Saved and Delivered
“Saved” is definitely a churchy word among other churchy words that we use but the world has no clue as to their real meaning as they relate man’s relationship with God. Just a few short years ago, I would give a weekly dialog during our praise and worship time usually leading into our worship in giving. One Sunday, after the service I was approached by a very dear friend who told me that she did not completely understand some of the words and phrases I was using in my dialog. Words like iniquity, sanctification, righteousness, phrases like “born again” and “accept Jesus as your Savior.”
Those of us raised in church certainly understand the meanings of these words and phrases even if we are not true believers. In my generation nearly everyone went to church, it was the part of the culture of being an American therefore, we understand the lingo even if we are not true believers. Much to my surprise, in real life, I have come to meet many wonderful people who don’t speak the language. Understanding the language or not has no bearing on your eternal destiny. St. Peter will not hand you a religious jargon quiz at the pearly gates. So, with a newfound respect for those like my friend, I’ve learned to speak a language that can be understood by as many hearers as possible.
One of the most important words in “church-ese” is the various forms of the word “saved,” the root word sózó; to save. Sózó is also the root word for Savior and salvation, two other words that I have labeled as “church-ese.” We can use various resources to discover the definitions of this word “saved” and its other forms. Strong’s defines it as “save, heal, preserve, rescue.” HELPS Word-Studies goes a little deeper: “deliver out of danger and into safety; used principally of God rescuing believers from the penalty and power of sin – and into His provisions (safety).” Thayer’s Greek Lexicon describes it like this: “to save, to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction, to make well, heal, restore to health, to bring safe forth from.” Salvation would thus mean the state of being saved, kept safe, made well, rescued from danger etc.
The terms saved and salvation in scripture means different things when we look at the two groups of people in scripture who will be “saved,” Israel and the church. Being “saved” is a work of the Holy Spirit for both groups. For the Nation of Israel, Joel makes it clear that the work of “salvation” is the work of the Holy Spirit. In Joel chapter 2, verse 27, it is clear that the yet to be fulfilled prophecies of Joel center around Israel when He says:
“And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.”
Then in verses 28 and 29 He says, He will pour out His Spirit and as he is talking to Israel by saying “your sons, your daughters, your old men, your young men. Then in verse 31 He states the timing; “before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.” Which is during the tribulation and before Christ’s return to the earth with His saints. This “salvation” is from the wrath to come, through the work of the Holy Spirit for the Nation of Israel.
For the believer there are two tenses of our salvation: present tense and future tense. In other words saving present, saving future.
Salvation begins in this life; we have been saved/delivered from.
Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
1 Corinthians 2:16
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.
1 John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Condemnation of Sin
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:22
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
This new spiritual life in Christ is eternal.
Wrath to Come
1 Thessalonians 5:9
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
This wrath spoken of is the same wrath in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 the “wrath that is to come” during the Great Tribulation. This wrath is not for those who are saved through Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-15
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
Jesus has taken something as horrible as death and reduced it to sleep. John MacArthur stated, “Death is welcome as sleep is welcome.” When we die physically, we sleep in Jesus awaiting His return at the rapture of the church.
Revelation chapters 19 and 20 speaks of the destination for those who are without Christ. They will be sent to a place that was not created for them, a place created for the devil, the beast, and the false prophet a place of torment “day and night forever and ever.” After the unholy trinity are cast in, death and hell will follow along with those who names are not found written in the book of life.
One churchy word with so much meaning; saved, sózó, having been delivered from the bondage of corruption, delivered from the power of darkness, delivered from death, hell and the lake of fire and delivered into the kingdom of his dear Son who reigns forever and ever, Amen!