Big Question – Good News Unlimited
The Big Question 101: What Do Christians Mean When They Say That They’ve Been Saved?
What do Christians mean when they say that they’ve been saved?
The reason why this is an interesting question is because people who aren’t Christians have different ideas about what it means to be “saved.” You might be surprised to know that even Christians have different things in mind when they say they’ve been saved!
- For some Christians, being saved means to stop doing some things and start doing others. For them it’s all about their performance.
- For other Christians, being saved means joining a church. For them, being saved means mainly belonging to one specific church. If you’re in, you’ve been saved. If you’re out, you’re not.
- For some, being saved means being filled by the Holy Spirit so that you feel different and receive special spiritual gifts. Their focus is principally on the experience of having been saved.
- For others, being saved means that whatever you do down here, when you die, you end up in heaven. Their focus in being saved is all about the future, and what God has promised to do down the track.
- And there are many Christians in the world who believe that being saved means discovering a better way to live so that you are more successful in your finances, health, and relationships. For them, it’s mainly about personal development, health family happiness, as well as a big focus on financial and business success.
All those things are good in some way or another, but none of them are what it fundamentally means to be saved in the Bible.
It is true that the Bible refers to things like physical healing or liberation from one’s earthly enemies as “salvation.” It is still important to know what the core of salvation is all about.
You see, the main mistake that people make when talking about salvation is to confuse the actually being saved with the results of being saved.
Yes, being saved from cancer or a relationship breakdown or financial loss are wonderful things. But fundamentally, these are not the reasons why God sent his Son into the world to die for us.
Jesus didn’t die on the cross so that you could have more money in your bank account. Jesus didn’t even die on the cross so that you might have an easier life on earth. In fact, Jesus said that he hadn’t come to bring peace, but a sword. He meant that if you thought that being saved would mean an easier life, then you hadn’t understood what salvation was fundamentally about.
The core meaning of being saved in the Bible means that you have accepted eternal life as a free gift from God, based on his Son Jesus having taken your sin at the Cross and dying in you place. As a result of what Jesus did, you are declared to be righteous, perfect before God. Then he comes into your life through the Holy Spirit to lead you and help you grow as his child.
This might be rather challenging for people who are more interested in the material things of this earth, than those things that the spiritual. And there is no question that being saved can result in many blessings in this world. But that’s not what salvation is fundamentally about.
It’s a change of spiritual status, through which your status is changed from sinner to saint through the sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary. Focus on that, because everything else that is good will flow from there.
Have you been saved?