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3. What does being "saved" mean?

   
   The word "salvation" in the Bible comes from the Greek word "sodzo", meaning to "protect", "preserve", "heal", "deliver", "become whole", or, to "keep safe".

    "Sodzo", in the King James Version, is translated 93 times as "save",  12 times to become "whole", 4 times to "heal", once to "do well",  and once to "preserve".

   We tend to use the word "saved" to describe the "point in time" when we become a child of God, but, God's Word uses the Greek word "sodzo" to describe the whole realm of benefits we receive, past, present, and future. From the moment we become a child of God we are "being saved". The "future" tense of salvation is when our salvation is completed, at the Rapture of the Church, as in Romans 8:23, when our physical body is "redeemed".

   The word "sodzo" is primarily used in the "present" tense, to describe our being presently preserved, kept safe from harm, and delivered from fears, doubts, and the power and domination of sin in our life. In the present tense, we are actually "more saved" or "less saved", from one moment to the next, depending on how much we depend on God and His power instead of depending on our self.

   Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, of Dallas Theological Seminary, was the first theologian, that I know of, to compile a comprehensive list of the benefits of our "salvation". Bob Thieme of Berachah Church in Houston Texas modified Dr. Chafers list and published it in his book "The Plan of God". Our "salvation package" is a wonderful gift from God, and using Dr. Chafers basic list as an outline, and arranging it chronologically according to the Greek verb tenses, we can see just how wonderful it is!

   The tenses of the New Testament Greek verbs tell us when the action in our "salvation" verses takes place:

--- The Greek "perfect" tense means an action completed in the past, with continuing results.

--- The Greek "aorist" tense means action at a point in time.

--- The Greek "present" and "future" tenses are just like our English tenses.

   Listed below are the major provisions of our "salvation package". These are the benefits that God gives to all His children, grouped chronologically, as occurring in eternity past (perfect tenses), at the point in time when we became a child of God (aorist tenses), present provisions (present tenses), and future provisions (future tenses). The word "saved" in the New Testament includes all of the following provisions:
IN ETERNITY PAST (Perfect tense verbs):

1. Placed into the eternal plan of God, to share the destiny of Christ:

    a. Elect (chosen) in eternity past, Eph 1:3 & Titus 1:1&2.

    b. Given a destiny to be conformed to the character of Christ, Rom 8:29.

    c. A gift from God the Father to Christ, John 17:2, 6, 9, 11, & 24.

2. Possessors of every spiritual blessing, provided in eternity past, Eph 1:3.

3. Perfected forever (in the mind of God in eternity past), Heb 10:14.

THE POINT IN TIME WHEN WE BECAME A CHILD OF GOD (Aorist tense verbs): 

1. Born anew, 1 Pet 1:23.

2. Delivered from the power of darkness, Col 1:13.

3. Transferred into the kingdom of God, Col 1:13.

4. Baptized into permanent union with Christ by the Holy Spirit, 1 Cor 12:13.

5. Sealed (permanently) by the Holy Spirit into union with Christ, Eph 1:13 & 14.

6. Indwelt (permanently) by the Holy Spirit, 1 Cor 3:16

7. Made spiritually alive (activated human spirit), and able to hear and believe the Gospel, Rom 8:7-10, 1 Cor 1:18 & 2:14.

8. Given spiritual gifts, 1 Cor 12:4-7.

9. Given everlasting life, 1 John 5:11.

10. Made to be complete in Christ, Col 2:10.

11. Called by the Gospel, 1 Thess 5:24.

12. Reconciled to God, 2 Cor 5:18 (Christ settled the enmity (hostility) and made peace between God and His children, whether we realize it or not).

13. Redeemed (from the slave market of sin), Col 1:14.

14. All sins forgiven through propitiation (covered), Rom 3:24 & 25.

15. Justified (declared righteous positionally), Rom 3:24.

16. Made to be dead with Christ (positionally) and made alive to God, Rom 6:8-10.

17. Sanctified (perfectly cleaned up and set apart positionally), 1 Cor 6:11.

18. Freed from the Old Testament Law, Gal 3:23-25.

19. Adopted as adult sons of God, Rom 8:15

20. Placed on a secure foundation, Eph 2:19-22.

21. Appointed as priests unto God (replacing the Old Testament priesthood), 1 Peter 2:5 & 9.

22. Given permanent access to God, Eph 2:18.

23. Became joint heirs with Christ and beneficiaries of all that God owns, Rom 8:15-17.

PRESENTLY (Present tense verbs):

1. Being led by the Spirit of God, Rom 8:14.

2. Being sanctified, Heb 2:11 (in our experience)

3. Being delivered (as we walk in the Spirit) from the power of the old sin nature, Col 2:10-13.

4. Presently under the special care of God as the peculiar (set apart) people of God, 1 Pet 2:9.

5. Partners with Christ, 1 Cor 1:9 (fellowship here means to "share" Christ's life with Him).

6. Our mind is being renewed, Col 3:9 & 10

7. Condemnation is removed when we walk in the Spirit, Rom 8:1.

8. Objects of God's Love, Eph 2:4.

9. Objects of God's Grace for service, Eph 4:7.

10. Objects of God's grace for instruction, Titus 2:11 & 12

11. Objects of God's power for believing and trusting in Him, Eph 1:19.

12. Objects of God's faithfulness, Phil 1:6.

13. Objects of God's peace, John 14:27.

14. Objects of God's consolation, 2 Thess 2:16.

15. Objects of God's intercession, Rom 8:34.

16. Appointed as workers together with God, 1 Cor 3:9.

17. Appointed as ministers of the New Testament, 2 Cor 3:6.

18. Appointed as ambassadors, 2 Cor 5:20.

19. Appointed as living epistles, 2 Cor 3:3.

20. Appointed as members of Christ's body, 1 Cor 12:13.

21. Appointed as a part of the bride of Christ, Eph 5:27.

IN OUR FUTURE (Future tense verbs):

1. Our redemption is complete when we receive our resurrection body at the Rapture, Rom 8:23.

2. We will be glorified, Romans 8:30. (God sees this as already completed, as far as He is concerned, in this passage. But, it is still future to us).

3. God has made us kings and we will rule with him forever, Rev 22:5.

This is our marvelous "salvation package" Now, we can understand what Paul meant:

--- In Phil 1:12 when he said to: "Be working out (present tense) your own "salvation" (benefits of being a child of God) with fear and trembling".

--- And in 1 Tim 4:13-16 where he tells Timothy to teach the Word and by doing so, he will "both save (future tense - deliver from harm and the effects of sin) thyself and them that hear thee"

Stay in fellowship, take in God's Word, and grow in God's Grace, and you will be receiving all the benefits of your "salvation package".