What exactly does it mean to be saved? God has a specific purpose for all our lives, but we will never accomplish it until we are saved, healed and set free. Too many times, people try to disciple other people who are saved but they themselves are not healed or set free before trying to help and disciple someone else.
What does the word “Saved” mean? 1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Being saved is present tense.
1 Corinthians 3:15 says, “If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” Will be, future tense.
Ephesians 2:8, 9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God (past tense), (Verse 9) not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Salvation is “grace through faith, not of works, because of boasting. There will be no boasting in heaven. Every person that will be in heaven, will understand that they are there by the grace of God, and no other reason.
So, from these verse that we just read; are you being saved, present tense; or will you be saved, future tense; or have you been saved, past tense? The answer is yes; you will be saved, and you are being saved, if you have been saved, present, future, and past tense. There is a past tense to the word saved that we have to understand.
We are tri-une beings. We all have three parts, body, soul, and spirit. Our bodies “will be saved” in the resurrection. Right now, while on earth, we are in a decaying body.
Our souls, mind, will and emotions, “are being saved.” Our souls are being transformed, renewed into the mind of Christ.
The Greek word for saved is “Sozo,” but pronounced “Sode-zo.” It means to be made whole in body, soul, and spirit – to be made perfect. One day we will have perfect bodies, but our souls are being “perfected” now. Our bodies “will be” saved, our souls “are being” saved, and our “spirits” have been saved, if you have accepted what Jesus did on the cross for you. In other words “Your spirit has a perfect relationship with God, because Jesus paid the full price for our sins. This should clear up what these previous verses mean.
So, what happens when a person gets saved, past tense? Here are seven things about getting saved: (1) It is a gift. If we don’t understand this first, our reasoning and understanding of all else will be messed up. It is a gift from God, to receive. Salvation is not a goal to achieve. And we can’t have it both ways, grace and works. If it’s grace, it’s not works and if it’s works, it’s not grace.
Romans 11:6 says, “And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise works is no longer work.” Grace is a gift and works would be earned. If it’s a gift, we can’t pay for it.
We couldn’t and didn’t pay for our salvation before we got saved, and we can’t pay for it after we get saved by works, lest anyone should boast.
(2) It’s eternal life. Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 1 John 2:25 – and this is the promise that He has promised us – eternal life. 1 John 5:13 – These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. So, when does “eternal” life start? It starts when we die to “self.” It starts when we die to our own way. This, right here is why there are a lot of people who think they are saved but are really not. They have never committed to Christ and died to self.
(3) Being saved is forgiveness. Acts 13:38 says, “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; Jeremiah 31:34 says, “I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Psalm 103:12 – As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Forgiveness is complete release from the penalty that was against us! God has chosen to remember our sins no more!
(4) It’s justification. Romans 3:24 – being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Galatians 2:16 – knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
What does it mean to be justified by God? It means that God is a just God and it is justice for Him to sentence us, me, to heaven. God in His grace towards us, sends us to heaven, because Jesus paid the full price for our transgressions. He is not going to punish two people for the same crime. So if you receive Jesus Christ, you are set free from the penalty of sin which is death.
(5) It’s righteousness. Romans 4:3 – For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Righteousness means right standing with God. It doesn’t mean doing the right thing, that’s righteous. However, we can be righteous and have righteousness, because Jesus did the right thing. So here’s what happened: Before I was saved, there was sin in “my account.” In Jesus account, there was righteousness. God took all of the sin that was in my account and put it in Jesus account, transferred. That’s why Jesus died for me and you. The Bible says He made Him, who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness in Christ Jesus.
God actually took the sin of the whole world and placed it in Jesus account. People need to know that everyone in the entire world has had their sins paid for. They are not all saved though, because they have to believe that Jesus Christ is their Savior.
When we were saved, all our sin went into Jesus’ account and when we believed, Jesus righteousness went into our account. That’s what this verse says. When Abraham believed God, God put righteousness into his account.
He that believes, has life, he that doesn’t believe, doesn’t have life. We all have a choice to believe or not, whether we go to heaven or hell is our choice.
(6) It’s redemption. 1 Corinthians 6:19 – Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? If you have been saved, you don’t belong to you anymore. 1 Corinthians 6:20 – For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
The word redeemed is to “purchase back.” God had given dominion to Adam and Eve. They lost that to Satan. Jesus came and legally purchased it back. He purchased the world and every person in the world. He owns them all now. However, He created us in His image, we have a will, and so we can choose whether we serve God or not serve God.
(7) It is a total commitment. There are a lot of people who have fire insurance because they don’t want to go to hell. They go to church and do “churchy things,” but Jesus is not the Lord of their lives. Luke 6:46 says, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things I say?” Matthew 7:21 says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Matthew 7:22 – Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord,’ have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ Matthew 7:23 – And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who have practiced lawlessness!’ “
Jesus said that there are going to be “many” in that day that say this to Him. Jesus did not say, “I once knew you, but I don’t anymore.” He said, “I never knew you!” This proves that a person cannot lose genuine salvation. You don’t receive it once and then lose it. Because Jesus says, “I never knew you,” that person that he is speaking to, was never truly saved, according to what this Scripture says. They never came to the place where they gave control of their life to the Lord.
So, how can a person know that they are truly saved? Ask yourself: Who is the boss in my life? Is it you or Christ? Do your principles and standards take charge or do you follow the Bible in your decisions? If you have never died to self and are still in control, then you are deceiving yourself.
It takes total commitment, surrender, to receive this free gift of salvation. There is not a covenant until both people die. Jesus already died, and we have to die to self in order for the covenant to take effect.
It’s not enough to just believe there is a God, so does Satan. But Satan is not going to heaven because he won’t submit his will to the Lord Jesus Christ. We must will our control over to the Lord. He is either Lord over all or He is not Lord at all! Our God does not take second place.
There are a whole lot of people who have receive a little bit of Jesus, or a little bit of religion, and it’s a counterfeit salvation. It actually tricks them into thinking they have the real thing. If a person has any doubt about whether they are truly saved or not, why not make it right today? This is an eternal question about where you are going to spend eternity.