An Explanation of The Terms of Salvation

October 3, 2012

An Explanation of The Terms of Salvation

            When we talk about salvation it’s important that we use the right terms.   Sometimes there are those who talk about having given themselves to God.  By that, they may mean that they have surrendered to his will, but that is something that should come after salvation.  Being saved is a matter of accepting what God offers us.  We aren’t saved by giving ourselves to God.  It’s not that we give ourselves to God in exchange for what he wants to give to us.  We don’t have anything to offer God that would be of any benefit to him.

To say that we give ourselves to God is not biblical terminology.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we are to give ourselves to God.  There is one verse in James that says “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).  Some might ask “What is the difference between giving ourselves to God and submitting ourselves to him?”  To give ourselves implies that we have something to offer.  To submit is to surrender.     If I’m arrested, it’s best that I surrender to the police.  It’s true that God asks of us a voluntary submission so, to that extent, we are giving ourselves to him.

In John 1:12 we read: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”  There it says we need to receive him, but “believe” is the word most frequently used in the Bible when it speaks of salvation.  To believe means that we accept what the Bible says about two things:

(1).  I am a condemned sinner because of my unbelief. John 3:18 says “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”  Ephesians 2:1 also says “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”

(2).  Christ sacrificed his life on the cross and took the punishment I deserved because of my sin.  Isaiah 53:5-6 says “   But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.   All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”  In I Peter 3:18 we read “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”

It is best that we submit to God at the time of our salvation.  If there is genuine repentance there will be an acknowledgement of the fact that we have done wrong.  Genuine repentance is not just an acknowledgment of our sin.  It is also a strong desire to turn from it.  When we explain the way of salvation we shouldn’t let the sinner think it’s a matter of being forgiven of the sins in the past and that, after salvation, we can go on committing these same sins.  II Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

If you want to go on saying that you gave yourself to God you need to understand three things:

(1).  If you are saved it’s not because you gave yourself to God.  It’s because you accepted the forgiveness and salvation God offered you.

(2).  Surrendering ourselves to the will of god is an acknowledgment of the fact that God should have liberty to guide our life and use us as he pleases.  The Lord Jesus, before he went to the cross, surrendered himself again to the will of the Father.  In Luke 22:42 he prayed “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

(3).  Just one submission to God isn’t sufficient.  Again and again we realize that there are other areas of our lives that we haven’t surrendered to God and we need to surrender those to God also.


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