Theology for the Long Haul

Friday, September 17, 2010

What Is Salvation?

Growing up, I was told that salvation is believing that Jesus died for me, and asking Him to come and live in my heart. I still believe that this is true, but as I have matured in my faith I've come to learn much more about what it means to be saved. In order to gain a better perspective on salvation, I think one needs to go back to the story of the first human persons, Adam and Eve.

We have all heard or read Adam and Eve's story, but if you’re like me you have walked away from a reading of it with a very shallow understanding of what actually transpired in the Garden of Eden on that dark, but glorious day. Was Adam and Eve's sin that they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Yes, but that's not the most significant part of it. Remember what the serpent said to Eve when He was tempting her to disobey the Lord's command;

"The serpent said to the woman, 'You surely will not die!
“For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'” (vv. 4-5)

The temptation wasn't to the eat fruit, so much as to gain the knowledge. Indeed, this knowledge would make her like God. No longer would Adam and Eve need to seek God about what was right or wrong; with this knowledge, they could decide for themselves. No longer would Adam and Eve have to be dependant on God for the revelation of what they should and should not do; now they could be the masters of their own destinies. Isn't it obvious that humanity has battled God for control ever since. Isn't it the battle that you and I fight everyday? Who is going to be in control of my life and destiny? Herein lies the big questions, which more often leads to our greatest rebellion.

So back to our initial question, what is Salvation? Salvation is surrendering your life and destiny to the one who should have control of it in the first place. This is the significance of baptism, my death and Christ's life becoming realized in my human body. Salvation is realizing that Life is not about me, and that I am not at a place to rightly judge my own destiny, because without Christ I am not at a place to judge what is best from what is evil. Salvation is surrender. Salvation is my death. Salvation is the exchanging of my life, for the life of another, my glorious and victorious Savior Jesus Christ.


  1. Good thoughts. I particularly like your concluding definitions of salvation. I found your page from a link at Regent Divinity. Are you a student there?

  2. Thanks for the encouraging words. Currently, I am at Ashland Theological Seminary studying Biblical Studies. I will be applying to PhD programs this year, and I have thought about Regent as a possibility. I found the Regent blog through my good friend Jacob Dodson's blog. Do you know Jacob?