It’s Monday Grace!
“Saved from what?”
If you ask someone today whether they are saved, you would probably get a question in response. “Saved from what?” Interestingly, many Christians don’t have an answer to that question. In fact, the answer is somewhat complicated.
In the past, you might answer that people could be saved from hell, and most everyone would have an idea what that was. People understood that they would someday face the judgment of God. They admitted their sins but didn’t know what to do about them. Christians had the privilege of showing them the love of God in Jesus.
But the person on the street today may truly have little context in which to understand anything about salvation. As the Christian culture wanes, new teaching or apologetic ministries reach out to welcome unbelievers into discussion about spiritual matters. Understanding that the old pressures and ultimatums don’t work, Christians today must begin to talk of the reality of God and the struggle of the human soul.
So, out in the world, the question of whether someone is saved is rarely helpful. But among believers or in the context of the church, understanding what it means to be saved is not only useful, but important. There are those who would rob us of the hope we have in Jesus by confusing the basic things we believe.
What does it mean to be saved? “Saved from what?” is a fair question. The idea of being saved is not just something evangelicals made up. It was used extensively by Jesus and by Paul. The idea runs through the Old Testament and through all of history. The need for a Savior is a basic need of the heart.
We should understand. The cry for salvation comes from every human heart in times of trouble. We need someone to reach into our lives and pull us out of the struggle. It might be financial or relationship or health or addiction or anything. We need a Savior. When the people of Israel faced a powerful enemy, they cried out for salvation. When there was a famine in the land or a widespread disease, they called for deliverance. We do the same thing in our personal lives.
The idea of God as Savior reaches to every struggle of our lives. It is His desire to deliver us from trouble. Throughout the Bible we read of Him reaching out with help to those who are falling.
So, to be saved means to accept the deliverance God offers. Who might call on the Lord and receive deliverance? The answer to that gives us an idea of the extent of God’s salvation.
The wicked call on Him and are saved from the consequences of their sin.
The lost call on Him and are saved from their wandering and dissipation.
The dying call on Him and are saved from eternal separation in hell.
The disobedient call on Him and are saved from eternal judgment.
The oppressed call on Him and are saved from their suffering.
The specific need might be expressed differently by different people, but the Savior is still the same. Whatever the world offers can only be temporary and only for this life. True salvation, true deliverance, needs a real Savior.
What are we saved from? All of these things and more. We have little concept of the trouble we were in apart from Jesus. He reached into our lives and pulled us out to Himself. He recreated us as new creatures and prepared a place for us with Him forever. What might have happened without the Savior? We only know what we could understand.
To be saved means to belong to Jesus because He did what was necessary to deliver us from our trouble. And we are grateful.
1 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy, 3 and gathered out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. 4 They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; they found no city to dwell in. 5 Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. 6 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses. 7 And He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city for a dwelling place. 8 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! 9 For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness. 10 Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, bound in affliction and irons– 11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and despised the counsel of the Most High, 12 Therefore He brought down their heart with labor; they fell down, and there was none to help. 13 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. 14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their chains in pieces. 15 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! 16 For He has broken the gates of bronze, and cut the bars of iron in two. 17 Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, were afflicted. 18 Their soul abhorred all manner of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. 19 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. 20 He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. 21 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!