Saved! ”Are you saved?” I heard that question a lot growing up in the deep South. I was a church goer, but the message never made its way into my heart. Saved from what? I’d wonder skeptically, certain I didn’t want whatever it was that was being offered. Besides, life was good. I didn’t need to be saved, or so I thought.
A religious leader named Nicodemus came to visit Jesus one night. I’m sure Jesus rocked the boat of this respectable Pharisee when He told him that he needed to be saved. Furthermore, Jesus added, no one could even see the kingdom of God unless he was “born again” (John 3:4). Click here to read about their encounter.
We’re in day three of our 21-Day Experiment. I contemplated the word saved. What used to be an offensive term now carries a powerful message for me. From the Greek word sozo, saved has both earthly and heavenly meanings. It can indicate deliverance from disease, physical danger, or the demonic realm.
From a heavenly vantage point, saved describes the saving of someone from the eternal punishment which results from sin. A person is brought “safely” into Christ’s heavenly kingdom. So we are saved from sin and death and born again to a life that is eternal. Pretty weighty stuff.
My watchword for today is John 3:17. I like this version from the Amplified Bible : For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.
Though He will certainly judge the world when He returns, Jesus’ assignment while on earth was to save us so that we can spend eternity with Him. Many world’s religions grasp a need for salvation. But each one teaches that we must perfectly follow some form of law in order to be saved–an impossible task for imperfect humanity. What good news that we have a savior…the One who gave His life for our salvation! Jesus, the only name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12). That’s something to think about.
I’m eager to hear about your watchwords from John 3. How did the Holy Spirit whisper to you today?