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The Salvation Equation
A (Your Part) + B (God’s Part) = C (Eternal Life)
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Salvation – it’s a POWERFUL Biblical word! It’s used 164 times in the Bible, along with “saved” (104), “save” (233), “savest” (3), “saveth” (7), “saving” (12), “saviour” (37), and “saviours” (2). That’s 562 times the word “salvation” (or some derivative thereof) is used in God’s Word. Wow! Now, in today’s church world we hear things like “Are you saved? Have you received the free gift of salvation? Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?” But what do these questions mean? Are they Biblically accurate, or are they just the inquisitive product of incorrect doctrine? Let’s take a closer look (Biblically!) at this very important word and then learn an amazing equation that will uncover its true meaning and expose false church doctrines.
Four Hebrew words in the Old Testament were translated “salvation” – yešû’â, yēša’, tešû’â, & môšā’â – and they all mean the same thing: salvation, deliverance, help, rescue from a dangerous circumstance or harmful state by a saviour; divine salvation usually has its focus on rescue from earthly enemies, occasionally referring to salvation from guilt, sin, and punishment. Two Greek words in the New Testament were translated “salvation” – sōtēria & sōtērion – meaning: salvation, rescue, deliverance, the state of NOT being in grave danger and so being safe; this can refer to ordinary dangers and conditions on Earth, but it usually refers to the state of believers being safe from righteous wrath in a proper relationship with God.
So, from the above definitions we learn there are two meanings (or uses) for the word “salvation” in the Bible: 1. The Earthly Sense, where people in physical danger need to be, are being, or have been “saved” or “delivered” from danger to their body; and 2. The Spiritual Sense, where people in spiritual danger need to be, are being, or have been “saved” or “delivered” from danger to their spirit (soul). [Just a quick note; many of the Earthly (physical) stories of salvation in the Old Testament Scriptures were actually secret prophesy about the Spiritual salvation God would win mankind’s souls through a Messiah, who would be (and now is) Christ Jesus!] In this exposition about “salvation” I want to concentrate on the Scripture verses that employ the word in a Spiritual Sense, for this is the information that is important to our soul’s eternal destiny.
Allow me to explain further this concept of spiritual (or soul) “salvation”, for it is something we ALL need! To be point blank about it, upon dying (meaning when our soul exits our physical body on Earth) we ALL have the potential danger of having our soul end up in the tortuous and eternal fires of hell! That’s some serious danger, right? Consequently, we need to be “saved” or “delivered” from that painful state of eternal spiritual death. It is a desperate situation! Living on Earth (right now in this age of sin) couldn’t be a more treacherous position for a human being! For long story short, EACH one of us who ever lived(s) on this planet will either end up in hell, having NOT been “saved”, or else in heaven, having been “saved”. So what makes the difference? In other words, what MUST happen so that we are SAVED (obtain eternal life)?
Alright, I’m not going to beat around the bush on this most urgent and critical of subjects, and I’m not going to use nebulous, cliché, church phrases. I didn’t come to confuse you or give you false hope. I came to tell you the truth and nothing but the WHOLE TRUTH about salvation, so help me God! So are you ready for the Biblical truth about salvation (meaning how to escape hell and obtain eternal life)? Are you ready to never again be confused by ANY scripture verses concerning your soul’s salvation. If so, then here’s the truth … your salvation involves the work of TWO people – one is GOD, and the other is YOU!!! Are you stunned? Well, please don’t stop reading now!
What I am saying is this; at one time the Bible may use the word “salvation” and be talking about YOUR PART, and the next time it uses the word it may be talking about GOD’S PART. Do you understand? Not understanding this two-sided nature (or work) of salvation is how ALL Biblical confusion about salvation is born! And because most ministers do NOT know this most important Biblical fact about salvation (how eternal life is obtained), today we have many different, false, and crazy salvation doctrines in the church world. Shocking, huh? Keep reading.