As children we learn words by associating them with other words. I didn’t go to church much as a child, so many of the churchy words were unfamiliar to me. One in particular that always caused me confusion was the word “salvation.” It wasn’t a word that I had much to connect with. My dad worked at a salvage yard. That sounded close enough. So I figured salvation had to do with claiming something that was broken and messed up and then somehow reselling it for a bit of a profit.
Turns out I was pretty close. The simplest definition of salvation is to be delivered (or rescued) from peril. The word took a bit more of a shape when I figured out it was connected with the preacher telling us we needed to “get saved.” The most common meaning of salvation is to be saved by God from the consequences of our sin. But the Bible speaks of our salvation in a bit fuller terms than simply being rescued from hell.
When thinking about salvation it’s helpful to think about what we are saved from, what we are saved to, who we are saved by. It’s also helpful to think about our salvation as a past, present, and future happening.
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