From a Biblical perspective, salvation is a gift. It is mentioned 122 times in Scripture, but it is never talked about in terms of something that is deserved, or purchased, or earned. In some churches people talk about salvation in terms of being “saved,” but being given salvation and being saved are the same thing.
Christianity is the only faith that offers assurance of salvation. Simply stated, salvation, or being saved, means a person has come to the realization that they are a sinner, destined for an eternity separated from God. They are in a helpless and indefensible state.
They’re guilty as charged and they know it. They understand the ugliness of their sin, in comparison to God, who is Holy, glorious and perfect. People, having sinned, have nowhere to hide. But the gift of salvation is offered.
All have sinned and fall short of the glory God.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23-7:1)
Salvation is God’s gift of eternal life
The gift of eternal life is salvation. Being saved is knowing you can go to heaven when you die. Free from the bondage of sin. Saved people will live forever in God’s Kingdom. There is no catch, but salvation is not a “get out of jail free” card.
Coming clean with God means confessing our sins and repenting. Repent means to change, to “turn around.” We seek to cast off our sinful human nature and walk with God. Having repented, a person must turn to the only one who can save them from hell, the Lord Jesus Christ.
They accept Jesus as their savior
Acknowledging that Jesus suffered and died on the cross, in their place, they accept Him as Lord and Savior. They invite Jesus into their heart to direct their life. Coming clean means a person has to be open and honest with God and themselves.
Going through the motions, trying to get off without punishment, is not a strategy, because God, being all knowing, will have none of it. A young man wanted to know what HE had to do to be saved. He did not like the answer Jesus gave him.
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good — except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'”
“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said.
“Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. (Mark 10:17-22)
Jesus knows what is in our heart
Jesus does not require that people give up all that they own, but He does know what is in their heart. The young man could not buy his way in, but it was obvious that he valued his wealth and wanted to hang on to his money.
As for keeping the commandments, the young man did not fool Jesus. Again, all have sinned. We all have broken the commandments in one way of another. If a person did keep all the commandments and lived a perfect, sinless life, they would be welcomed in heaven.
The trouble is, nobody has ever done that, except for Jesus. Having lived a sinless life, Jesus was the only one who could go to the cross to save those to believed in Him and had faith. God made His son, who was without sin, the bearer of all the world’s sins, past, present and future.
Salvation means going to heaven
For those who believe in God, salvation means going to heaven. For those who do not believe in God, or do not believe in an after-life, salvation might mean cleaning up your act before you die.
Most religions of the world focus on personal deeds as a means of salvation. Those who believe in reincarnation talk of an upward journey from life-to-life, as the soul tries to cleans itself, through living many lives.
Christianity is different. Religion is all about what man can do to make himself acceptable to God. Christianity is all about what God did to make man acceptable. Jesus paid the price we could not. We are saved by the grace of God, through faith in Jesus.
Establishing that true and lasting relationship is essential. Faith unto salvation. Praise be to God and the Lord Jesus Christ.