What Exactly is Salvation?
As believers, we are always talking about salvation, but what exactly is salvation? We want to take a closer look into this word and its meaning.
Salvation simply means preservation or deliverance from difficulty or evil.
Revelation 7:10 tells us, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” Believers call our salvation Jesus, but Jesus has no real meaning for the name Jesus did not come about till the 17th Century, because there was no letter J up till then. His name Yeshua was given to Him by His Father, and it means, “Yahweh Saves,” or “Yahweh’s Salvation,” because salvation belongs to the Father and to the Lamb. By this Scripture we see that man has nothing to do with salvation.
We want to begin by looking at the story of Noah. In the story of Noah, God had Noah build an ark. Genesis 6:5-8 tells us why God had Noah build the ark: “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that He had made human beings on the earth, and His heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.’”
God saw nothing but sin, and He was going to destroy His creation, but Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. God tells Noah how to build the ark and that He was going to save him and his family. Genesis 7:1-4, “The Lord then said to Noah, ‘Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” The animals came two by two into the ark and Noah and His family also entered into the ark, and then the door was shut. Genesis 7:13-16 says, “On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark, they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds. So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life. Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the Lord closed it behind him.”
So what can we gather from the story of Noah? God decided that He was going to save Noah, his family and two of every kind of living creature, which He led to the ark. It took Noah 100 years to build the ark, and during that time anyone could have repented of their sins and could have been saved. God told Noah how to build the ark so that there was enough living space for them and all the animals. So the ark was used for salvation. But what we find so interesting is this: God shut the door, not Noah. John 10:1-9 says this: “‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear His voice; and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. And when He brings out his own sheep, He goes before them; and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.’ Yeshua used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. Then Yeshua said to them again, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.’” Salvation is in God and in the Lamb.
So what about in the Apostolic Scriptures?
John the Baptist proclaimed to all in John 1:29, “The next day he saw Yeshua (salvation) coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’”
Matthew 19:25-26 tells us,“When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, ‘Who then can be saved?’ But Yeshua looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”
Acts 4:12 tells us “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
So then we must ask ourselves about Philippians 2:12-13, “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, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
How do we work out our salvation? In John 13:8, Peter gives us a good example of not working out our salvation when Yeshua wanted to wash his feet. "’No,’ said Peter, ‘you shall never wash my feet.’ Yeshua answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.’"
You see, the ark was salvation for all who entered it, but God showed Noah how to build it. Yeshua tells His disciples in John 15:5-6 what is needed to work out your salvation: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
We have to start by entering into the ark (or salvation). Then we must allow Yeshua to wash us, or you could say, let God’s will be done in our lives, not ours.
In Matthew 16:24-26 Yeshua makes it very clear what it means to abide in Him: “Then Yeshua told His disciples, ‘If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?’”
Paul sums it up like this: “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Messiah. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Messiah Yeshua my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Messiah and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Messiah—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Messiah—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
There are so many other examples of working out your salvation like, “If you love Me then keep My commandments,” and on and on, but for now we want to say, Yeshua is the door into which we must enter into salvation, and there is no other way. So today if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts, but enter in through the door and be saved.