As evangelical Christians, we believe wholeheartedly in salvation. But just what is “salvation”?  The word in the original Bible languages (Hebrew, Old Testament Greek, New Testament) means “deliverance”, “liberation”, “wholeness”, “soundness”. Wholeness and soundness are the positive aspects of salvation.  The emptiness of life is filled with purpose, meaning, and direction.  Deliverance and liberation refer to being set free from self-centeredness and addictions that once set the direction for the total life.  So salvation is that act of God that sets us free from an old way of life — what the Bible calls the “flesh”.  And sets us free to something as well as from something. We are saved to a new life of freedom and purpose.  The saved one has something lasting to live for.  He or she is saved into a new society or community called the Church, the Body of Christ, the new People of God.  Salvation means the surrender of the life to the Person, will, and purpose of God.  Jesus never made it so easy for potential converts that they simply repeated a little prayer and then went on their same merry way.  He called for commitment, surrender, and dedication.  “He who would be my disciple”, he told the hearers of his day, “must take up his cross daily and follow me”. When one heard his message and turned and walked away, it broke Jesus heart”. Watching him leave, Jesus loved him”, we are told.  Yet Jesus didn’t run after him offering to compromise his message if he would only follow him! Let’s not make it more difficult than it is — but let’s not compromise Jesus message, either!   REV. DR. RICHARD L. SHAW, PASTOR

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