Featured in the October, 2008 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
You ask, “Why are Baptists always talking about being ‘saved’?” Baptists are always talking about being saved because the Bible talks about being saved.
Salvation is the very theme of the Word of God. It is the message of the Old Testament. “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22).
This teaching stands at the very outset of the New Testament, when the angel tells Joseph concerning Mary, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The word “saved” is used dozens of times in the New Testament.
The name Jesus is the Hebrew word meaning Savior, transliterated into the Greek and then again transliterated into the English. It appears over 950 times in the New Testament. It is the most common name for the Son of God. This is the name of which Peter said, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
But someone says he means the same thing but talks about it in a different way. Baptists use the word saved because it’s a Bible word. If you talk about this same experience in a different way, then you’re not using Bible terms. If the Bible teaches about being “saved” then we should talk about being “saved”.
We are lost people and Christ came to save us. This is His teaching, for He said, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10). We are all sinners; every one needs to be saved from sin and hell by the Lord Jesus Christ.
The will of God for you is no deep, dark mystery, for it is plainly stated in His Word that He, “wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time” (I Timothy 2:4-6).
“Being saved” was the teaching of Christ, of Peter, John, Paul and all the other apostles. Peter said on the day of Pentecost, “And whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21).
Paul, the Apostle, puts it this way, “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). Paul also said that this talk about Christ saving sinners is not understood by unsaved people – “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (I Corinthians 1:18).
Saved or Lost
Nothing could be clearer from reading the Gospels, the Book of Acts and Paul’s epistles in the Bible, that a person is either saved or lost. Saved people are real Christians; lost people may join churches, observe “sacraments”, attend worship services and be outwardly religious, but they are not right with God. The jailer at Philippi asked what he had to do in order to be saved. Paul answered him clearly, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
The burning truth of the Holy Bible is that no one saves himself, only Christ is the Savior. Christ died upon the cross to save us from our sins. Only his death suffices for our salvation. This is stated by Paul, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
No one gets saved by joining a church. Being saved is one of the Biblical qualifications for being admitted into a truly Christian church (Acts 2:47). The Bible also teaches (Revelation 21:24) that only saved people will go to heaven.
If the preacher you listen to does not talk about being saved, then he is not preaching the Word of God, which constantly emphasizes salvation. If you are not saved, then you should immediately put your faith in Christ and in Christ alone, who is the only one who can save you.
As long as there is a Bible to be read and people who read it, there are going to be folk who keep talking everywhere about being “saved”!