What Does Salvation Mean?

            What does it mean to be saved? The word "SAVE" is a very common word that is often used in our language. There is nothing difficult about its meaning. Even a little child knows the meaning of this word.

            We speak of a person rescued by firemen as one who is saved from the burning flames. A little girl may wander into the street until a concerned adult saves her from the oncoming traffic. Those who were on the Titanic ship needed to be saved from the frigid ocean depths. A person surrounded by enemy soldiers needs to be saved. A coal miner trapped in the earth needs to be saved. Can you think of other ways this word is commonly used?

            The word save means "to rescue, to keep from harm, to keep safe and sound, to rescue from destruction or loss, to deliver." The word always implies some kind of danger. In each of the above examples, there was some kind of danger. What danger was there in Matthew 8:25? ___________________________________________________________

            THOUGHT QUESTION: Are you in any danger right now? (A person will never be saved until they first realize that they are in great danger.)

            The first question that needs to be asked is this: What do I need to be saved from? (What danger am I in that I need to be saved out of?)   A person in a burning building needs to be saved from the smoke and flames. A person stranded in the middle of the desert needs to be saved from excessive exposure to the elements and a critical lack of water.

            Think of a man in a foxhole with bullets and bombs flying over his head. He cries out, "Lord, save me!" What do you think he wants to be saved from? Consider a woman about to have major surgery. Before they put her to sleep she prays, "Lord, save me!" What do you think she wants to be saved from? Read Luke 23:39. What did this criminal want to be saved from? ___________________________________  Why was this man not saved and why was the other criminal saved?

            What do you need to be saved FROM?

  1. Romans 5:9 (compare 1:18) __________________________________
  2. Matthew 1:21 __________________
  3. 2 Corinthians 1:10 _____________________________________________
    (see Hebrews 2:3--"so great salvation" for "so great a death")

            Have you ever felt yourself to be in danger because of your sins? If you were in a burning building, would you rather be asleep and not aware of any danger at all, or would you rather be awake to see the real danger you are in?

            Sometimes we can learn the meaning of a word by considering its opposite. Look up the following verses and write down the word or phrase which is opposite in meaning to the word "SAVE":

1) James 4:12 __________________
2) Mark 16:16 _________________
3) John 3:17-18__________________________
4) 1 Corinthians 1:18; 2 Cor. 2:15; 2 Thess. 2:10 ___________________

            What kind of person needs a doctor (Luke 5:31)? ____________________________ What kind of person needs a SAVIOUR (Luke 5:32)? __________________________ (Those who do not live in burning houses do not need to be saved from fire!) What kind of people did Christ come to save?

  1. 1 Timothy 1:15; Romans 5:8 _________________________________
  2. Luke 19:10;  those who are ____________________

            Have you ever seen yourself as a LOST SINNER facing great danger?

            Sometimes when a person is in danger, it is possible for him to save himself. For example, a person may jump from a burning building and survive the fall. Another person who is shipwrecked might use his own strength and effort to swim several miles to shore. In other cases, self-salvation is impossible. Consider a person sinking in quicksand. The more he struggles the deeper he sinks. He needs someone else to stand on solid ground and pull him out!

            When it comes to God’s great salvation, is it possible for a sinner to save himself (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9)?  ______  If a man could save himself then he would not need a SAVIOUR--he would be his own saviour. If the person in quicksand could get out on his own, then he would need no one else. The moment a sinner confesses, "I NEED A SAVIOUR" he is really saying, "I CAN’T DO IT MYSELF. I NEED SOMEONE ELSE TO DO WHAT I COULD NEVER DO!"

            Who is the only Saviour (Acts 4:10-12)? ________________________ In fact His very name means "Saviour" (see Matthew 1:21)!

            For whom has salvation been made available (John 3:17; 1 Timothy 2:3-4)? ______________________________________  And yet there is only one kind of person God can save. He can only save those who __________ unto God by (through) Him (Jesus)--Hebrews 7:25 (compare John 14:6).

            There is only one way to be saved. A person must be saved by ____________ through _______________ (Ephesians 2:8). Grace is God’s kindness and love towards those who do not deserve it at all! Faith Is the hand of the heart that receives God’s gift of salvation (Romans 6:23; John 1:12), and in chapter 3 we will study what faith really is. What must a person do to be saved (Acts 16:30-31)? ________________________________________________ Who are the only people that God actually saves (1 Corinthians 1:21)? ______________________ Does the devil know God’s plan of salvation (Luke 8:12)? ______ (What is it that Satan does not want people to do? ________________________________________________)

            Are you in danger? Can you save yourself? Do you need a Saviour? Do you need Him now? What must YOU do to be saved? Have you done this?

            In the next chapter we will seek to better understand what our Saviour has done for us to make salvation possible!