What Does It Mean To Be Saved?

Being saved means first of all being saved from death, because that is the destiny of all men.  Everyone dies once.  There is no avoiding it, but if you're saved, you have God's promise, he will raise you from death, just like he raised Jesus from death.

The other aspect of being saved is saving you from yourself, your self destructive thinking and actions.  Saving you from a miserable life, where you not only make yourself miserable but hurt others as well.

So, there's benefits now, and huge benefit later.

So, let's see how this works.  First, God loves you and God wants to save everyone, if they let him. His character and loving nature are revealed in Jesus.  Jesus is God in the flesh.  God literally, coming down in bodily form to personally teach us how to live fruitful lives, and to explain the Kingdom of God; the kingdom he was going to establish for all those who believe in him and trust him. 

God is the ultimate loving parent. Our parents weren't perfect, and their love wasn't perfect, but God's is.  He doesn't need anything from us.  He made us so that we could live our lives.  That is what gives him joy, to see his children happy and not hurting each other.

We however, are rebellious.  To one extent or another, we want to do things our own way, we think we know best, and God has become irrelevant in many peoples lives; we haven't retained the knowledge of God that's been passed down.  For many God has been replaced by science, and we are amazed at the world, rather than with the one  who made it.  Unfortunately, with that comes a lot of grief.  As much as we don't adhere to behaviour which is consistent with our design, an objective morality, we suffer, and we make others suffer.  Lying, manipulation, cheating, theft, war, hording, materialism, paedophilia, killing, drugs, pornography, and the list goes on.  All these things go against God's design and are destructive to us and society as a whole.  It's falling short, failing, it's sin, it's destructive.

Some people want to live destructive lives some don't.  We choose.  The problem is, those that choose to live destructive lives, destroy not only themselves but also the lives of others.  But there's another aspect.  Some people want to live "good" lives, but they just can't seem to help themselves.

So, we need saving, from ourselves.

How did this all start? Per the book of Genesis we did live in paradise, but we disobeyed God (we're still disobeying God).  We can get into all sorts of arguments about why the solution to that was to kick us out of paradise, and as a result we suffer death (we would have lived forever in paradise), but in my opinion it is the way it is because it couldn't not have been any other way. Meaning, God created beings with free will, and somehow that free will had to be tested and also directed into making good choices rather than poor choices.  That's all that thousands of years of human existence has been, us learning how to control ourselves.  Learning bad choices have bad consequences. Coming to maturity.

When we were ready, God came to, once and for all, show us that he loves us, to teach us, and to reconcile us to him.  It goes like this:

1. Believe that Jesus was God in the flesh, who came to teach us and save us from ourselves, and those who continue to rebel against God.
2. Repent (turn away from your old thinking patterns and behaviours and go in a new direction.
3. Accept Jesus as Lord (him and his teachings as your ultimate authority over your life)
4. Be baptized (a ceremonial washing away of our sins, but also a spiritual death and rebirth, symbolizing the fact that we crucify our old life, and live a new life through Jesus; we are born again spiritually)
5. Receive the Holy Spirit.  In this process the power of God, the Holy Spirit, comes to live in us, to guide us.  Also, the Holy Spirit is our mark of ownership, that we belong to God, so that in the final sorting, at the end of the world, we are saved from destruction.

This is very personal.  Jesus didn't die for someone else, it isn't someone else who needs saving.  It's you. Because of your sin, your rebellion.  Say you're sorry, and you are forgiven. 

It all start with faith in Jesus. Belief that Jesus was sent by God, and though we killed him, he forgives us for it, and forgives all our sins, if we ask him to, if we accept that forgiveness.  In other words, if the Son forgives you, then his Father also forgives you.  Forgives you for what?  For falling short, for failing, for hurting others, for rebelling, for disconnecting from God, for crucifying God when he came to Earth.

Jesus said, if you don't believe me, believe on the account of the miracles I do in the name of the one who sent me.  This is a major hurdle for people.  Although the Bible records dozens of miracles done by Jesus and his Apostles, people don't believe in miracles, they believe in science, and so they don't accept that the New Testament could be true, that miracles actually happened.  But Jesus and his Apostles testify to these things, to the existence of God.  Jesus showed the existence of God through his miracles.

If you want help, if you want a better life, God is there to help you.

People who are saved belong to the Kingdom of God.  The group of people who are being transformed by God, and want to live according to God's guidance for our lives.  The ultimate direction is "love God" and "Love one another".  So, the Kingdom is a group that's still in the world, yet called to be different from the people in the world.  It's like an Alcoholics Anonymous for Sinners.  Just like Alcoholics first have to admit they have a problem, in order to get help, sinners also have to admit they have a problem and need a support group.  The difference is that everyone is a sinner, but not all will admit it.  So, this Kingdom is a Spiritual kingdom, but the day is coming when Jesus will physically rule here on Earth, and it will be the physical kingdom/government of God.  All governments will be replaced, and those that want to have nothing to do with it, will be destroyed, so they don't ruin it for everyone else.

You can learn this, and more, by reading a New Testament.  The more you read, they more you will understand.  If you still have trouble understanding it, there is your local church and plenty of online resources to help you understand, and being you to a saving faith in Jesus. 

I’ve read different versions of the Bible.  I have more than one version in my house, but I prefer the NIV (New International Version).  Lots of people like the KJV or NKJV (King James Version) though I don’t like the old English language in the KJV; that’s not how people talk any more.  You don’t want a Jahova’s Witness Bible, or a Mourmon Bible (trust me on that for now).  See my discussion about the Bible here: https://www.vesware.com/MiscTopics/WhatIsTheBibleCanItBeTrusted.html to help you get started.