What Does It Mean To Be Saved?
“Saved” is a word that is often used by people to describe their relationship with God. But what does it mean to be saved?
Believe and Be Saved
There’s a great passage in the book of Acts, chapter 16, where Paul and Silas were in prison and suddenly there was a great earthquake. The quake was so strong it rocked the foundation of the prison and opened the doors. Paul and Silas could have escaped but they chose not to. When the guard responsible for them realized that they had not fled, he was moved to ask them “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” The question had a little bit of irony to it, as had Paul and Silas escaped the guard’s life would have been forfeit, so by staying in jail, they had already saved his life in a very real and physical sense. So, it was clear that the jailor was referring to being saved in a deeper, spiritual understanding. Paul and Silas responded “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.”
Why We Need to be Saved
It is one of the most precious truths from scripture, but sadly, unless you have a broader knowledge of what the Bible teaches, it lacks context and can be seen as incomplete. So today, rather than focusing on the jailor’s question of how to be saved, I want to take some time to understand what it means to be saved, and why we need to be.
Let’s start with some of the conditions that are required in order for a person to need to be saved. First, they must be in danger of one form or another. This is a concept we can understand, there have been countless books and movies, often depicting real life events, where a person or group of people are in a situation that is dangerous and perhaps even life threatening, and then something happens to get them out of that situation, to save them.
Is Everybody Bad?
In a previous post, titled “What is Sin, Is Everybody Bad?” we talked a little bit about what sin is, and how the Bible tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard. I mentioned in that post that God can’t allow sin into His presence. At the same time, sin must be punished. The Bible tells us in a number of places what this looks like, but none better than Romans 6:23 “the wages of sin is death”. The death spoken of here is not just a physical death but eternal separation from God, a lost eternity. Whether we realize it or not, this is something all people face. I can’t tell you exactly what this looks like, though we do get a few horrifying glimpses of it from scripture where it is described as eternal punishment, everlasting destruction, shut out from the presence of the Lord, the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, and where the thirst will not quench and the worm will not die. This is the end result of our sin.
God Loves Us!
Thankfully, God loves us, His creation, and doesn’t desire that for us. At this point we may ask why such a place, or punishment exists? Why would God do that if He loves us so much? That answer is a bit trickier, but ultimately because God is perfectly righteous, he must judge all sin, failure to do so would be unjust, and therefore He wouldn’t be righteous, and then couldn’t truly be God. Since the penalty for sin is eternal punishment, separated from the presence of the Lord, I can’t take my own punishment and therefore save myself, so I need a Savior. This is where we see God’s love for us in action. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life.”
Saved by Jesus, the Son of God
The Bible teaches that Jesus was the Son of God, and being the Son of God he had no sin of His own, and since He had no sin of his own, He had no reason to ever suffer death. But that is exactly what He did, only it wasn’t His own death, it was ours. He suffered everything that the Old Testament prophesies said God’s anointed Savior would suffer, and God was willing to declare that Jesus’ death on the cross was sufficient to meet the demands of His wrath on the sin of any person who was willing to put their faith and trust in Jesus to be saved.
Believe in Jesus, Put Your Faith in Him
That’s why Paul could answer the jailor so directly, and why we can still say the same thing today. We are sinners, who deserve to suffer the penalty for our sin. God says believe in Jesus, put your faith in who He is and what he has already done to pay for your sin, and you will be saved from that eternal punishment. What’s more, anyone who believes in Jesus and has their sins forgiven will be able to enter into the kingdom of God, where we will have eternal life, and be in the presence of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
If you have any questions about being saved, or what you have to do to be saved, please contact us. You can do so by email to [email protected] or you can reach us by phone at 1-800-567-1218.
Stephen March is the President of FBH International and HopeStreamRadio. He graduated from the Broadcasting Program at Niagara College in 2001, and has previously worked in television production and post-production. Stephen lives in St. Catharines, Ontario, with his wife Corinne and their four children. He serves as an elder at Scottlea Gospel Chapel.
Read and hear more from Stephen Marchon his contributor’s page.
Stephen currently has 3 Programs on HopeStreamRadio:
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Man’s Arm – StockSnap
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