Have you been SAVED?
Growing up in the Baptist church, I heard folks say things like, “I was saved when I was 12 years old,” or “Where did you get saved?” or “I am praying that he will be saved.” In every case, they were talking about when (or if) someone came to faith in Jesus Christ. But somewhere along the line, the word “saved” has gotten a bad rap. Is it because people associate it with loud, finger-pointing televangelists? Perhaps. Is it because people think of ‘getting saved’ with legalism or judgmental religious behavior, or God forbid, hypocrisy? Hmmm.
No matter, it is important for us to get this right. Jesus explained to the Jewish religious leader, Nicodemus, what it meant to be born again.1 In almost the same breath, Jesus said, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”2 ‘See the word ‘save’? Hmmm... And don’t forget that ‘Jesus, J-e-s-u-s’ was not the given name of the Messiah. Jesus is the ‘English-ized’ (anglisized) name for the Aramaic name ‘Yeshua,’ meaning simply, the source of salvation.
Paul continues his heartfelt sentiments to the Roman church in chapter 10, expressing his earnest desire that his Jewish brethren be saved:
“Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.
For Moses writes that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands. But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven’ (to bring Christ down to earth). And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead’ (to bring Christ back to life again).” In fact, it says,
“The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.”
And that message is the very message about faith that we preach:
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved. [powerful!]
For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.” Romans 10.1-10
“Thank you, Brother Paul. That seems so straightforward. Now may I ask you a couple questions about this ‘saved’ thing? Do I need to go to a synagogue or a church to, as you say, be ‘saved’?”
“No? Well then, how do I get saved? Or as Nicodemus put it, how can I become ‘born again’? And is that the same thing that people say today, ‘asking Jesus to be my personal Savior’?”
[sidebar: “Personal Savior”? Really? Is that like a
Polly Pocket doll that I can carry with me? Can I
buy clothes for him somewhere? [smiley-face emoji here]
Oh this terminology has been so misused and misunderstood! It does not say anywhere in Scripture that you ‘must receive Jesus as your personal Savior’, but when we make a personal decision—not one made by our parents or anyone else—an individual decision, to invite Jesus to lead our lives …. Well then, we enter into a friendship with the living Lord, and that, my friends, is personal!
Cool! Where do I go to sign up? Do I need to call in, or fill out an entry form? Paul had it right 2000 years ago—confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved…
Just tell God,
“I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is who he said he was,
That I need what he did for me on that cross,
and that through him, I can know you, God.
Please forgive me of my sins and
help me learn to follow you. Amen.”
Did you pray that prayer? Well then… Yes! Yes, you 'got saved'.
I Got Saved, the song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9UdI0CXbm0. says it all!