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Saved From What?

Saved From What?

A Journey Through the Realities of Being Saved from Sin's Consequences, Death's Finality, and Sin's Bondage


Stephanie Delger

Podcast Host

Mom Guilt Podcast

Published On:

April 10, 2024

One of my friends became a Christian on a spring break trip with our high school youth group. He came home from the trip and excitedly told his mother, "I was saved!" Concerned, his mother looked at him and asked, “Saved from what? Did you almost drown?” 

Have you ever heard someone ask, “Are you saved?” Or heard someone declare, “I have been saved!” I want to ask, like my friend’s mother, “Saved from what?”

We are saved from sin’s punishment

God is Holy. God is completely pure and set apart, untainted by sin. It’s because of God’s holiness that sin must be punished. God cannot simply look the other way and ignore sin. Sometimes we want this though, especially if we are talking about our own sins that we have committed. But imagine what would happen in the human court system if this occurred. 

Imagine sitting in a court room watching the trial for a man who has been charged with murder. Picture yourself in the audience, watching witness after witness give their testimony of how this man was guilty of murder. Let’s even say that the man himself has confessed to murder under oath. Imagine at the end of the trial, the judge asks everyone to stand for the reading of the sentencing. The judge lists off all the evidence, but then declares him innocent and tells him he is free to leave. There would be an uproar and a cry for justice. And rightly so! A guilty man didn’t get what he deserved and was instead given freedom.

Why would we be upset over this happening in the human court system, and yet are fine if this happens in the divine courtroom? Why are we so passionate for justice for a human life, but not with God’s character or goodness? 

God is holy and He cannot tolerate sin. In the book of Isaiah, we read about a vision Isaiah had where he sees the Lord. In Isaiah 6, Isaiah immediately recognizes God’s holiness. He says “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.” Upon seeing God’s holiness, his next words are, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” If we are being honest, we know two things to be true upon seeing God for who He is. The first is that God is holy and the second, is that we are not. 

Sin must be punished. Every single sin that has been or will be committed must be punished. This happens in one of two ways. First, the sinner himself will bear his own punishment. He will spend eternity in Hell, suffering God’s wrath. The second way that sins are atoned or paid for is by Jesus Christ on the cross. 

A christian is not saved by God ignoring his sin, but by God taking the punishment of sin on his behalf. Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” but goes on to say “and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”

Jesus was like a sponge, absorbing all of God’s wrath on our behalf. Jesus is our propitiation, and has atoned for our sins. He, like a sponge, absorbed all of God’s wrath on the cross that was rightly headed our way. This is one aspect of what it means for a person to be saved. 

We are saved from eternal death

Benjamin Franklin once said, “There is nothing certain in this world except death and taxes.” [1] Death is a part of our lives and will continue to be a part of it until Jesus returns. But for a christian, physical death is only the beginning. We see this clearly in a conversion between Jesus and Martha in John 11. 

Jesus, consoling Martha after Lazarus’ death, says to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25) 

As christians, we are one with Christ. Just as Christ died and was risen from the dead, so will all those who place their faith in Him. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul speaks of what happens for the believer after their physical death. Paul tells the Corinthian church, that just as Jesus was raised from the dead, so will the believer. The body we currently have is perishable, but the one we will get is imperishable. Worshipping Jesus for what He has done, we will all join as one voice, in our resurrection bodies, singing, ““Death is swallowed up in victory.”“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55) 

A christian is saved from eternal death. Although we may experience physical death, this in many ways is just the beginning. Christ has saved us from eternal death and we will live forever with Him in Heaven. 

We are saved from sin’s enslavement 

We are all born into sin. Jesus shows us a dire consequence of what it means to be born into sin. In John 8:34, Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.” Before a person is saved, they are a slave to sin. Rather than doing things God’s way, they want to do things their way and make their own rules (much like Adam and Eve in the garden). However, Jesus doesn’t leave us without hope. After Jesus declares that those who sin are slaves to sin, he shares what He has come to do. Jesus declares that He has come to redeem us and set us free from our bondage to sin, and “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

This does not mean that once a person is saved, they will no longer sin. In Romans 7, Paul writes about the tension that lives within the believer after they are saved. I affectionally call this the “do-do” passage. Paul humbly tells his fellow Christians that their is a war raging within himself. He is saved and is a new creation, but still has a desire or propensity for sin. “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. … For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” (Romans 7:15, 19-20) 

When we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside us. He helps us in our weakness, giving us both the desire and ability to fight the sin that we were once enslaved to. We now have the desire to follow God. We want to love the things God loves and hate the things God hates. 

The Bible tells us that this happens because we are one with Christ. Romans 6:6 says, “We know that our old self was crucified with him (Jesus) in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.”

Being one with Christ is such a wonderful reality for the Christian. We are one with Jesus in his crucifixion; our old self that was enslaved to sin, died with Christ on the cross. When Christ was raised from the dead, so were our desires. We are now a new creation, one that is no longer a slave to sin. Our hearts full of rebellion have been softened and changed into a heart full of worship.  

Our final salvation

The spiritual warfare that exists inside us will not last forever. We live in a tension many theologians call the “already / not yet.” We are saved. This is our reality. When a believer dies, they will see their Savior face to face. They will spend the rest of eternity in God’s presence, worshiping and praising Him for who He is and what He has done. But there is also a sense in which we are not fully saved. 

On this earth, in the here and now, we are waging war against our sinful desires. The consequences of sin, both for us and for the entire creation, are still evident. Romans 8 says that, both humans and creation are groaning, awaiting the day when the curse will no longer reign. We long for the freedom and redemption that God has promised. We eagerly long for the day when our adoption as God’s children will be complete. This is our hope. This is the reality for the believer. We are not only saved from sin, but we are saved to God. 

Revelation speaks of Jesus’ glorious return. It says Jesus will ride on a white horse like the commander of an army, and defeat all his enemies. Sin, death, and suffering will be no more. God will once again come to dwell with His people like He did with Adam and Eve in the garden. We will be saved from sin’s punishment and will be able to worship Him face to face. We will no longer be a slave to sin, rather our desires will be truly conformed to those of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Praise the Lord. Come quickly King Jesus! 

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