Salvation. What does it even mean?
Good ole Merriam-Webster says:
1a: deliverance from the power and effects of sin b: the agent or means that effects salvation c Christian Science : the realization of the supremacy of infinite Mind over all bringing with it the destruction of the illusion of sin, sickness, and death 2: liberation from ignorance or illusion 3a: preservation from destruction or failure b: deliverance from danger or difficulty
Usually, we stick with meaning #1, which is good and all. It’s gets the point across and directly says why Jesus came here–to deliver us from the power and effects of sin.
I don’t know about you, but I really like meaning #2.
“liberation from ignorance or illusion”
Liberate ultimately means “to free.” But, it also means “to free (something, such as a country) from domination by a foreign power.”
When we are born onto this planet, we are of this world. We are dominated and oppressed by the spirits, principalities and sins that come with citizenship. We are susceptible to the illusion that comes with that meaning and we believe that what we see is reality. That this is the way we should operate in this space.
We are selfish and do not like to share.
We say “mine” and we like to say it a lot.
We also like to say “no”… a lot. Only to discourage a mom who is tired and just wants us to eat our peas.
We are constantly dominated by the “foreign power” on this planet — Satan.
Ephesians 2:1-3 says:
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.”
Ephesians 2 continues with…
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
God’s grace. We are not products of our ourselves or our good deeds. We are not to be given credit for our salvation except in making one powerful decision — to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to acknowledge that we are sinners, that He died on the cross for our sins and that he rose again on the third day. He did all this for US. For you and me, a pair of terrible sinners who couldn’t ever get out of this mess ourselves, but only through the grace of God.
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT