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When it comes to the foundations of Christian faith, you will certainly come across salvation. Read this post to learn about salvation and its importance according to God’s Word.
Personal Faith Background
I grew up in a Catholic environment and so I didn’t know anything about Biblical Salvation, about who Jesus really was, and about the identity of the Holy Spirit who is the third divine person of the Trinity and plays an important role in the life of a born-again Christian.
Instead, I was taught that
- I needed to believe in God and Jesus Christ as His son .
- I needed to partake of the sacraments which are among other things
– being baptized
– taking Communion
– being confirmed in the church
– confessing sins to a priest
- I needed to go to church every Sunday.
- I needed to do good works, be kind to others, and help others.
According to the Catholic belief baptism is particularly important and is considered a key requirement for being saved. For this reason they baptize infants.
So for years, I would believe everything they taught me in the Catholic Church. I was baptized. I took Communion. I was confirmed. I confessed my sins to a priest. I went to church every Sunday. I became an altar server. I tried to do good works. I was kind to others. I helped other people.
This wrong belief, however, left me unsatisfied and grew in me a hunger to find the truth. Since I wasn’t saved back then, Satan took advantage of my hunger and led me on a path that was dangerous and even worse than my Catholic belief. For two years, I dabbled in the New Age movement and occult practices like astrology, tarot, yoga, qi gong, shamanism, numerology, chakras, aura, starseeds, earth angels, etc., until I got saved and became a born-again Christian in 2019. Now when I look back at my time in the New Age and occult, I really feel ashamed because this was the time where I got deceived by Satan and was gradually moving away from God. I’m so glad and grateful that Jesus, who appeared one night in a dream and pointed me to the Bible, saved me by His grace and I believed that He died for our sins on the cross and resurrected to save us from eternal death which is the penalty for our sins. I believed in Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.
After a time of growing in faith, studying the Bible, growing my relationship with the Trinity, God called me to spread His Word and share the truth with others, so that many people can also be saved. The Holy Spirit inspired me to create this website with the name “Wisdom From Heaven”. Since I’m a creative person, He encouraged me to combine God’s Word with my creativity. For this reason, my Biblical Teaching contains downloadable creative visuals apart from writing. While the Bible is the only true, inerrant, inspired, and infallible Word of God, I hope to support you in your Bible Study with my teaching and creative visuals.
Salvation – Definition and Origin
Now let’s study the Bible to learn what salvation means according to God’s Word.
But before we do that, we need to define what the word salvation means in general. Salvation comes from the Latin word “salvatio” which means deliverance. So the general definition for salvation is “deliverance or preservation from harm, ruin or loss.”
So if salvation means “deliverance”, what do we need to be delivered from according to God’s Word?
To answer this, we need to go back to the beginning of the Old Testament. In Genesis 3 we can read how the first men Adam and Eve were deceived by Satan through a serpent.
Some people claim that we can’t say that the serpent was Satan because it is nowhere written in Genesis 3. While this is true, we always need to make sure that we read the whole Bible because if something is not revealed in one passage or book, it might be revealed in another passage or book of the Bible.
In Revelation 12:9 we can read “And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world – he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” And a little further in Revelation 20:2 it says “And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,”
Before Adam and Eve were deceived by Satan and tempted to eat the forbidden fruit from the tree of good and evil, they were living in a state of innocence and enjoying intimate fellowship with God (Genesis 3:8) because they were created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). They lived in harmony with their Creator because God’s Holy Spirit was passing through their human spirit freely and their heart and mind were enlightened by God’s power. They had dominion over all of God’s creation. (Genesis 1:26-29).
Man was good according to God and he knew no sin. God gave man a free will but He gave him one prohibition. “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17
Although God is completely in charge of everything, “for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’” Isaiah 46:9-10, He gave man free will.Therefore man is responsible for his choices and actions. “for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” Galatians 6:7
When Adam and Eve were tempted to eat from the forbidden fruit, they had the free will to obey God or disobey Him. Unfortunately, they disobeyed God and gave in to the temptation and deception of Satan. After eating the forbidden fruit, they lost their spiritual union with God. The Holy Spirit departed from their human spirit and rendered them spiritually dead, separated from God. Man’s individual spirit didn’t die, it only lost it’s divine connection with God’s Spirit. As a direct result, the soul, severed from the spirit, joined to the body. Losing this divine connection, made them immediately aware of their nakedness (Genesis 3:7). Committing this sin, which is called original sin, made them lose the image and likeness of God because it was now characterized and distorted by sin.
Man was now a carnal being, a natural man (1 Corinthians 2:14) with a fleshly mind (Colossians 2:18, 21, Romans 8:7). Instead of the Holy Spirit, an independent, rebellious, and self-centered spirit of disobedience filled the human spirit. (Ephesians 2:2, James 4:5)
Since then, all of Adam’s descendants will no longer be born in the likeness and image of God. Instead, they will be born in “in his own likeness, after his image” (Genesis 5:3). With this inheritance comes both spiritual and physical death along with a sinful nature and a deceitful heart. Adam’s sin made us all sinners. Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned (Romans 5:12) “…in Adam all die…” (1 Corinthians 15:22).
Man consists of spirit, soul, and body. Before the fall, the spirit was the strongest part of man, making sin unnatural. After the fall, the body, now joined to the soul, became the dominant part of man making him naturally susceptible to sin. Sin was no longer unnatural but natural. Owning this sinful nature together with ungodly influences from outside makes man vulnerable to temptations.
God had mercy and love for Adam and Eve. For this reason, He provided temporal atonement through the shed blood of innocent animals to cover for their sin and nakedness (Genesis 3:21). This temporary atonement, however, couldn’t hold man back from his disobedience. Wickedness after wickedness happened and God even had to destroy His own creature during the Flood.
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” (Gen. 6:5-7)
Man was blind to the inner workings of sin in the flesh. It was natural for him to follow the desires of his flesh. Because God so loved man, He saved him from eternal doom by providing a permanent atonement through the precious blood of His Son, the lamb of God. (John 3:16)
How You Cannot Obtain Salvation
- You can’t earn your way to heaven by doing great works. Salvation is a gift from God which you receive by grace through faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
- You can’t obtain salvation by just believing and knowing that God and Jesus exist. Satan and Demons know God and Jesus but they certainly don’t go to heaven. To be saved, you need to repent of your sins, surrender your life to Jesus and accept Him as your Lord and Savior. You need to believe that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sins with His death on the cross and His resurrection on the third day.
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! James 2:19
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Matthew 25:41
- You can’t obtain salvation by believing you are a good person and worthy of heaven. Because of the original sin, nobody is righteous before God.
as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; Romans 3:10
- You can’t obtain salvation by obeying church doctrines, going to church, partaking of sacraments, reading and obeying the Bible. If you don’t accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, all these are just good deeds and “religion” that is in vain.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:22-23
- You can’t obtain salvation by being a member of any church or religion. Salvation can only be obtained by grace through faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
“‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” Matthew 15:8-9
- You can’t obtain salvation because your mother or father are saved, or you have a grandfather who was a pastor. Salvation is a personal relationship with God. You can’t get saved because of someone else’s salvation. If you are a family and you want to get saved, each member of the family needs to be saved individually by accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God. Acts 16:31-34
Since it would be too much to put all the content about salvation on one page, I split it up into several posts which you can find below.
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