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What does "saved" mean?? (serious question)

Discussion in 'Salvation (Soteriology)' started by celtic_crusader, Sep 24, 2002.

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  1. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

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    Perhaps I was guilty of "editorializing". To illustrate your position, I quoted one strong verse "predesinationists" use---but once quoted, I could not but quote the context---lest someone believe in "PE" because of not-reading-the-reference-completely (how would I feel if in explaining, I encouraged more converts to "PE"?).
    You said I "don't understand you", so don't "teach me"---simply help me where I mis-understand you. And I also do not expect everyone to "believe as I do"--- but I do not think the doctrines are difficult at all, and my admonishment is for all believers to found their faith in the Word (which is NOT to imply that you don't...)...

    For a reader who sees comments that diverge, it's useful to know WHERE and WHY they diverge...

    ;)
     
  2. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    Oh God forbid!! ;) :D  Oh that's right, God couldn't forbid because we have "free will," right?  I'm just kidding by the way.

    That would be teaching.  Either way, it doesn't matter.  I could not make you understand.  It is by God's grace that wisdom and enlightenment come about.  I have relied far too long on my own abilities to "help you understand" and it has not made it so.  It's not the method I believe works anyway, so I won't pursue it any longer.  I do pray that God gives you this peace.

    Well, Ben, if you don't think the "doctrines are difficult" maybe it's because you give yourself too much credit.  It's okay if we don't understand all of God's ways.  He's God.  I don't have a problem admitting that I don't understand a lot.  No offense, but I think it's quite persumptuous to say that the doctrines aren't difficult for people to understand, even if you're only referring to yourself.  If they're not difficult to understand there wouldn't be the same doctrinal discussions for 2000 years.

    God bless
     
  3. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    +375
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    "For now we see in a mirror darkly...."

    Luke was educated---so was Paul. Was Peter? John? James? No.

    If we could journey back in time 2000 years, and ask ANY of them, "is salvation universal in AVAILABILITY, but accomplished by one's OWN belief"---do you believe that any of them would be able to provide a yes-or-no-answer?

    I believe they would be able to answer with no hesitation.

    They were simple folk---even Paul presented things simply. I think we make things too complicated to often.

    I think they understood it then, and I think they left enough of themselves in their writings to convey that understanding, now...

    The purpose of theological discussion is to peer down the corridor of time, to correctly understand the intent of the writers, through their writings.

    I can successfully refute a Mormon or Jehovah's Witness who knocks at my door---why? Because I know Scripture says that Jesus IS GOD, that Jesus had NO BEGINNING, that there is only ONE GOD (Who exists in three persons), and that salvation is a free gift of God---received by our faith. Is the Bible "loose" of "vague" on these points? No.

    I likewise find the substance of the Gospel simple and clear---I can address the concepts of "Limited Atonement", "Specific Election", "Residual/consequential Divine Reprobation". No I don't have all of the answers---but that does not prevent my boldness on what I DO understand.

    It is not for the "pride of being right" that I debate and discuss---it is to follow Jude's admonishment to "earnestly contend for the faith".

    And "contending for the faith", means "stiving to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict" (Titus1:9). It means correctly portraying the essence of salvaiton.

    The ESSENCE of salvation, is BELIEF; belief in HIM, in the gift of grace; belief that kills the old and gives birth to the new.

    The ESSENCE of salvation, is CHRIST IN US.

    That much I understand perfectly---and I hope all are in agreement...
     
  4. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    I agree that we complicate things too often.  However, understanding God is not about how smart you are.  Some of the most Biblically learned people I know are only learned in the area of Scripture.  Our understanding of the Scripture is a result of God's regenerative work on our heart (not muscle, rather inner man).

    Or what you THINK you understand. 

    Ben, I think every Christian person on this board who has over 100 posts has fallen into the pit of answering based on their pride and their desire to prove they are right.  It is very clear when someone is answering in the spirit of God, that is love.  They are not argumentative, nor are they arrogant.  A true understanding, and thus "contention for the faith" results in a kind word of encouragement, not an obvious desire to prove how much one knows.  I think we're all guilty at some point of relying on our own ability to "explain the Gospel" rather than on God who is the One who will make all things clear.

    Colossians 3:12.13
    Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

    1 Corinthians 13:4-8
    Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
    Love never fails.

    This is the "essence of our salvation," the fruit of the Spirit.  I daresay we all need to concentrate on these and spend less time focusing on what we think is so important.  There is a really freeing thing that happens when you believe in a sovereign God.  You stop worrying about whether your definition of the faith is good enough to convince someone of the Truth.  It's not, nor has it ever been our actions that are the difference in whether God's elect will hear His Word and believe.

    God bless
     
  5. UnidentifiableHeretik

    UnidentifiableHeretik New Member

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    Hi All

    I hear christians use the word "SAVED" or "SALVATION" more than most other christian words. I am very curious to hear exactly what diffrent christians from diffrent denominations believe these words mean for them to use them so much???

    so, the question is, what does saved mean, what did jesus mean by using the word saved and what is salvation???????

    ****

    The word saved in the Bible means several things from being saved from disease to being saved from shipwreck to be saved from jail to being. It essentially means to be delivered from something perilous.

    The two most important uses of the word "saved" however are exemplified at Ephesians 2:8 and Matthew 24:13. The salvation event described at Ephesians 2:8 is being saved from your sins, or put another way, being saved from your old way of life in a conversion event. The salvation event at Matthew 24:13 however is quite another event. This event is being saved from eternal death at the end of the age.

    It is extremely important to recognize that Christians often confuse these two events. For example, the salvation event discussed in James 2:14,24 is referring to the same event as Matthew 24:13 and to compare it to the event in question in Ephesians 2:8 is quite ridiculous because they are two different things. However, as you will see, this happens all the time.
     
  6. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    Nice post UnidentifiableHeretik.  Strange name, but good post. ;) :)
     
  7. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    +21
    Non-Denom
    What does "saved" mean?....Well. according to Strong's Concordance:


    4982 \~sozo\~ sozo {sode'-zo}

    from a primary sos (contraction for obsolete saoz, "safe");
    TDNT - 7:965,1132; v

    AV - save 93, make whole 9, heal 3, be whole 2, misc 3; 110

    1) to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction
    1a) one (from injury or peril)
    1a1) to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one
    suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health
    1b1) to preserve one who is in danger of destruction,
    to save or rescue
    1b) to save in the technical biblical sense
    1b1) negatively
    1b1a) to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment
    1b1b) to save from the evils which obstruct the reception
    of the Messianic deliverance
     
  8. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    +375
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    Salvation is always, Blblically, BELIEF. But Jesus Himself threw out some qualifiers to belief (not just ANY belief saves you).

    4. "Unless you DO the will of the FATHER, you will NOT inherit the kingdom."Matt7:21
    3. "Unless you are HUMBLED as a CHILD, you shall not enter the kingdom." Matt18:3-4
    2. "Unless you REPENT, you will all LIKEWISE PERISH." Lk13:3

    1. "Truly I say to you, unless you are BORN AGAIN you CANNOT inherit the kingdom of God." Jn3:3

    I listed them in reverse order, because "BORN AGAIN" is the umbrella under which all the rest reside. "BORN AGAIN", is identically, "dead-to-self", "alive-in-CHRIST"; identically, FELLOWSHIP WITH/IN/THROUGH JESUS (1Jn1:3,6)

    Thus, we call one SAVED, when he "HAS THE SON" (1Jn5:12-13). The "saved" in Matt24:13, is essentially the same; if one REMAINS in Christ, he REMAINS SAVED. "...present you before God, holy and blameless and beyond reproach, IF INDEED you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not be moved away from JESUS!" Col1:23

    Salvation is FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST. Eternal life is FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST! Eternal life is the reward, the promise, the inheritance---achieved by abiding in Christ through life. They really are not different...
     
  9. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    Let me ask you a couple of questions Ben.  When you were born the first time did you have a choice in the matter?  Was it something that was done to you, or, were you consulted and asked to "accept" your first birth for it to happen?  Why is it that you would think that your re-birth is different?

    God bless
     
  10. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    +375
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    Because the "rebirth", is Scriptural. May we discuss the "BORN AGAIN" passage?

    Jesus: "Truly truly, I say to you, unless one is born again (from above) he cannot see the kingdom of God."
    Nicodemus: "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter his mother's womb a second time and be born, can he?"
    J: Truly I say to you, that which is born of water ("Hudor", water-as-the-fuindamental-element, water-FLESH) and the Spirit he cannot enter ento the kingdom of God..."
    N: "How can these things be?"
    J: "You are the teacher of Israel, and you do not understand these? If I tell you earthly things and you do not believe, how chall you believe if I tell you heavenly things? ...As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave Jesus, that whoever believes in Him may not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world should be saved through Him. He who BELIEVES is not judged; but he who does NOT believe is judged already, for he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment---that the light is come into the world, and men loved the dark rather than the light---because he who does evil hates the light, lest his deeds be exposed. BUT he who practices truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be shown to be wrought in God."

    Does this ENTIRE PASSAGE present "choice", that a man can WILLINGLY ACCEPT or REJECT? Or do you see "predestination" here? Predestination believes that MOST people are UNELECT---that is, God intendes for MOST to PERISH. Yet here we have Jesus' words, "God did not send the Son to CONDEMN the world, but so that the world should be saved THROUGH HIM.

    Verse 15: "Whoever believes may be saved". Choice?
    Verse 16: "Whoever believes should not perish but have eternal life." Choice?
    Verse 18: "He who believes is not judged, but he who does NOT believe is condemned BECAUSE he has not believed." Choice?
    Verse 19: "The light has come, but men hated the light because they loved evil." Choice?

    (Jn8:43-44: "Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word---because you are of your father the devil, and you WANT to do his evil desires.") Choice?

    Verse 20-21: "Evil shied from the light, for fear of exposing their evil deeds; but the righteous one CAME to the light that his deeds may bless God." Choice?

    Show me WHERE, in the entire discussion, that "LACK OF CHOICE" was presented?

    "BORN AGAIN" is by VOLITION----show me where it says otherwise...
     
  11. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    Okay, so we're born again because we choose to believe, right?  So, riddle me this Benman:

    Imagine you have two people.  Neither are saved.  They hear the Gospel.  What will determine if they are saved?

    Thanks,

    God bless
     
  12. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    +375
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    Suppose one hears, suffers conviction, believes; he receives Christ as Savior and LORD---He becomes saved. (Receive Christ---John1:12, Col2:6; hears/believes---Rom10:17,Eph1:13; convicted/believes, Rom10:9-10)

    But suppose the SECOND man hears--the Gospel makes sense to him, but he loves sleeping with his several girlfriends, his drinking, his vices; he WILL NOT believe. He is not saved. (Cannot understand because does not WANT to, WANTS to follow evil---John8:43-44, Jn3:19-20)

    Now pick a verse, any verse, that presents salvation as "unilateral from God, apart from man's receiving it". Show me "born-again-causes-belief", rather than "belief-causes-born-again"...
     
  13. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    So what you're telling me is that the first guy was saved because he believed and the second guy wasn't saved because he didn't believe?  Do I understand that right?

    Okay.  I'm pretty sure you're going to go into great detail about how these don't say that but I'll give it a shot:

    Ephesians 2:8,9
    For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

    1 John 4:10
    In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

    1 John 4:19
    We love Him because He first loved us.

    Fire away! ;)

    God bless
     
  14. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    +375
    Christian
    Exactly that. I think we both agree that "salvation is by belief"---our difference, is that I understand that "saving-belief" comes from one's own heart, you understand that "saving-belief" comes from GOD.
    Heh heh! ;)

    If "THAT" had meant, "THAT GRACE", then in the Greek the two words' genders woulda matched---but they do not. My NAS Bible lists as footnote, "THAT SALVATION". So then, "THAT SALVATION" is the subject, then follows five modifiers:

    1. By grace
    2. Through faith
    3. Not of yourselves
    4. Gift of God
    5. Not by works lest anyone boast

    You might say, "It is NOT OF OURSELVES, therefore we have NOTHING not even RECEIVING to do with it!" But a gift received, is still all of the giver---we did nothing to earn the gift, nor deserve the gift, nor create the gift---we only ACCEPTED it, it is still "all of Him and nothing of US".

    You might say, "If FAITH is from US, then that is a WORK---and salvation is not by WORKS!" But John 6:29 says "us-believing-in-Jesus, is the WORK of GOD". Again, our voluntarily receiving the gift, does not violate that HE DID ALL THE WORK!

    You might say, "But doesn't that compromise God's SOVEREIGNTY? Do you think He hasn't the POWER to save us in SPITE of ourselves?" And if He truly is sovereign, then He can certainly choose to allow us to receive Him, or to reject Him. There still is that verse in John8, where He was blaming them, themselves, for not believing (because they loved evil). Seems to be what John3 was also saying.

    You might say, "But man is too depraved to even CONSIDER coming to Him." This from Romans 3; but that passage is undeniably not a "direct, Pauline-writing"---Paul is quoting from Psalms 14 & 53; if we also read Jeremiah 29:12-14, we would find a contradiction if NO ONE could EVER come to God; it seems more like a lamentation, a "general statement" that men tend not to come to God---but it does not deny that SOME men DID come to God...
    If God truly desires for ALL to be saved, as Paul states in 2Tim2:4, then does not God, love EVERYONE? Please see 1Jn2:2---"He is the propitiation for our sins; and not just ours, but also those of the WHOLE WORLD." By "OURS", can he mean anything but "ours-the-SAVED"? By "whole world", can he mean anything but "EVERY HUMAN"? (The usage of "HOLOS KOSMOS" really prevents the idea of, "only SOME of ALL TYPES from the world").

    Suppose God really does love everyone (in the sense that he desires ALL to be saved); suppose that John really intended to say "propitiation CAME to all men" (just as Paul meant to say "justification CAME to all men in Rom5:17-18)---but only those who RECEIVE Christ are PROPITIATED and are JUSTIFIED---would that not put all the verses in perfect harmony?
    Rom5:8 says that He loved us BEFORE we were saved. Suppose, that He really DOES desire for everyone to be saved; so in that sense He DOES love everyone; He loved us FIRST! And if He draws ALL MEN to Himself (as John quotes Jesus in 12:32), then it is through that love, through His predestining of Jesus, that we can be saved, that we can LOVE. There is no violation of His allowing us volition to choose Him, or to choose evil.

    God bless you too!!!
     
  15. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    You don't have the least problem saying that you're saved because of something you do, do you?  That's very sad to me.  It shows that the thought that God could save you without your help is so foreign to you as to be offensive.  Not to mention, the concept that a fallen human could make a righteous decision makes me wonder why you think Jesus actually had to die for you.  If His death appeased God's wrath but you still needed to personally do something to obtain salvation for you, for Ben, then the death of Jesus did nothing for you specifically.  The catalyst for your salvation was your decision.  You talk about belief like it's just this thing separate of yourself.

    Okay, Ben, let's say you're sitting there on your couch one day.  Let's pretend that you aren't saved (We're just pretending ;))  The thought of whether Jesus paid for your sins enters your mind?  Are you saved at that point?  No.  You haven't made a decision to accept it as real according to your theology, right?  You say, "Hmmm...I wonder...maybe it could be true."  Are you saved now?  Nope.  Not according to your theology.  So now, you say, "You know what, I think it happened just like the Bible says."  Are you saved now?  Nope.  Not according to your theology.  You have said, on numerous occasions, that the reason you are saved is because you "confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe with your heart that He has risen from the dead..." right?  So, why were you saved.  Was it because Jesus died?  Did that act save you?  Nope.  Not according to your theology.  You were not saved until you confessed that He is your Savior.  I tell ya bro, you're a smart guy, maybe too smart.  But, if you can't see that you credit your actions with your salvation then you're not only smart, but blind too. 

    I kinda figured you were going to say that "THAT" did not refer to grace, and that's okay.  I agree.  "THAT" refers to faith, right?  The faith that is "not of yourself" is God's grace.  My pastor explains this very well.  God's grace is just another way of saying God's help.  His grace comes in the form most needed at the time.  For instance, if you are short of money and cannot pay the rent, God's grace would come in the form of money.  Money is what you needed.  Grace is just the "capsule" that brings to you what God deems you most need.  Now man, in his fallen state, most needed what?  Faith.  Why?  Because he had none, "of himself."  So, grace was the "capsule" that brought faith.  Let me be clear.  God is the one who decides what we need, not us.  If we cannot pay the rent because we have squandered our money then God may not give us money because, in that instance, He has determined that what we most need to learn from our mistake is responsibility, rather than mercy.

    Ben, Ben, Ben...a propitiation is not an opportunity.  A propitiation is something that atones.  It doesn't provide and opportunity for atonement.  It atones.  It does exactly what it supposed to do.

     Listen bro.  I tell you this with all sincerity.  You put a whole lot of stock in your actions leading to salvation.  I don't believe that means you aren't saved.  I'm sure you probably are.  I just think that your pride in your actions being the catalyst for your salvation is truly keeping you from glorifying God completely and probably causes you to be less thankful because you don't seem to believe you were as separated from God as you were when you were fallen.

    I pray that this doesn't fall on deaf ears.  I mean no offense and hope only for your best.

    God bless
     
  16. stephen1964

    stephen1964 Regular Member

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    I know this thread has come down to PE vs. Free will; but let me bring it back to the original message a moment. I have also struggled with the "saved" issue. I can't pinpoint a particular moment when I was saved. I think of myself as more of a work in progress (hopefully with God doing the chiseling). Many evangelicals believe there has to be a moment like Paul had on the road to Demascus, with blinding light and a sudden conversion. What do you think?
     
  17. stephen1964

    stephen1964 Regular Member

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    When fellow Christians ask me when I was saved, I usually say, "when I was six months old and I was baptised".
     
  18. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    I sure hope not.  I don't personally think there is anything more telling than when we are able to see the sins of another and desire their restoration rather than justice.  When we can see the sins of others we should realize that God is letting us see their sinfulness so that so we can look inward and aknowledge that we are just as sinful as they are.  This should help us to deal with them in a godly way.  I think we all get caught up, from time to time, in thinking that we were put here to point out and fix someone else's sinfulness.

    God bless
     
  19. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

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    Ohhh, my bad! :eek: That's what I get for staying up to the wee hours of the morning! I of COURSE meant to say "THAT" does not refer to "THAT FAITH". As you know, I believe faith comes from the person's own heart, not froma gift of God.
    I must contrain my beliefs to follow the Bible. Technically, I did NOTHING to save myself, He did it ALL, on the CROSS---but I very much RECEIVED it by my own volition. Says so in John1:12, 10:9. I think I have often quoted Romans 5:17-18---that passage nicely sums up salvation, and strongly refutes "predestination". It says, "those who RECEIVE the abundance of grace and RECEIVE the gift of righteousness"---so grace is not COMPELLED, it is RECEIVED. Further, the "so as/even so" comparative form of the verse plainly equates the universalness of condemnation through Adam, with the universalness of justification through Jesus. When I RECEIVE Christ, it's not that I DO something, it's rather that I accept what HE has done!
    Jesus plainly asserts "if I be lifed up I will CALL ("helkuo-drag") ALL MEN to Myself. We may be depraved, we may be totally depraved---but if He calls ALL, then He brings each to a point where he/she CAN make the conscious choice. Do you deny that John12:32 says "I will draw ALL to Myself"?

    Now take what you just said---"why do you think Jesus actually died for you"? Why do you, Don? As I understand "PE", you think God had ALREADY CHOSEN you, so the Cross didn't really ACCOMPLISH anything---you were already "one of the ELECT". PE believes the Cross was not effective, only demonstrative (nothing more than pageantry). While I, on the other hand, believe the Cross was effective. Do you see the difference?
    But---John says "He is the propitiation for the HOLOS KOSMOS whole world". Do you agree that "HOLOS KOSMOS" cannot mean "only SOME of ALL TYPES"? Obviously the WHOLE WORLD is not saved; so how do you work out "propitiation for many who are NOT saved"? (This is similar to asking, "What do you think Jesus meant in Matt22:14, by 'MANY are CALLED but FEW are CHOSEN'?" Do you think there is some OTHER meaning here, but that many CALLED will not be chosen?)
    The MOMENT YOU WERE SAVED, was the moment when you CONSCIOUSLY received Christ into your heart, surrendering your will to His Lordship. You CONSCOUSLY repented and threw yourself at His feet, and said, "Oh LORD, take me and mold me as Thou wilt---I submit to You, hold nothing back, I surrender completely. Be Thou my Lord and Master, teach me to be a willing and righteous servant." Did you ever actually do that? Do you walk daily with your hand in His, actively seeking His presence? Do you praise and worship Him?

    :)
     
  20. Jephunneh

    Jephunneh Active Member

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    I know that I'm going to Heaven because GOD is preserving me. I'm not preserving my own Salvation. I wasn't saved by my good works (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 4:5), so I do not STAY saved by my good works. I am KEPT by the POWER OF GOD, not by my own power! God is able to keep me from falling (Jude 24), because I'm HIS child and I'm in the palm of HIS hand (Jn. 10:28-29). Ephesians 4:30 says that I have been SEALED by the Holy Spirit of God until the day of redemption! I'm not worried about losing my Salvation. I KNOW I'm going to Heaven because I'm being preserved by God's power.
     
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