SALVATION –HAVE YOU OPENED YOUR PACKAGE?
What a beautiful word. Salvation. With it comes a tremendous gift….. a package if you will, that many are not aware of. Of course our salvation includes the amazing gift of eternal life after our pilgrimage on this earth is done. But did you know it includes a vast array of blessings as well? One of my favorite Scriptures is Psalm 91. In it the Lord frames our world with protection, provision and deliverance. In the last verse God makes a promise to us…
.”With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation”.
Psalm 91 (Amplified Bible).
1HE WHO [a]dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].
2I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!
3For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
4[Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler.
5You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day,
6Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday.
7A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you.
8Only a spectator shall you be [yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High] as you witness the reward of the wicked.
9Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place,(A)
10There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent.
11For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service].
12They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.(B)
13You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot.(C)
14Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness–trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never].
15He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
16With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.
As I read that book over and over I decided to look up the word salvation in the dictionary. I found that this word is the Greek word “Sozo”. This word has a multitude of meanings and carries a wealth of knowledge for us as to our position and place within the realm of God.
Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary defines salvation as:
The act of saving; preservations from destruction, danger or great calamity.
The redemption of man from the bondage of sin and liability to eternal death
Deliverance from enemies, victory (Exodus 14)
Remission of sins, or saving graces (Luke 19)
The author of man’s salvation (Ps 27)
Strong’s concordance (#3444) refers to salvation as:
Something saved, deliverance, hence, aid, victory, prosperity, health, help, salvation, save, saving, welfare
Free to be safe, to free or succor (come quickly to rescue), avenging, defend, deliver, preserve, rescue, bring salvation, get victory
SOZO, safe, to save, deliver, protect, heal, preserve, do well, be (make) whole
Deliverance, preservation – material and temporal deliverance from danger and apprehension and fear, pardon, protection, liberty (II Corin. 3:17), wholeness, soundness, restoration, healing, health, rest, prosperity.
Salvation is also connected to the Hebrew word “Shalom”
A rough definition of shalom is “Nothing missing – nothing broken”
According to Strong’s Concordance 7965 Shalom also means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full. In modern Hebrew the obviously related word Shelem means to pay for, and Shulam means to be fully paid. Yeshua is called Sar Shalom, Prince of Peace, which perfectly describes the ministry and personality of our Messiah (Isaiah 9:6). In other words, the word shalom is a mighty blessing!
This includes well-being in every area of life:……. There is no need in this lifetime that you could come up with that God hasn’t already provided an answer to through the gift of salvation.
Let’s take a look at some of the words that we used to define salvation even further and help us to understand the Father’s heart. (All definitions are taken from the 1828 Noah Webster Dictionary).
Deliverance: Release from captivity, slavery, oppression or any restraint Rescue from any danger or an evil. The act of giving or transferring from one to another
Preservation: The act of preserving or keeping safe. The act of keeping from injury, destruction or decay. Preservation of life or health. Having the power or quality of keeping safe from injury, destruction or decay.
Pardon: To forgive (ness), remit, to remit as a penalty, to excuse, the release of an offense or obligation of the offender, remission of penalty
Protection: Defense, shelter from evil, preservation from loss, injury or annoyance
Exemption: To cover or shield from danger or injury, to defend, to guard, to preserve in safety, free by privilege, clear, to free from any charge, burden, restraint, evil
Liberty: Freedom from restraint, applicable to body, will or mind
Wholeness: (from the root of the word “heal” – Greek OXOS) Sound, entire, complete, not defective or imperfect, unimpaired, unbroken, uninjured, not hurt or sick, restored to health and soundness, well
Soundness: Entire, unbroken, un-decayed (like a tooth), whole, perfect, not bruised, or defective, not lacerated or decayed, unhurt, undisturbed as a sound body, health, not diseased, having all organs complete and in perfect action, sound body, sound health, sound constitution, founded in truth, firm, strong, valid, solid – that can not be overthrown or refuted, fast, profound, unbroken, undisturbed, as sound sleep
Victory: Conquest, the defeat of an enemy in battle or of an antagonist in contest, a gaining of superiority in war or combat
Prosperity: Advance or gain in any thing good or desirable; successful progress in any business or enterprise; success; attainment of object desired
Free: Being at liberty, not imprisoned, unconstrained, unrestrained, not obstructed, guiltless, innocent, free from pain or disease, not encumbered with; as free from a burden
Health: That state of living body in which the parts are sound, well organized and disposed and in which they all perform freely their natural functions. Sound state of mind; natural vigor of faculties, salvation or divine favor or grace
Help: To aid, to assist, to lend strength or means towards effecting a purpose; to succor, to lend means of deliverance as to help one who is in distress to relieve, to cure or to mitigate pain or disease, to prevent, to hinder, to forbear, to avoid, to advance by assistance
Safe: Free from danger of any kind; safe from enemies; safe from disease; safe from storms; safe from malice of foes; free from hurt, injury or damage conferring safety; securing from harm; a safe guide; a safe harbor; a safe bridge
Save: To preserve from injury, destruction or evil of any kind; to rescue from danger, to preserve from final and lasting destruction, to rescue from eternal death, to deliver, to rescue from the power and pollution of sin, to prevent
Saving: Preserving from evil or destruction; hindering from waste or loss; sparing excepting, that secures everlasting salvation; as Saving grace
Welfare: Exemption from misfortune, sickness, calamity or evil; the enjoyment of health and the common blessings of life; prosperity; happiness, exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government
Isn’t this amazing?
Only our God could have provided us with an answer to every problem. Only our God could have given us a gift of this magnitude. OK……. having said all that and recognizing that this is not an exhaustive study, we can begin to understand (and I mean begin to understand) the miraculous gift that God has given us when he gave us salvation by His grace.
(Just a side note: Grace is something that is freely given and not earned. There is nothing we could do to earn grace. God in His great mercy for us has given it to us as a free gift because He loves us.)
It is very important however that we also recognize how abundant the gift of salvation is and how to apply it to our daily lives. Many of us have lived below the level of blessing that the Lord purchased for us at Calvary. When we truly reflect on our life, is it one that brings glory to our Savior or do we simply fit into the world’s mold and standards. One Scripture that we should study is in Hebrews 2:3.
“How shall we escape (appropriate retribution) if we neglect and refuse to pay attention to such a great salvation as is now offered to us, letting it drift past us forever? For it was declared at first by the Lord (Himself), and it was confirmed to us and proved to be real and genuine by those who personally heard Him speak.”
Now this says a mouthful. How shall we escape? How shall we escape the sickness, the debt, the attacks, the storms – spiritual and natural, the lack, the pain, the fear, the dread, the separation from loved ones, etc. on and on if we neglect the gift of salvation. It’s only by our recognizing and accepting the gift that we can open it up and utilize it for all it’s worth. If I gave you a wonderful gift but you never accepted it or opened it up to see what it was, wouldn’t you be missing out? How would you know if I had given you something that you vitally needed or really desired? You wouldn’t unless you took the time to search for it and find it. That’s what has been offered to us. A tremendous gift to flow to us and through us. Salvation is “now” the Scripture states. Today is the day of salvation, II Corin 6:2.
God also proclaims in Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you [the priestly nation] have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you that you shall be no priest to Me; seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.“
Isn’t it interesting here that rejecting knowledge is mentioned. Many have rejected the Son of Glory and not believed upon Him or His promises. This is a warning from our Savior that when we reject Him and reject the Truth (the Bible) we enter into a place of destruction. This is a critical truth. This is a subject that perhaps has been overlooked by some and needs to be brought out to the light to a greater degree. Declining God automatically defaults one into the devil’s camp. It is an automatic “E” ticket to hell. Sadly there is no middle ground.
There is an enemy out there that is real and he knows his time is short. We must understand that he will challenge us in every arena of our life. His highest desire is to keep us in darkness regarding the privileges we have in Christ which in turn weakens us. It is only with God’s help that we will succeed and break through the darkness to overcome the evil in this hour. With a greater understanding of the gift comes power.
So knowledge can be power. The more you know, the more educated and correct choices you can make. Romans 13:11-12 in the Amplified Bible says “Besides this you know what a critical hour this is, how it is high time now for you to wake up out of your sleep (rouse to reality). For salvation (final deliverance) is nearer to us now than when we first believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Christ, the Messiah). The night is far gone and the day is almost here. Let us drop (fling away) the works and deeds of darkness and put on the full armor of light.”
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.” Isaiah 61:10.
God wants us to be clothed with salvation, covered on all sides, so that when we open our eyes in the morning we look around us and find nothing missing and nothing broken. We have an overflow of good things. We don’t have lack even when others are struggling. Abundance according to the Father’s standards. It is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance. How will our un-saved friends, family and loved ones see the goodness of God is they don’t first see it in our lives? The Lord intended for us to live a life of abundance as it states in John 10:10. Abundance on all sides so that we are more than able to help others in a time of need. Not just with spiritual aid such as prayer and intercession but with material blessings that can reach an untold number of hurting people. Not just enough “for our four and no more” but that we are the lender and never the borrower, (Deuteronomy 28).
Romans 10:9-10 gives us our roadmap to success and directions to receiving our salvation.
9Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation.
We have to first acknowledge and then confess. So we acknowledge the blessings of salvation first with trust in our heart and then with our mouth we declare that is it ours for His glory. This is the same for anything we need in our life that we find in God’s Word. It’s the same process for healing, it’s the same for a financial need or whatever we are trusting God for. We believe and then we speak and faith rises in our hearts and the next thing we know we are walking in the reality of what we’re believing for.
Now I must mention that once we’ve made the decision to ask the Lord to be our Savior and accept the benefits of salvation we will encounter resistance. The enemy of our soul is real and he will challenge us in our daily walk with Christ. The Scripture makes it clear that in this world there is tribulation, but be of good cheer the Lord says, for He has overcome the world. So whether the trouble be because of sin, persecution or just because we live in a fallen world, In our God, we are never without hope and provision.
Please keep in mind this is not a formula or twelve steps or even how many times you say it. It comes down to a place of really believing in your heart, not just head knowledge, but a irrefutable knowing in your heart, that it’s yours because of the great grace and mercies of our God. It’s ours because the God of all creation loved us so much that He gave His most precious Son so we could be made whole, now in this earthly realm. (John 3;16). It’s ours because God had a plan, a Master plan, that when followed through will bring us to a glorious state of well being that even in the midst of turmoil we can say “it is well with my soul”. That is the journey we embark upon as we step into a place called salvation.