Francisco-Fact #158
October 3, 2019

What does it mean to say that I have been saved?

The Bible is full of references to being saved, and its cognates, in both the Old and New Testaments. In fact, salvation or being saved is referred to at least 290 times in the Bible. These references are both real physical salvation of individual persons and the nation of God, and to the spiritual salvation of individuals and groups, like the Church.

More recently, like in the era of the 1970's and 1980's, this reference often meant: "Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?" Although this phrase has become the object of ridicule, disapprobation, and cynicism, the Bible treats it seriously: "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." [Romans 10:9-10].

The Bible assumes humanity is enslaved by sin. Whatever form that sin may take, there is a way out. That way out is offered by God and in Christianity we read that it is our faith in Jesus that God saves us.

Harkening back to the Articles of Religion, the theological doctrine for this action is "Justification," Article XI (BCP p. 870), which answers the issue of sin, Article IX (BCP p. 869). Because of human enslavement to sin, and our observation that we continually fail in trying to be sin-free, the Biblical understanding is that only God can set our lives properly before him. Therefore, Jesus, who is wholly-God and wholly-Man, has through his holy-life and sacrificial death set us right (righteous) before God, hence sinless.

Because Jesus is who he is and did what he did, we have been saved. That is what it means to be saved: being right with God and no longer in fear of spiritual, and therefore, metaphorical and real bondage.