What does it mean to “be saved?”
When people get ‘saved’ at a revival or church service or wherever, they often recite a prayer and get ‘saved’. That’s fine, but there is more to being saved than simply saying a prayer. There is more to being saved than simply Admitting that you are a sinner, Believing that Jesus died for your sins and rose again, and Confessing that Jesus is Lord of your life. I’ve used this model and have seen it used…a lot.
I think there is more to salvation than saying a prayer to keep from going to hell someday. Salvation is just as much about today as it is about someday.
Here are some of my ideas about salvation or being saved:
- There is a leaving. Some of the disciples were fishermen. They left their nets and followed Jesus. Matthew left his tax collection booth. They left their livelihoods. They left the familiar. They left family and friends. We don’t follow Jesus without leaving something.
- There is a dying. We die to the way we used to live our lives. This is called sin: doing things our way and not God’s way.
- There is a change of deeply held beliefs. Simon the Zealot would have been against Roman oppression and all those that were associated with Rome that were Jews. Matthew was a tax collector and would have been seen as a betrayer of Israel. They were Apostles together. Without a change in their beliefs they would have killed each other. They surrendered their beliefs of this world and took up a Kingdom beliefs. Maybe Democratic/Republican/ Libertarian, liberal/conservative, Socialist/Capitalist and other beliefs need reconsideration in light of the Kingdom of God.
- There is a change in priorities. Food, shelter, clothing, purpose and meaning are primary considerations in our lives. Jesus said to seek the Kingdom of God first. That’s a radical change in priorities.
- There is a change in our identities. We are identified by God and God’s unconditional love for us. We are not defined the ever-changing standards of this world and the people that surround us.
- There is a change in allegiance. Jesus did not ask his followers to reform, renew, or redeem the Roman Empire. He is not asking us to do that in our country, either. We have a King and we are the King’s subjects. What the King says, we do. Sometimes, that will go against what our country of origin will ask.
- There is a change in how we love. Who we love and how we love them is a big part of what following Jesus is all about. We are called to love everyone…sacrificially…even our enemies. That is a BIG change (at least for me).
It’s obvious that I think “being saved” is more than saying a prayer. This list isn’t complete. It also might be overstated or unclear.
What would you add or adjust? Why?