The word salvation has become restricted to Christianity but no one can explain it better than the one who has been kidnapped before. I once read about a young boy enslaved by love of money who in his attempt to get money at all cost connived with some touts to abduct his grandmother of about sixty five years old. According to the newspaper, out of the ransom of four million demanded from the family, they could only raise a hundred and fifty thousand naira which was not enough, thanks to the police and other law enforcement agencies who in the end came to the rescue and save the old woman. The grandmother needed salvation because she was in captivity and although the family loved her and would have loved to provide the ransom to buy her freedom, it was not in their power.
We live in the world that is not safe. Despite the efforts of well-meaning governments all over the world to keep their people safe, incidents of terrorism, banditry, bombing, war and all sorts of life-threatening are on the increase and we often wonder if there’s ever going to be an end to all of these. I hate to admit it but what these mean is that the world is in bondage and we need help. It is self deception to believe that anyone on this planet is safe, that is why people have resorted to so many ways to keep themselves safe. Some people believe in the power of charm or jazz given by evil spirits to protect themselves, others believe that being physically fit to be able to defend themselves against physical aggression will keep them from harm so they learn all sorts of fighting techniques. There are those who are more privileged who can hire bodyguards and buy advanced technological gadgets to protect them but history has proven that none of these are in themselves enough unless God is involved.
Human being and Salvation.
The book of Romans 5:12 and 14 revealed that man(both gender), through Adam became sinful. Sin was not originally an ability in man until the first and the greatest fall of man, since then we have consciously developed a nature that likes to sin. This tendency to sin that has been engrafted into our nature pushed us to commit sins and receive condemnation from God. Not only that, the fact that we are committing sin makes us to surrender our God-given authority and honour to the devil because the Bible says that anyone who commits sin is of the devil. Relinquishing our authority to the devil is the highest form of fall and it is a pity that we have become powerless to deliver ourselves, therefore we need a saviour.
What is salvation?
Salvation is not some church terms, it is a package that comes from the love of God and it is available for anyone who is willing to have it. Whoever chose to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal saviour will receive forgiveness for their sins and will be justified because of the blood of Christ that was shed in calvary (Romans 3:23-26). Anyone who desires to be saved will access it by confessing their sins, repenting of them genuinely and forsaking them completely.
Such person will become born again and be called properly a child of God, this is what is being said in John 1:12 that “as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name”.
When you are saved, the spirit of God will make your life a dwelling place and make you a new creation that will hate sin and all that is attached to it. This new nature will wage war against the old nature such that when the old nature desires to gratify self, the new nature will delight in pleasing God. Only through Jesus can we be saved.
How Jesus Saved Us
1. Through redemption. The first way by which Jesus saved us is by redeeming us. To redeem means to set someone or something free by paying ransom for why they are taken into captivity. Sin is like slave market where according to Romans 7:14, those who engage in it has been “sold” and where their lives are under the judgment of death but Christ, through his death redeem the whole world from eternal destruction. He redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming the curse in our place, he was nailed to cross, and his death is the ransom he paid for our freedom.
2. By becoming mediator. Another way by which Jesus saved us is by becoming mediator between us and God. Colossians 1:20 says that Christ, “having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven”, this mediation brings God and man together having been at variance since man disobeyed in the garden if Eden. Rather than going through deities and spending money to buy objects of sacrifices to appease the powerless gods as was done through ages of human civilizations, Jesus has made himself a ladder by which we can access God without fear.
3. He replaced us. The third way by which Jesus saved us is by replacing us. Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all”. In the past when people wanted to appease God, having received something from the devil, what they do is to look for a good animal without blemish and sacrifice it but that is never always enough, the devil always come back to claim their lives since they are his. In our case, it is also required that someone will lay their lives down for our sake because our lives cannot fully pay the debt we owe to God. Therefore, God laid all of our iniquities on Jesus who knew no sin, he carried all our sins, and paid our ransom in full. Because of this exchange, what happened to Christ should not happen to us again. Thus, we as Christians must embrace this privilege and turn to God.
4. Through Holy spirit. After God has justified us through the death of Christ on the cross, he gave us Holy spirit to continue with the work of salvation. 1 Peter 1:2 “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ…” As Christians, we have been made pure with Holy spirit through the knowledge of God so that we can live a life that brings forth fruit of righteousness and have dominion over sin and death.
5. By giving us his word. Through the word that God gives us, if we diligently obey everything that is written in it, our salvation will be established. It is our seriousness and obedience to these words that will determine the depth of our salvation. His word is the truth that can make us clean(John 17:17) and we cannot neglect or treat it as unimportant and get the right results.