7 Oct 2011

What is Salvation?

Submitted by Stephen Winters

We hear the words "Salvation" and "Saved" used quite a lot in the modern day Christianity. The common "accepted" meaning of these words is that we will be "saved" from hell and therefore have a place in heaven.

I propose that this is a misunderstanding of what is meant by "Salvation" and "Saved". These words speak of coming to a wholeness and wellness here on earth. These words speak of the result of God transforming our lives here on earth.

To Further explain, when we start out our lives hear on earth we are very self-centered. The world (we think) revolves around us. Because of this immature way of thinking, we make decisions and do things that cause damage to ourselves and others. In our self-centered blindness we don't see that we do anything wrong. Our behavior and actions are caused by our immature thinking patterns and behaviors.

When God "calls" us He "saves" us. This means that he takes us through experiences that show us the error of our ways.

What is meant by those words?

Well, let's look at some verses in the Bible where these words are used, and then look them up in the Greek dictionary  and see what the definition of each of these words. (The Numbers preceded by "G" are the numbers referring to the Greek definitions.)

"Neither  is there salvation G4991c in any other : for there is none other name under heaven given among men , whereby we must be saved G4982." Acts 4:12  (KJV)

a.) G4982 (Mickelson's Enhanced Strong's Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries)
G4982 σώζω sozo (sode'-zo) v.
1. to save, i.e. deliver or protect
{literally or figuratively}
[from a primary sos (contraction for obsolete saos, "safe")]
KJV: heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole 

 

b.) G4990 σωτήρ soter (so-tare') n.
1. a deliverer, i.e. God or Christ
[from G4982]
KJV: saviour 
Root(s): G4982

c.) G4991 (Mickelson's Enhanced Strong's Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries)|
G4991 σωτηρία soteria (so-tay-ree'-ah) n.
1. rescue or safety (physically or morally)
[feminine of a derivative of G4990 as (properly, abstract) noun]
KJV: deliver, health, salvation, save, saving 
Root(s): G4990 

"He who endures(the trials) to the end (of the trial) will be saved (healed or made whole).
God sends trials our way for a purpose, to show us that our own way of thinking leads to disaster (There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end (of that way of thinking and living) leads to death.(disaster))"

"The word salvation has been hijacked by many different groups of Christians in recent years. It has been misinterpreted, used as a weapon for submission or control, and has basically lost its vitality and power to keep us on the road to abundant life. While there are many interpretations of salvation in the Bible, I would like to define salvation using modern terms and thinking. Salvation is the healing of the human race; the process by which we are transformed into the likeness of Christ. Salvation comes from the Latin word, salve, which has the meaning of healing. So instead of making you nervous by asking you if you are saved, I would like to ask you this instead. Are you healed? Are you whole? Is the human race healed and whole? And if you and the human race are not healed and whole, then what must you do in order to experience true healing?"1

In a very real sense, God's process of saving us is opening our eyes to how selfish and destructive we have been and then giving us the power (through changing our thoughts and behaviors) to live our lives differently. We learn to live in a way that brings peace, restoration, and healing to ourselves and others. This is the "salvation" of which the Bible speaks.

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