WHAT IS "BEING SAVED?"
By Pastor Claude T. Stauffer
What does being “saved” mean? I asked myself that question and
I feel qualified to answer given I have been “saved” since January 16th, 1977. I
thought and prayed about that question and came up with the following list of
short statements of what being saved means to me. The list is a bit long because
the more I think and pray about being saved, the more I think of how broad and
deep the blessings of the Lord are in salvation. Therefore, don’t think this
list is exhaustive, it’s only what the Lord put on my heart up to this time. I
imagine that in eternity the list of blessings of what being saved means to us
will be endless and for that we can only praise the Lord for eternity. Amen!
I’ve also sought to make this exercise useful (i.e. meditative and causing one
to think; as opposed to amusing which means keeping one from thinking) by
limiting myself to using words that begin with “P.” I challenged my congregation
with this exercise and they found it edifying. Below is the picture God gave me
of what it means to be saved, to me.
Preeminently Important – Being saved is of preeminent importance; it’s the most important decision of human existence and determines your eternal destiny. Being saved determines whether or not you will know Jesus and spend eternity with Him or that you will spend eternity in darkness, suffering painfully separate from God’s glory. The Bible tells us we must be saved (Acts 2:40; 4:12). Being saved is the most important thing in a person’s life (Matthew 16:26; John 3:3,5,6,7,36). God desires that all people be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).
Price – Being saved is offered by God freely as a gift of His grace, but it does not come cheaply. Jesus gave His life and shed His precious blood to save us (1 Peter 1:18-19). There fore the first thing I think about when I consider being saved is the price Jesus paid to save me. When I think of the price Jesus paid it results in His empowering me.
Paid in Full – Being saved means the debt I owe God because of my sin has been paid in full by Jesus on the cross. Jesus came to pay a debt He did not owe, for those who owed a debt they could not pay. This is redemption (Luke 1:68; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 1:18-19). We are the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21; Revelation 5:9). We cannot add or subtract from our state of being saved because the work done to save us was completed by Jesus. We know that because on the cross Jesus said, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). Jesus paid the debt for our sin by the once for all substitutionary sacrifice on the cross (Romans 6:10; Hebrews 7:27; 9:12,27; 10:10).
Pray for Forgiveness – Being saved means praying to God for forgiveness by His grace through faith in Jesus His Son who died on the cross paying the debt of sin we could not pay. In Jesus we can be forgiven our sins (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:13-14). Being saved is only a pray away (Acts 13:38-39; 26:18).
Promises – Being saved means that in Christ the floodgates of God’s promises are opened to us (Ephesians 1:3-14). God’s Divine power has given us promises which will get us through life (2 Peter 1:2-4). With God’s promises in sight, nothing can stop us (Philippians 4:13).
Peace - Being saved means I now have peace with God (Romans 5:1). Before I was saved I was a child of wrath and at odds with God (Ephesians 2:1-4), but He has saved me from all the chaos in my life in exchange for His peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6-9).
Punishment – Being saved means I no longer face eternal punishment but am saved from the wrath of God (Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9).
Power – When I think about the price Jesus paid and the love He showed for me on the cross I am grateful and compelled by His love (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). That love of God is poured out into my heart by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). It is the Holy Spirit that empowers me with love to serve Jesus and others when by faith I trust him to empower me (John 7:37-39; Acts 1:4-5,8). Being saved means being given the power over my flesh (Romans 6-8; Galatians 2:20; 5:16,24-25).
Personal Presence – Being saved results in reconciliation with God in Christ and having a personal relationship with God in Christ by the Spirit. Being saved brings me into the presence of Jesus by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9,11; 1 Corinthians 3:16). The indwelling Holy Spirit enables me to know whom I believe in and have an assurance of being saved (2 Timothy 1:12; 1 John 3:24).
Prayer – Being saved means I can now come into the presence of Jesus to talk, commune, find direction and help (Hebrews 4:14-16). Being saved means praying without ceasing, living and breathing prayers to Jesus in the Spirit (Romans 8:26-27; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Timothy 2:8; James 5:13-16). Being saved means the sin that once separated me form God (Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:2) has been removed and I can communicate with the Father in Christ by the Spirit.
Purpose – Being saved means finally understanding the purpose of life. We are created to fulfill the purposes of God, not our own purposes (Revelation 4:11 KJV). We will only find purpose that fulfills in life when we live for Jesus (John 10:10; Philippians 1:21).
Perseverance – Being saved means God’s grace is sufficient to guide me and sustain me through this life to my eternal home in heaven with Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Purity – Being saved means the Holy Spirit is in me conforming me to the likeness of Jesus purifying my heart from indwelling sin (Psalm 51; Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 1 Peter 1:22).
Providence – Being saved means God’s providence for me will be fulfilled; it means God is in control. Nothing can separate me from the love of God. God is for me and wants His best for me. That truth will get me through anything (Romans 8:28-39).
Planted – Being saved means being born again by God’s word (1 Peter 1:23-25). And being saved means being planted by the refreshing river of God’s word (Psalm 1; Ephesians 5:26). The word of God is God’s love letter and manual for life (Psalm 119; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Protection – Being saved means that in Christ we have protection from the attacks of the enemy Satan. God has provided spiritual armor for the battle (Ephesians 6:10-18). God has promised to crush Stan under our feet (Romans 16:20). The Bible tells us that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). If we submit to God and resist the devil, the Bible tells us he will flee from us (James 4:7). The Bible tells us to be alert and not presumptuous about the schemes of the devil. We should not take him or his schemes lightly, but we should confidently rely on the power of the Spirit in the name of Jesus to bring victory in the skirmishes and outright battles we have with the enemy (1 Peter 5:8-11).
Positive Prophetic Prospects – Being saved means now we live with God’s providential prophetic picture in view (2 Peter 1:19-21). The future is not dark; it is bright with the prospect of God fulfilling faithfully His prophetic plan (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; Titus 2:13; Revelation). This gives us hope in all situations, which anchors our souls throughout life (Romans 15:4,13; Hebrews 6:19).
People – Being saved and experiencing the blessings of God, the price Jesus paid, His purpose, presence, providence, promises, and being planted in His word, all cause me to want to share Him with other people (Matthew 28:18-20).
Perfect – Being saved makes me complete, (“perfect” means “complete,” mature”). I am complete in Jesus (Colossians 1:27-28; 2:10). What God gives me in being saved fills me to overflowing (John 7:37-39; 2 Peter 1:3-4).
Prize – Lastly, being saved means we have crowns waiting for us in heaven. A crown of righteousness to the faithful (2 Timothy 4:6-8), a crown of glory for good shepherds (1 Peter 5:1-4), a crown of gold for the redeemed (Revelation 4:4), a crown of rejoicing for those who have led others to Christ to be saved (1 Thessalonians 2:19), and an incorruptible crown for those who lived their lives with self-control in the Spirit (1 Corinthians 9:25). These crowns will be ours to cast at the feet of Jesus to show our loving appreciation for Him once we arrive in heaven with Him (Revelation 4:9-11).
Praise – In light
of all that being saved means to us and brings to us, we should live a life of
praise to God for sending His only Son Jesus to the cross for us and raising Him
from the dead. We should ever praise Jesus for going to the cross and raising
from the dead for us. And we should ever praise the Holy Spirit for revealing
this gospel good news to us, for opening up and illuminating God’s word to us
and for bringing the presence of Jesus into our hearts and lives eternally
(Romans 15:11; Ephesians 1:11-14; Philippians 1:9-11; Hebrews 13:15; Revelation
That’s what being saved means to me.