There is a lot of church language that we use in church and toss around. Among those words, the terminology surrounds salvation and “being saved” may be the one of the most common, but also most important. The foundation of the Christian faith is that the God of the world sent his son Jesus Christ to the earth to die and offer us this gift of salvation. While this is very important, Jesus did not just die to save us in the future, but to save us today.
Before we get to deep in hashing out a salvation for then or now, we must define what exactly salvation is. Salvation is our deliverance from sin and the death we deserve for it by Jesus’ death for us on the cross. All of mankind has sinned and due to this sin we deserve to die (Rom 3:23; 6:23). Yet, God sent his son, Jesus, to the earth and he never once did sin and yet he died for all of ours. Therefore, through faith in Jesus we are saved from the punishment we deserve for now and forevermore.
So is this salvation for now or in the future? Yes.
It is for both. Yet, so much of Christianity today focuses on some “pie in the sky” heaven that we will float away to on some cloud. There was an emphasis in the Bible of heaven, but it was less of a far away concept and more of a restoration of earth to its original state. At the end of Revelation, John sees a vision of heaven coming down to meet earth, not earth going up to heaven (Rev 21:1-2). This is definitely a promise for the believers who are in Christ, but when we look to much at that, we miss what we are saved for NOW.
So what is this salvation which Jesus offers us today? Jesus tells us when he picks up the scroll in the synagogue and reads from Isaiah 61. The salvation Jesus offers us today is this:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”Luke 4:18-9, NRSV
The salvation Jesus is offering to you and to me is simply this, it is life. Jesus tells us repeatedly in the gospel of John that he gives life, and the life he tells us he gives is not just simply a breathing life but a deeper life given by God. Jesus broke us from the bondage of sin and the law to live freely in and for him. Jesus did not die so we had to live a life following a set of rules, but that we could live a life for God in relationship with him. This is true life. The Holy Spirit comes to live in us and breathes this life into us.
Yes, Jesus died to save us so that we can spend eternity with him, but he also saved us to live with him and for him now.
Embrace Jesus. Draw close to him and receive the life he gives you.