the meaning of salvation

Since we are discussing the meaning of “work out your own salvation” then we must also discuss the meaning of “salvation”.

Let’s read our passage again:

12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Philippians 2:12-13

Okay, so what is salvation?

Salvation is understood in two basic senses.  First, salvation is a matter of deliverance.  Second, salvation is a matter of sanctification.  Let’s take a moment to consider both.

On one level, salvation is a matter of DELIVERANCE FROM SIN.

It is deliverance from the CURSE OF SIN, which Christ took on Himself.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 8:1

It is deliverance from the POWER OF SIN, which Christ provided.

“What shall we say then?  Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By no means!  How can we who died to sin still live in it?”

Romans 6:1-2

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ    Jesus.

Romans 6:11

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23

It is deliverance from all the CONSEQUENCES OF SIN – separation from God and eternal punishment – which Christ absorbed in His death.

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”

Romans 5:10

It is deliverance from the GUILT OF PAST SINS, which Christ canceled on the cross.

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”  Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.  The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

John 8:31-36

7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 John 1:7-10

On another level, salvation is a MATTER OF SANCTIFICATION.

Sanctification is a GIFT FROM GOD.

“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

Philippians 2:13


“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.  For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.  Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.  For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

2 Peter 1:5-11

Sanctification SUPPOSES GROWTH.

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

2 Peter 3:18

Sanctification PRODUCES FRUIT.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

Galatians 5:23-24

One more thought tomorrow and we will head off in another direction.


4 Responses to “the meaning of salvation”

  1. 1 Searching
    December 4, 2008 at 7:05 am

    Well done, brother, well done!

  2. 2 Stacy
    December 4, 2008 at 9:17 am

    For so long I lived worrying that when I died, if I had not asked for forgiveness of a sin I committed, I would go to Hell. This is mainly due to the fact that I was brought up believing that one could lose their Salvation. So, even if I had been saved, I could lose my salvation, and in order to go to Heaven I would have to repent and ask Jesus in my heart again. What a concept, huh?

    Well over the past 1 1/2 years, I have been shown that eternal security is real and is the truth. You have no idea the burden lifted off my shoulders when I was shown the Word and received it completely. My favorite verse that confirms my assurance in eternal security is Ephesians 1:13-14 “In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.” WOW how powerful is that. To know that my belief in the Lord Jesus Christ sealed my life in HIM forever is incredible. (Disclaimer: I am not a bible scholar so if one feels I have taken this verse out of context please let me know what I am missing.)

    The one question I had after being shown this verse was, how come I’ve never seen that one before? The answer I’m still not sure of, but I am sure of this one thing: I know I am a sinner saved by grace through faith in Jesus and I am now confident in my salvation.

    I am so thankful that this blog is available to whosoever. The posts by you, Pastor Ryan, and all the comments, especially on this recent topic, place encouraging thoughts to all who read it and I thank you for that. I ask that you all keep me in your prayers as I continue to grow in Christ.

  3. December 4, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    God bless you, Stacy, for sharing that. That brings a song to mind: “The Lord is mine, and I am His, His banner over me is love…” You are His and you are precious to Him. You also are a Bible scholar, in a sense, with the help of the Holy Spirit. He showed you the Ephesians passage and you referenced it beautifully. More importantly, the power of His word changed you personally by giving you security and peace as He promises. “The word of God is living and active…” See Heb. 4:12 and surrounding verses. Faith and believing are not always viewed as scholarly so, don’t put too much stock in that phrase. The pharisees were Bible scholars but look what happened to them? Enjoy your new found joy and keep studying His word. He’ll show you.

    Thanks Ryan.
    Peace to all.

  4. 4 Pastor Ryan
    December 4, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Stacy, thank you for your testimony. You are not alone. There are many of us who struggled with the security of our salvation until God opened the eyes of our heart to the truth of His Word.

    Salvation through Jesus Christ is glorious. When the Bible speaks of our salvation it speaks of it in every tense possible – saved, were saved, will be saved, being saved. Yet I believe my favorite is when the Bible speaks of my salvation from Ephesians 1:3-4:

    “3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.”

    I love to think about my salvation being secured “before the foundation of the world.”

    Keep posting your comments. We need to hear from more and more people just like you.

    Grace always.

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