Salvation: According to Scripture
This Article is an overview of what the Bible says about Salvation. If you are seeking for how to be saved, or would like to know how your sins may be forgiven, please see the references at the top right side of this page.
Many today have heard about Salvation from their Pastors and Preachers. Most churches will be quick to tell anyone how to be saved — yet every church seems to have a slightly different description of what Salvation is.
Why is this? Perhaps it is because many do not hold to the Truth of Scripture, but to various paradigms or ‘spin’ of what the Scriptures say. This mixture of Truth and error is called Tradition and Doctrines of Men, and according to Scripture, this is what turns men away from the Truth.
Today Yahuweh is calling His people to look only to His Word — the Bible — for the answers for all Truth. To do this, we must diligently search the Scriptures, but we must first be willing to discard the Traditions and Doctrines of Men. We must then test everything against the Scriptures.
Any idea or notion must be tested against Scripture, just as the Bereans did. They searched the Scriptures daily, to see whether those things that the Apostle Paul said were true, or not (Acts 17:10-11). How much more should we do the same, for things we hear from our leaders?
Over the years, many groups have codified and written down various views of Bible subjects as they have understood them. Man has seen and understood only a partial view, however, and has had only a flicker of Light on various subjects. May Yahuweh open our eyes, and illuminate His Word for us today!
Yahuweh truly is opening men’s eyes today, and illuminating the Scriptures, so that they might prepare to enter in to the Promised Land. For those who sincerely seek the Way of Life, we must return to the Scriptures, to find the clear and simple message of Salvation. The Scriptures reveal to us exactly what Salvation is, and what it is not. In this series we will at look at some of the highlights of Salvation, according to the Scriptures.
As we saw in Part 1, the Scriptures use various words to describe Biblical salvation, giving us a better understanding of what salvation is. In order to gain an even wider perspective on our New Covenant salvation, we must look further at some words of Messiah, and of the apostle Paul. We will also see many important aspects of our salvation, as we first look at Israel as our example.
Israel As Our Example
The New Testament refers many times to Israel as our example. So, let’s look the following passage in Jude:
“I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt…” (Jude 1:5a)
In this passage, Jude is simply recounting what is said in the Torah:
Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. (Exodus 14:30)
Notice that the Scriptures refer to the entire event of Israel’s ‘coming out’ of Egypt as being ‘saved’ out of the land of Egypt.
Coming Out Of Egypt
We recall that it was by the ‘Blood of the Lamb’ that Israel was redeemed from Egypt, by Yahuweh’s power, and His strength — by His Grace.
Notice what happens immediately after Israel left Egypt:
“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea…” (1Corinthians 10:1-2)
Here we are reminded that the nation of Israel, having ‘come out’ by the Blood of the Lamb, were next baptized in the cloud and in the sea. This scenario is a prophetic picture of Believers today, who are first redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb, then become baptized in water, and in the Holy Spirit.
It was this Baptism, we are told, that not only saved the Israelites, but drowned the Egyptians. Notice that this event is what is referred to as having “saved Israel” in the above passage in Exodus.
So we see that the entire event of coming out by the Blood of the Lamb, and being Baptized in the cloud and in the sea, is called “having saved” the people in the Book of Jude.
Israel’s ‘coming out of Bondage of Egypt,’ is the exact parallel of the New Testament Believers’ experience of ‘coming out of Bondage of Sin,’ and becoming free to choose whom they will serve.
Both Old and New Testaments reveal that the ‘coming out‘ for Israel, and for Believers today, is only by the Blood of the Lamb, and water Baptism. It is clear also that for Israel, and for us today, this ‘coming out‘ is only by the Grace of Yahuweh.
He Brought them Out — to Bring Them In
Scripture has much to say about the Salvation of Israel from Egypt, and also about Salvation of Believers today. But to understand this, we must ask some questions.
For what purpose did Yahuweh Save His people? Why did Yahuweh Bring out His people? Did He bring them out, with the intention of leaving them alone, to die in the Wilderness? Notice that Yahuweh tells us His purpose for ‘Bringing them Out’ of Egypt:
“And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers.” (Deuteronomy 6:23)
Notice Yahuweh’s purpose for Bringing them out by the Blood, was so that He might Bring them in. But did the generation that was ‘Brought out’ by the Blood, enter in? No! All that generation, except Joshua and Caleb, died in the Wilderness. They failed to ‘enter in.’
If that seems a little harsh, let’s now look at Yahuweh’s greater purpose, the very reason for bringing His people out of Egypt, and for giving them the Promised Land.
The Purpose for the Promised Land
First, let us recall the purpose for bringing Israel out of Egypt:
“And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers.” (Deuteronomy 6:23)
Now, let’s notice the bigger picture. Notice the reason Yahuweh gives, for bringing them out, and for giving them an inheritance:
“And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness: And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people; That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the LORD. (Psalms 105:43-45)
Notice Yahuweh’s purpose for the Promised Land was “That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws.”
Now this is not just a description of purpose for the Israelites in that day. No, it is likewise Yahuweh’s statement of purpose for His people today! This is a description of the life of those that enter in– both before and after ‘entering in’ to the Promised Land.
However, that generation of Israel refused to walk in obedience, so they were refused entry to the Promised Land.
Most of That Generation Failed to Enter In
“But how did that happen?” We ask. They had been Saved from Egypt by the Blood of the Lamb, and by water Baptism. What happened? Both Old and new Testament Scriptures have much to tell us about what happened to them, as a ‘Warning’ to us today!
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (1Corinthians 10:11-12)
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. (Hebrews 4:1)
This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: (2Peter 3:1-2)
With such serious warnings, it seems we should be searching diligently to find out exactly what that generation did, and exactly why they were refused entry into the Promised Land. Let’s look.
Why They Failed to Enter In
We are told in two chapters of the Book of Hebrews why that generation of Israelites failed to enter in. We are told also in the passage above in 2Peter, that we should be mindful of what the Prophets have spoken.
So let’s see what the Prophets have said about why Israel failed to enter in:
But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them. (Ezekiel 20:13)
Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness. Ezekiel 20:21
I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols. (Ezekiel 20:23-24)
These reasons given above by the Prophets are for our wisdom, and our learning. Notice how the Book of Hebrews refers to these actions by the Israelites:
But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? (Hebrews 3:17)
And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief <570>. (Hebrews 3:18-19)
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief <543>. (Hebrews 4:11)
In the above passages, we see first, that the Israelites had “sinned.” We then see that the reason given in Hebrews 3:19 is ‘unbelief,’ as the meaning for the Greek word, Strong’s number <570> tells us.
Then we see that the reason given in Hebrews 4:11 is given as ‘disobedience’, as the Greek word, Strong’s number <543> indicates. But what is this ‘sin’ and ‘unbelief’ and ‘disobedience’ we are warned of? Let’s look at the New Testament definition of Sin:
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1John 3:4)
So Israel sinned. They ‘Transgressed the Law’ — the Torah. We are told they despised Yahuweh’s Statutes, and did not keep His Judgments, and polluted His Sabbaths, and went into the idolatry handed down from their fathers. Does all this apply to us today?
What we see above is confusing to many. We have been taught that we are saved by Grace, and not by obeying the Law. We are saved by the Blood, and not by works. These are true, but are only one side of the two-sided coin called Biblical Salvation.
Like Israel, we come out by the Blood of the Lamb, and we then are baptized in the water and in the Spirit. We come out by the Blood, and by His Grace.
But from what the Scriptures are telling us, coming out is only half the picture. We must then enter in by His Grace, by obedience! Notice that both coming out and entering in is only by His Grace — by His enablement given to us by His Spirit.
Israel failed to enter into the Promised Land in that day, due to disobedience. Likewise, Believers today can also be refused entry into the Promised Land — due to disobedience of the SAME Commandments, Statutes, and Precepts, according to the detailed warnings in Hebrews chapter 4!
Is this true? Can this concept be seen elsewhere in Scripture? Let us look carefully at the words of Yahushua to determine this.
What Did Yahushua Say?
As mentioned earlier, the concepts of Salvation and Eternal Life are used interchangeably throughout Scripture. Let’s notice some questions asked of Yahushua, and the answers he gives:
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. (Matthew 19:16-17)
And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. (Mark 10:17-19)
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. (Luke 10:25-28)
And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. (Luke 18:18-20)
Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. (Luke 13:23-24)
Notice in each of the above passages, Yahushua is asked the same question, in broad, general terms. In each case, Yahushua gives the answer in broad, general terms, but does not give the specifics on how this salvation, this entering in, is to be accomplished.
In His answers, Yahushua is telling us exactly how we must ‘enter in,’ and in the answer given in Matt 19:17, He tells us the clue that this refers to the ‘enter-in’ side of the salvation coin, rather than the ‘come-out’ side. Note in the last passage above, Yahushua equates being saved to ‘entering in.’
What Yahushua has NOT told us in His answers seen above, is that the ONLY way someone may enter in to eternal Life, is that they must meet two requirements:
- They must first ‘come out‘ by His Grace, only by the Blood of the ‘Lamb.’
- They must ‘enter in‘ by His Grace, only by ‘Messiah-in-you,’ who provides the Grace — the enablement given by the Holy Spirit, while He lives within. He gives us His enablement, so that we can keep His Commandments.
So we see that the Israelites lacked the obedience that would have allowed them in. Likewise, everyone today lacks this same obedience — unless they allow ‘Messiah-in-you’ to provide the Grace to accomplish this necessary obedience! The apostle Paul tells us plainly that Grace is for obedience to ‘The Faith’ (Romans 1:5).
The basic Torah requirements have not changed. They are the same for us, as they were for the Israelites, and for Yahushua, except for a few changes. The New Covenant changes, mentioned in the book of Hebrews, are the new and Better Things listed in Hebrews, and summarised in Jeremiah Chapter 31 and Ezekiel Chapter 36.
As part of these changes, Yahuweh will execute a new covenant with us, by writing His Torah [His ‘instructions’] internally on the tablets of our hearts, instead of externally on tablets of stone (Jeremiah Chapter 31). Yahuweh will also give us a new heart and a new spirit, and He will place His the Spirit within us, so that He [by His Spirit] will cause us to walk in obedience to His statutes, ordinances, and commandments (Ezekiel Chapter 36).
Further changes include a change in the Priesthood, in which Yahushua is the High Priest, after an eternal order, and in which Believers carry out the priestly duties; and a change in the sacrifice system, in which the Blood of Yahushua is the True sacrifice. His Blood, spilled once for all time, replaces the Blood of bulls and goats that were mere figures of the True. As a part of the change of sacrifice, we are told (Hebrews 10:8-10) that the ‘not my will’ is established as the new sacrifice, as spoken in Psalms 40:7, which has taken away the old sacrifice.
The New Covenant changes also provide for the replacement of the obligation to obey the Law [Torah], with the opportunity to choose voluntarily to obey the Law [Torah]. This last change occurred through the Torah provision allowing that anyone who has been set free from bondage [sin], may [through the death of the ‘old’ man and resurrection of the ‘new’ man, by personally identifying with Yahushua’s death, burial and resurrection], voluntarily take upon himself the yoke of a new Master (Lev 26:13; Matt 11:29-30).
This last provision was made in order for the Father to find a Bride suitable for His son. Father is looking for those who love His Son — who keep His commandments (John 14:15); and for those who know His Son — who know that Messiah is the one who gave the Commandments to Moses. Thus Father is looking for those who are Born-Again [who have Messiah ‘birthed’ within them], and who, out of love for Messiah, voluntarily obey Messiah’s commandments written in the Law [Torah].
A wrested [twisted] version of the apostle Paul’s doctrine claims that under the New Covenant, the Torah has been “done away,” is not part of our salvation, and is not to be obeyed. This false notion is perhaps the cornerstone of today’s spiritual error among Believers, and it is called the Doctrine of Balaam in Revelation 2:14.
If indeed the Law [the Torah, which is eternal] had been “done away,” we would not be forgiven by the Blood of Yahushua — because it is the Torah that prescribes forgiveness by Blood. And so it is only because the eternal Torah is still active and in force today, that we can be redeemed by Yahushua’s Blood, and forgiven, and saved (Heb 9:22).
Instead of being external, the Commandments are now internal. Instead of trying to obey the Commandments by our own strength, our own ability, it is now ‘Messiah-in-us’ who gives us the ‘Grace’ — the delight, and the ability, to keep His Commandments! Like the apostle Paul, we too will delight in the Law in the inward man (Romans 7:22), when we, as Paul, begin to walk in obedience to Messiah’s eternal Law.
What Did the Apostle Paul Say?
The apostle Paul described both the coming out and entering in sides of the Salvation ‘coin.’ Let’s look at the following passage:
“Much more then, being now justified by his blood…” (Romans 5:9a)
In the above verse, we see the ‘come-out‘ stage of Salvation — of being justified by the Blood of the Lamb. Now notice:
“…we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (Romans 5:9b)
Above we see the ‘enter-in‘ stage of Salvation — of being ‘saved’ through Him — through ‘Messiah-in-us’ living His Life. This passage is one of many that reveals that it is HIS life that will cause us to walk in obedience. Now notice again:
“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son…” (Romans 5:10a)
Again, we see above a reminder of the ‘come-out‘ stage — of being ‘reconciled’ by the Death, the Blood of the Lamb. Now notice again:
“…much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:10b)
Above, we see again the ‘enter-in‘ stage — of being ‘saved’ through His Life — again, the Life of ‘Messiah-in-us,’ as He walks in obedience, in us.
Again Paul is reminding us that it is Yahushua’s life within us, and it is by His Grace, His enablement, that we will be saved — that we will enter in to eternal Life.
Paul understood the mystery of Messiah-in-you (see Colossians 1:27), and he reminds us that He-in-us is our only hope of Glory — of entering in to the Glory of Yahuweh. Notice next what Paul tells us:
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: (Romans 7:22)
Paul understood the importance of the Law (the Torah) being written in the inward man, thereby allowing Messiah-in-us to carry out, and to obey, the Father’s commandments through us, even though seeming to be unfamiliar to us as gentiles.
We have seen that Biblical Salvation is really a two-sided issue, one of ‘coming out’ by the Blood of Yahushua, the Lamb, and then of ‘entering in’ by the obedience of Messiah-in-us, as we allow Him to do so. Both aspects of this Salvation are by His Grace — His enablement He gives us from living within us.
We have seen that in Scripture, the term Salvation refers to the coming out stage, as well as to the entering in stage. We have seen likewise that the term Salvation is applied in Scripture to the overall process.
We have seen that the ministry of the Blood of the Lamb is for our Redemption, and also for our Justification, by His Grace, to bring man ‘out’ — out of Egypt, out of bondage to sin.
We have seen that the ministry of obedience, also by His Grace, by the life of Messiah-in-you, is to bring man ‘in’ — into the Promised Land — into the Kingdom of Heaven — the City of the Great King.
As we reflect on what we have seen, let us heed these words of the apostle Paul:
for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”
and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” (Rev 3:3)