As we enter the Christmas season it is fitting that we consider the great gift of salvation from the birth of the Savior. In fact, the first mention of Jesus in scripture appears in the Gospel of Matthew where an angel appears to Joseph and states, “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins,” (Matthew 1:21).
The Greek term used here for salvation is sozo, defined as “to save, deliver, protect, heal, preserve, be (make) whole."1 This reveals that the salvation experience involves engaging in a salvation-healing journey throughout which divine healing is administered to sin-damaged individuals as they grow in relationship with the Trinity.
It Starts With Encounter
“Our God is a God of salvation” (Psalms 68:20) and His desire is that we would accept this great gift of entering a transformative relationship with Him. Every connection begins with an encounter. We meet someone and then become associated in relationship that develops through engagement. God invites us to seek Him, and He promises we will find Him (see Jeremiah 29:13, Hebrews 11:6). In fact, the birth of Jesus is evidence that God seeks us first.
It Grows in Relationship
Encounter doesn’t have to culminate in relationship. We have meetings throughout our lifetimes and only a handful develop into friendship. Yet, Jesus invites us to the bond of friendship and in that alliance, we gain more than we can even imagine. True relationship involves an exchange of self with another.
We give God our struggle, sin and heartache. In turn, He gives us hope, help, healing and wholeness along with gifts, ability and opportunity to serve with Him in sacred community. This salvation relationship is developed through conversation (prayer), repentance (renewing of the mind) and discovery (reading God’s word, fellowship in the Church, serving in love).
Its Ultimate Goal Is Heaven
God loves being in relationship with us through Jesus Christ and it is His good pleasure to bestow gifts and grace upon His children. However, the goal is not just a good life here. Ultimately, God has invited us to eternity with Him. The writer of Ecclesiastes states it well, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart,” (Ecclesiastes 3: 11).
In the heart of every person there is a yearning for more because we were made for it and in relationship with Jesus; we become prepared for it. As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Philippi, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself,” (Ecclesiastes 3:20-21).
Through the salvation-healing work of Jesus Christ, he saves us from our sin and for himself. This truly is the greatest gift.
Retrieved From: 1 James Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, Pg. 880.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.