By Rev. Barbara McFarlane
The Greek word for salvation is soteria; in general,it means safety and security, deliverance. In Hebrew, the word is Yeshua, meaning salvation-this brings us to why Jesus is called Yeshua.
It is not the blood that flows in our veins that saves us, our DNA; it is the blood that flowed from Christ’s veins that make us righteous and acceptable before God. The cross is the only ladder high enough to touch heaven’s threshold. In the divine meeting of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, Jesus reminded the well-woman that ‘salvation’ came from or through the Jews (John 4:22) He took her backward to the special role of the Jewish people who were meant to be a light to the nations. Though salvation came ‘through’ the Jews, for which we hold them in high esteem-it is not only for the Jews, because ‘grace and faith’ are the qualifying factors.
What is the dollar-tag to pay for our salvation? The cost is high, but Christ paid for it! I read of a true story how a judge in a night court case where a man was found guilty of stealing a loaf of bread. His plea was guilty due to the need to feed his hungry family-the judge’s fine was $10.00, the man said he was unable to pay; the judge said, “the law is the law!” he then paid the fine with his own money, and the man was free to go without penalty. Central to the gospel of salvation is the cross of Christ Jesus who took humanity’s place and died for us, instead of us. Christ paid a debt we owed that we could not pay, what matchless grace we find in the Savior! He, died for everyone, race does not matter, being guilty does not matter-His once-and-for-all sacrifice was sufficient to cover everyone’s debt. (Rom.5:1-11)
There is however a different cost to salvation with a positive spin:
- It will cost you your worry because God replaced it with security (Jer.33:6)
- It will cost you your aimlessness because God replaced it with purpose (Matt.6:33)
- It will cost you your fear of death because God replaced it with eternal life (John 3:16)
- It will cost you your loneliness because God replaced it with a new family (John 1:12)
- It will cost you your love for money because God replaced it with contentment (Heb.13:5)
- It will cost you your boredom on the job because God replaced it with anew attitude (1 Cor.10:31)
Paul’s letter to the church at Rome provides a practical application for a faith-based life in which “salvation” produces internal results with an external impact;our belief should have a profound influence on how we live.
Romans 12: 9-21, gives a description of what life in salvation through Christ looks like:
Love must be sincere…. Hate what is evil cling to what is good…. Be devoted to one another in love…. Honor others above yourselves…. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction…. Practice hospitality…. Live in harmony with one another……Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good…. Do not be proud but be willing to associate with people of low position…. Do not be conceited…. faithful in prayer…. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse, etc.
The bottom line: In salvation, the spiritual is what gives the physical significance-grace is God lovingly giving us what we need rather than what we deserve-Faith is the title-deed of things hoped for.
Resources: Our Daily Bread, January 2003- Captivating grace, by Susan Hill.