What Does It Mean To Be Saved
The great dilemma of the gospel is this: How can God be just and also save us from our sins? (Proverbs 17:15) "He who justifies the wicked is an abomination to God." Yet we boast daily of how this just God regenerates us and saves us from sin. If God is truly just and men are truly wicked then a just God must necessarily condemn a wicked man. To solve this problem, our God, in his great love, sent forth his son who walked on this earth as a perfect and sinless man to become a sacrifice for us on a Roman cross.. He bore our sin and became a curse for us. A just God could now maintain his justice and save us still because his Son took upon him all our guilt and shame. Christ redeemed us from the curse of sin by becoming the curse for us.
Christ was able to redeem us because he was crushed under the justice of God. He is empowered to save us because the divine justice of God is satisfied. God may now justify the wicked. Charles Spurgeon made this message of salvation the central theme of his preaching career, "Greater men with greater minds than I have approached this doctrine of the Second Coming, but to no avail. It is a great and mighty doctrine. I will set myself to this: seeking to comprehend something of Jesus Christ and him crucified."
Abraham obeyed God when he was asked to offer his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice. He lifted his flint knife to complete this act of obedience when his hand was stayed. He was told that God would provide a ram for the sacrifice. That wasn't the end of the story, it was simply an intermission. The end of the story takes place thousands of years later when God the Father carried his only begotten Son to a cross and refused to stay the knife of his crucifixion.
Sin is what separates us from God. " But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." (Isaiah 59:2) Salvation is the remedy to that separation. If man does not avail himself of that salvation he will be separated from God for all of eternity. "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." - (Matthew 25:46) We can avoid our deserved punishment for sins through the reconciliation made available through Christ.
Being saved or being born again involves our confession of sin. We are born a second time as it were into the family of God when we humble ourselves before him and confess that he is Jesus the Christ. We are adopted and become joint heirs with Christ himself according to the promise of God. We can now call him our Father and we have all the rights of a natural child. We are beneficiaries of his love and the security he can provide.
This is the beginning of a long journey. Our total salvation includes a journey into the sanctified life. We find that we now hate passionately the sin we once loved. Growth in the grace of God will eventually lead us to a state of glorification acquired in the life yet to come.