It’s a word we talk about a lot in Christianity. It is the word that would most closely be associated with being a Jesus follower.
We probably all came to faith in Jesus through hearing about His crucifixion on a Roman cross that paid the penalty for our sins. Our sins, yes yours and mine. That was 2000 years ago, but it still covers our sins today. By doing this we have been brought into a renewed relationship with God. The problem of sin has been dealt with when Christ took our due punishment, died for our wrongs, and three days later walked away from the tomb alive.
Does salvation mean to you that now you have your ‘ticket to heaven’ when you die?
If it does, then you’re not wrong, but it’s quite a bit better than that, and knowing why you were saved may bring about a renewed spark in your heart for the marvellous gift salvation is.
In the gospels (or eyewitness accounts of the good news about Jesus) we find that Jesus talked a lot about the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of Heaven. These are one and the same thing, it just that a good Jewish man like Matthew held writing the name of God in high reverence, so writing Kingdom of Heaven was a way around this. Jesus talked about this kingdom coming, what it would be like. He did this in parables, or stories. Some of these had meanings that even His disciples had to ask what he was talking about.
Then the unexpected happened for the disciples. Jesus was arrested, tried and then executed on false charges. Everyone unfollowed Jesus. All his closest friends and disciples un-followed Jesus, that was until three days later he walked out of the tomb and back into their lives, eating, drinking and walking with them.
This event inaugurated the revolution that swept the ancient world and echoes until today. Men don’t rise from the dead today and they didn’t back then either. Most of these disciples went to their death not for what they said or believed, but because of what they said they saw.
The work of salvation is not just about the assurance of salvation, but is also about the idea that God one day will bodily raise everyone to eternal life. Where that eternity is spent is the decision we make in the physical here and now. Salvation is also about the present not just some future event. Jesus is constantly working in our lives and His salvation work on the cross continues the healing process in us to make us whole human beings that can bring glory to God.
Been a bit banged up in life? hurts? disappointments? brokenness? Salvation continues the restoration and redeeming process in our lives making us whole people that God can use with the giftings He has given to us to bring about His kingdom here on earth (Matthew 6:9-10).
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Salvation is also about what God does through us. It’s not merely what he does for us or even what He does in us but God is interested in working out His plan for the whole world of putting things right again through us. When sin entered the world God waded right into the whole mess of the garden to begin a plan that would bring about His kingdom here on earth. That will look like Heaven on earth, where heaven and earth coexist together again with God at His rightful place in the centre of His people on a physical redeemed and restored earth (Revelation 21).
That is good news. That is exciting news. That is the salvation of mankind born out in the person of Jesus Christ. We get to be a part of that. When we allow God’s salvation work not to stop, but continue in our lives as we look towards the time when salvation is also brought about in the coming future.