brothers and sisters here.
From the PBC Statement of Faith:
We believe that salvation is the free gift of God, entirely apart from human merit or works, and is received through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, and that believers are kept secure in Him forever. Ephesians 2:8-9; John 10:27-30; John 3:16-18, John 14:6; Acts 4:12
As we walk though our statement of faith we find great importance is placed on Salvation. This is the third week in a row we are focusing on Christ’s work, beginning with the second birth, then redemption, and today salvation. At first glance I thought these three were essentially one topic, simply expressed three different ways, but as I study them out and look at the scriptures underlying this points in our statement of faith I can see the wisdom in looking at our great salvation from these three perspectives.
Today (and this week in blog-land) I will be digging around this idea of salvation. And as with the second birth series a couple weeks back, I would like to start with a few questions that spring to mind as I look at the above statement.
1) What is salvation?
2) From what do we need saving?
3) How do I get faith, if I can’t earn it and I don’t deserve it?
4) What must I do to be saved?
5) Can I lose my salvation?
And one bonus question
6) Have I committed the unpardonable sin?
Today we’ll attack question 1
What is Salvation?
The word salvation and it’s verb form ‘to save’ or ‘saved’ come from one of the richest words in the biblical Greek, σῴζω, pronounced sōzō.
You might ask, ‘What makes a word rich Ben?’
I’m glad you asked. I consider this word ‘rich’ because it is used in many contexts to demonstrate its many facets. One way to understand a word’s depth when you are not a scholar, (like me, that is to say I am not) is to look at how the scholars have translated this word in various translations of the Bible. This is where great tools like blueletterbible.org and biblegateway.com are invaluable.
Let’s dive in and see how this word sozo (I will use this form for this study) is used in various contexts.
"She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." - Matthew 1:21 NASB
But Jesus turning and seeing her said, "Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well." At once the woman was made well. - Matthew 9:22 NASB
And Jesus said to him, "Go; your faith has made you well." Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road. - Mark 10:52 NASB
and begged Him earnestly, saying, "My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live." - Mark 5:23 NKJV
And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen! - 2 Timothy 4:18 NKJV
"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." - Acts 4:12 NKJV
This wonderful word, sozo is used in reference to salvation from sin, but it is so much more. Sozo is about saving the whole man. Yes, God’s main design in sending Jesus was to restore – sozo – our relationship with Him, to remove that which separated us from Him. But as was so aptly demonstrated in the earthly ministry of Jesus, God was also interested in restoring man to wholeness, body soul and spirit.
My focus for the rest of the week will be on God’s ultimate work of salvation in our life, but I wanted to bring out the richness of His wonderful salvation.
Probably my favorite sozo verse is
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. - Hebrews 7:25 NKJV
I love that phrase – save to the uttermost!
How great is our God!
Thanks for coming by.