Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be ‘saved.’
By grace you have been ‘saved’ through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God.
Amazing grace how sweet the sound that ‘saved’ a wretch like me.
What a wonderful word, a precious word to the believer, a word of such hope and majesty, a word of safety and shelter. ‘Saved’ is a pleasant word and maybe that is why we throw it around so much. We count it a great joy when perceive that someone ‘got saved’ and we warn people that they better ‘get saved’ but what is behind the word?
Leonard Ravenhill would often do a sarcastic mock dialog with himself that would go as follows:
“When did you get saved?”
“Oh so and so preached I got baptized and I got saved”
“Well what are you saved from?
Are you saved from hell?
Are you saved from bitterness?
Are you saved from lying to your parents?
Are you saved from lust?
Are you saved from cheating?
Are you saved from anger?
Come on what are you saved from?”
Do you see the point he tries to make? We throw around the word saved and we only look at it as meaning saved from hell. In fact we often treat salvation as though it were more like a flu shot, or some sort of hell insurance policy when it is so much more than that. Lets look quickly at the word saved and the various ways it could be used.
I have been saved from the penalty of sin. – Justification
I am being saved from power of sin. – Sanctification
I will be saved from the presence of sin – Glorification
Now there is a word that goes a long way into explaining salvation, or being saved and it is a word that is rarely used in church today it is ‘regeneration.’
Has your heart been regenerated, and have you been saved from the love of sin? Do you now hate the sin you once loved? Do you desire greater and greater holiness in your life? If so you have been saved from complacency. Notice that salvation is a much bigger thing than just getting out of hell. Salvation is something that continues on throughout your life. It is not a one time deal. Some people when you talk about salvation to them there response ends sounding something like ‘been there done that’ when it should be ‘am there, doing that.’
If there is no present tense salvation and growing in holiness in your life then you must examine yourself to see if there is any salvation at all. Now we may backslide, however in our backslidden state if we are not miserable and desiring to be back where we were then it is evidence that we do not know Him, and that our profession of faith and supposed salvation is false.
I will stop there, I suppose this post could go on awhile if I do not cut it off somewhere.