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Part 2: What is Biblical Salvation?

01 Feb

The word Salvation in its most basic sense means to deliver, and only context determines the kind of deliverance that is being spoken of.  It would not be accurate to define Biblical salvation in only one way, or to assume that the word salvation in the Bible is always being used in the same way.  Let me give you several examples of what mean:

There is a kind of salvation in the Bible that is focused almost exclusively on a physical kind of deliverance.  For example, in Psalm 34:6 Davis said that “this poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.” David is not speaking of an eternal deliverance or a spiritual deliverance in this context, but rather a temporary deliverance from physical death and his physical enemies.  In Psalm 106:8 the Psalmist recalls how God “saved Israel for His name’s sake, that He might make His mighty power known.”   Again in Psalm 106:10 the Psalmist remembers how God saved Israel “from the hand of him who hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.” In this passage, Israel was backed against the Red Sea, but God delivered them from the hand of Pharaoh their merciless enemy.

Another kind of physical deliverance is a deliverance from serious sickness.  In 2 Chronicles 32:24 the Chronicler records that their was a day when the king, Hezekiah, was “sick and near death, and he prayed to the LORD; and He spoke to him and gave him a sign.”  This passage remembers a temporary physical deliverance that Hezekiah experienced from physical sickness and even death.

Another kind of salvation is found in Jeremiah 4:14.  In this passage we read the longing and command of the prophet Jeremiah when he says: “O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved.”  In this context he is not speaking of a spiritual, but of a physical salvation.  In the Old Testament, we read many scriptures relating to the promises of God and the Mosaic Covenant.  In Deuteronomy 28:15 ”But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:”  Later in the same chapter, Moses warns of specific physical judgments, that God would bring against a rebellious Israel.  Her says that the LORD would “make the plague cling to them until He had consumed them from the land.  He promised to “strike them with consumption, fever, inflammation, severe burning fever, the sword, scorching, and mildew.  God even promised to bring enemies who would take them into captivity if they rejected the LORD their God.  By the way, all those things happened to Israel throughout its history, and the prophet Jeremiah is warning the people to turn to God, so that He would deliver them from the physical consequences of their national sins.  These various kinds of physical deliverance are not the only classifications of physical salvation in the Bible, but for sake of time, we will stop on those classifications, though we will develop physical salvation with greater depth later in our study.

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