You will note from what follows that salvation is commonly thought of too narrowly by Christians. We usually think in terms of regeneration, sanctification, and glorification (heaven). But, the fullness of what God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have given us is much greater. This information is a beginning work.
As you will note, this article is in outline form only. I hope to develop it into a full article sometime soon. If you have comments, either in not understanding these short phrases or in developing it further, please let me know.
Salvation consists of three (3) phases:
… we have been saved (justification) “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.”
… we are bring saved (sanctification) “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”
… we will be saved (glorification) “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face.”
Saved from what?
- Headlong rush towards self-destruction, dissipation in excess
- Misery in this life; no sense of why “bad” things happen
- No meaningful purpose in life
- Self-determination of what is good or bad for me, that is, we have no reference outside of ourselves to determine what is right and wrong.
- Wrong attitudes
- Works of the flesh, see Galatians 5:19-20 below
- Conflicts with others: see “F” above
- False worship and misplaced love: idols of intellect, money, prestige, power, pride, family, achievement.
Galatians 5:19-20: deeds of the flesh: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. (Galatians 5:19-20)
- Crippling, life-controlling guilt; nothing in mankind’s history (including all the works of psychology) has the answer to man’s real guilt, and through an understanding of forgiveness, to resolve guilt feelings. (See Guilt and Guilt Feelings.)
- Others and circumstances beyond our control
- Danger from other people: random (car accident), purposeful (identity theft, burglary, murder, etc.)
- Circumstances beyond our control: stock market crash
- Hell—an eternity without Christ: weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth; Lake of Fire; loneliness beyond any despair known on earth; eternal screaming in anger; and unassuaged pain, torment, and fear.
- The wrath and curse of God: “all men are without excuse”
- A harsh, capricious, brutal, and impersonal universe. Meteors that might end life on earth, as we know it; nuclear war; earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and all earthly disasters. Since God is Sovereign and Personal, there are no “random” events in His universe.
Saved to what?
- Physical health: the fruit of the spirit, morality of the Law, peace of the Spirit, and rest in God’s Providence produce the maximum health that can be experienced on earth. While some Christians have severe acute and chronic illness as believers, the health that they experience within these conditions is maximized for them as individuals within these same parameters. One of the words that is used for “salvation” in the Greek is the root of the word that is “hygiene” in English.
- Peace of mind, heart, and soul.See what we are saved from above!!
Peace in the Bible almost always refers to being at peace with God, not with circumstances, other people, a decision made, or anything else. Peace in the Bible is a synonym of salvation.
- To make a better family, society, nation, and world (love):evangelism and missions to give others the blessings of salvation, ministries of mercy, obedience to the state, restitution and reconciliation of sins and crimes, providing a basis of law for civil government, etc.
- Hope!Hope that all that is in this section will be realized and, then, heaven!
- Absolute control of a harsh, capricious, and brutal universe. One of the concepts of salvation in the Bible is to be “saved” from a disaster, for example, a ship-wreck. In Christ, we are “safe” from all storms. While we may still experience the ravages of life, “underneath are the everlasting arms.”
- A local and universal family (the Church)and all its provisions of physical and spiritual nurture.
- All the resources of God’s greatness (Providence) available to us for His purposes. God will give us as little or as much as we need (and so many of our wants) for ourselves, our families, and our ministries. If we lack, it is because our desires are inconsistent with His own.
For a textual discussion of salvation as being saved from certain problems to certain safety, see Henry Stob, Sin, Salvation, and Service, Board of Publications of the Christian Reformed Church, 1983.
(More on) The Comprehensiveness of Salvation
The comprehensiveness of salvation may be shown:
(1) By what we are saved from. This includes sin and death; guilt and estrangement; ignorance of truth; bondage to habit and vice; fear of demons, of death, of life, of God, of hell; despair of self; alienation from others; pressures of the world; a meaningless life. Paul’s own testimony is almost wholly positive: salvation has brought him peace with God, access to God’s favor and presence, hope of regaining the glory intended for men, endurance in suffering, steadfast character, an optimistic mind, inner motivations of divine love and power of the Spirit, ongoing experience of the risen Christ within his soul, and sustaining joy in God (Rom. 5:1 – 11). Salvation extends also to society, aiming at realizing the kingdom of God; to nature, ending its bondage to futility (Rom. 8:19 – 20); and to the universe, attaining final reconciliation of a fragmented cosmos (Eph. 1:10; Col. 1:20).
(2) By noting that salvation is past (Rom. 8:24; Eph. 2:5, 8; Titus 3:5 – 8); present (1 Cor. 1:18; 15:2; 2 Cor. 2:15; 6:2; 1 Pet. 1:9; 3:21); and future (Rom. 5:9 – 10; 13:11; 1 Cor. 5:5; Phil. 1:5 – 6; 2:12; 1 Thess. 5:8; Heb. 1:14; 9:28; 1 Pet. 2:2). That is, salvation includes that which is given, freely and finally, by God’s grace (forgiveness, called in one epistle justification, friendship; or reconciliation, atonement, sonship, and new birth); that which is continually imparted (sanctification, growing emancipation from all evil, growing enrichment in all good, the enjoyment of eternal life, experience of the Spirit’s power, liberty, joy, advancing maturity in conformity to Christ); and that still to be attained (redemption of the body, perfect Christlikeness, final glory).
(3) By distinguishing salvation’s various aspects: religious (acceptance with God, forgiveness, reconciliation, sonship, reception of the Spirit, immortality); emotional (strong assurance, peace, courage, hopefulness, joy); practical (prayer, guidance, discipline, dedication, service); ethical (new moral dynamic for new moral aims, freedom, victory); personal (new thoughts, convictions, horizons, motives, satisfactions, self-fulfillment); social (new sense of community with Christians, of compassion toward all, overriding impulse to love as Jesus has loved).
The above three paragraphs are from: http://mb-soft.com/believe/text/salvatio.htm