What Is Salvation?
God knew that humanity would sin and need to be reconciled to Him. At the heart of God’s plan to reconcile sinful humanity to Himself is the Mediator, Jesus Christ (see 1 Timothy 2:5‚6).
The word salvation is defined as “deliverance from the power and effects of sin.” All have sinned (Romans 3:23), but we cannot save ourselves because only a sinless person can save a sinful person. The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ died for sinners (see 1 Timothy 1:15; Romans 5:6‚8).
Provisions of Salvation
Certain provisions were necessary for salvation to be available to humanity: the death of Jesus Christ; the burial of Christ; the resurrection of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 15:3‚4); the ascension of Christ (see Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9); and the exaltation of Christ (see Acts 2:33; 5:31; 1 Peter 3:22; Hebrews 1:3).
Process of Salvation: God’s side
Through the divine side of salvation, God acts in sovereignty to secure salvation for sinners through Election, through Grace, God chose salvation in Christ for those whom He knew would accept Him (see Ephesians 1:4‚5). The Apostle Paul tells us, “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters” (Romans 8:29 NLT).
God makes us alive through Christ, enabling us to be born again, and to experience a new birth (see John 3:3). Without a new birth, we are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). Justification: When God justifies us, He declares us guiltless before Him and places all of the righteousness of Christ to our credit. Justification represents both God’s forgiveness of our sins and the righteousness He has accounted to us (see Romans 3:28; 5:1).
Adoption means, “the placing of a son.” God gives us the full rights of inheritance in His family as though we had been born into it (see Galatians 4:4‚5; Ephesians 1:5). Because we are God’s children, we can call Him Abba, or Daddy (Romans 8:15). As God’s children, we can be confident that He understands us, takes care of us, and will bless us. Sanctification: When we become Christians, God sanctifies us, or sets us apart, positionally, practically, and permanently for Himself (see 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). Through sanctification, we become more and more like Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Process of Salvation: Humanity’s Side
Just as there is a divine side of salvation, there is also a human side that shows itself through “free will”: Faith and Belief
Acknowledging Jesus Christ not only in our heads, but also in our hearts (see John 3:18, 36; 5:24; 6:47; Romans 10:9). Faith is a confiding trust. It involves our intellect, emotions, and will (see Mark 4:16‚17; Romans 10:9, 17; Ephesians 2:8‚9; Hebrews 11:1, 6).
True faith and belief in Christ will ultimately lead to an acceptance and confession of Jesus Christ as Lord (see Romans 10:9‚10). The Apostle John confirmed this when he wrote, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12 NKJV).
This is a sincere and thorough change of mind and heart toward sin (see Psalms 51:3; 2 Peter 3:9). We must not only turn from our sins, but we must also turn to God (see Acts 3:19; 26:18; 1 Thessalonians 1:9).
Product of Salvation
God created us, and Christ purchased us so that we might know Him, walk with Him, and glorify Him (see Ephesians 1:11‚12). He also wants us to bear much fruit (John 15:8; 13:34‚35) as we invest our lives in service to Him (see Matthew 16:24‚26; Galatians 6:10). We bear fruit by winning others to Christ by helping them grow spiritually (see Romans 1:13; Proverbs 11:30); by sharing our blessings with others (see Philippians 4:17); by giving praise and thanks to God (see Hebrews 13:15); and by living a changed life through our conduct and character (see Galatians 5:22).
“Jesus, I know that I have sinned against you. I know the truth is that I have sinned by my own choice, and I am the one responsible for it. I know that I have earned punishment from You, and that the fair punishment would be death. Jesus, I believe that You died in my place. Forgive me for my sin. I cannot cover or take my sin away, I am relying totally and only on You. You are the only one who can save me. I reject my sin, I turn away from it, I repent. Come into my life, take away my sin, and show me how to live my life in a way that is right and pleasing to You.”
It is important for you to start to grow in your relationship with Jesus. Just like any relationship, you need to spend time with someone if you want to know them well. The way to know God is through the Bible. We have a Sunday service at 2:30pm at 450 Royal Oak Dr. NW, “Refresh” group Bible studies, as well as many other teaching and fellowship ministries here at Mountain Springs Calvary Chapel that will help you get going. If you’re not in Calgary, it’s important to find a church you can attend where they teach the Bible. This will allow you to talk with a pastor who will help explain questions you might have, and it will give you a chance to spend time with other Christians who can encourage you.