What is salvation, who needs it, and from what do we need saving?
Many simply think that they need to be saved from hell. But the Bible does not teach that hell is coming after anyone. We need to be saved from our sin (Matthew 1:21) and from the wrath of God (Romans 5:9).
Why should we fear the wrath of God? Is He angry with me? The Bible teaches that all have sinned (Romans 3:23), that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and that those who refuse the kindness of God’s gospel are storing up wrath for themselves in the day of God’s righteous judgement (Romans 2:5).
You see, God is holy and we are not. Our sin defiles and makes us unfit to be in God’s glorious presence. God hates sin and sinners (Psalm 5:5, 11:5). God is a good and righteous judge (Psalm 7:11). A good judge can not allow sinners, or lawbreakers, to go unpunished. We are all sinners, deserving of God’s just wrath, and there is nothing we can do to escape it.
We need to be saved. Salvation means to be delivered from ruin. That’s what we are - ruined sinners, deserving of eternal damnation in a place the Bible calls the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).
But God, in His infinite wisdom, mercy, and grace, provided a substitute; one who would bear the sins and transgressions of rebels. This is what God provided in His Son, Jesus Christ. All of the sins (past, present and future) of those who would believe upon Christ, were placed on Him and He bore them, and their punishment, on the cross.
He was counted as guilty and was punished as though He actually was. God’s wrath for those sins was satisfied in Christ’s death on the cross. Therefore, there Is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
How could this be? How could one man be a substitute for another. Jesus was not just a man, but He is God in the flesh. Whereas man is sinful and corrupt, Jesus is absolutely sinless and holy. Not only did Christ wash away the guilt and sin of His people with His blood, He lived the righteous life they could not, in their place. By faith, we receive Christ’s atonement and righteousness.
Salvation is a free gift, given by God from His abundant mercy and grace. If there is nothing one can do to merit salvation, how can anyone receive this salvation?
You must be born again. You must be regenerated through the power of the Gospel. It is the the only way man can be saved (Romans 1:16).