What Does Salvation Mean?

 By Pastor George D. Cutler

Grace Gospel


Do we really understand what it means to be saved? The word "SAVE" is a very common word that is often used in our language. There is nothing difficult about its meaning. Even the average small child knows what the words save and safe mean. When we generally think of someone being saved, it is usually in regards to: 1). some person that is rescued by firemen from burning flames. 2). a small child that wanders into the street and is saved from the oncoming traffic by a concerned adult. 3). Passengers on a sinking ship that have need of being saved from the frigid depths of the ocean. 4). Soldiers that are surrounded in a war zone that need to be saved from the enemy and 5). Coal miners that are trapped beneath the surface of the earth and have need to be saved from the foreign elements below. In this sense, the word “save” means to: “rescue, keep from harm, keep safe and sound and to deliver from destruction or loss." Thus it always implies that someone is in harms way. In each of these stated examples, there was some kind of danger.



What perils of destruction subsist for depraved mankind in the sphere of time and creation? In analyzing this, the first question that needs to be addressed is this: What does mankind need to be saved from? (What danger is there that needs immediate attention?)  The answer is found in some of the aforementioned examples plus others, i.e., a burning building filled with smoke and flames, persons stranded in the middle of the desert who are exposed to its excessive elements and the critical lack of water or soldiers in a foxhole with bullets and bombs flying over their heads. In each of these situations, those who are in perils will automatically cry out, "Please save me!" There are also situations of the potential perils of danger, which address anticipated encounters that their involved petitioners would inquire deliverance from? A classis example entails an individual that is poised to have major surgery. Before such one is anesthetized, the obvious prayer is, "Lord, save or deliver!" which identifies what one desires preservation from? Great emphasis and priority is focused on readings from the Old and New Testament covenant writings, documenting the temporary perils of this present life in the natural and/or physical sense. Unfortunately, this has set the framework of most mindsets to the point that such predominantly form the contents of the majority of prayers. But do any of these things so stated potentially constitute permanent or ultimate destruction?      



What is the permanent or ultimate peril of destruction in existence? There is a plethora of documentation in all of God’s Covenants, e.g., the Kingdom Gospel writings, which very convincingly infer the priority of man’s eternal state of affairs. Passages of scripture such as Luke 23:39 speak of the criminal on the cross next to Jesus at Calvary, who though facing the inevitable termination of his physical perseity in the earthly realm, was more concerned about the essence of his eternal state of being. The analyzation of these proceedings induces three obvious questions: 1). what was this transgressor’s request to be saved or delivered from, 2). was he rescued and from what and 3). why didn’t the other convict have similar concerns? The only palpable answers to these and all other questions addressing salvation (being saved, rescued or delivered) is the comprehension of messages addressing ones everlasting state of being as the ultimate place of safety and security. This is concisely, tersely and superiorly documented in the Grace Contract, i.e., the Gospel of Grace, the Mystery, as revealed to the Apostle Paul.  

In this view, the most important question is what does mankind ultimately need to be saved FROM? The only valid response to this inquiry is realized in the internalization and acknowledgement of God’s eternal plan, will and purpose. The contents of the Kingdom Gospel constitute the inhabitants of everlasting existence in the earthly sphere through witnessing of its scriptures, e.g., Matthew 1:21, which certifies Jesus as the savior and deliverer of His covenant people Israel in that “…. He shall save His people from their sins.” From this revelation, it was perceived that Israel, as well as all mankind was in danger resulting from the curse of the depraved nature of sin. Thus from this information, the ultimate connotation of this term can be gleaned by considering its opposite, i.e., to be separated or estranged from God and lost. In corroboration to this, the following verses comprise words or phrases which is opposite in meaning to the word "SAVE": 1) James 4:12, 2) Mark 16:16, and 3) John 3:17-18. In addition to this, another Kingdom scripture compares the function of their savior in relationship to those who need the
services of a doctor (Luke
5:31). Luke 5:32 certified that all of Israel (not the righteous but sinners) needs a”SAVIOUR.” The context of Luke 19:10 confirmed what Jesus’ Earthly mission for His covenant people Israel is: “… for the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost,” a’ la the manifestation of them as LOST SINNERS facing great danger.

From these Scriptures it can be ascertained that far above the unstable elements that creation affords in the sphere of time, the greatest potential and ultimate peril of destruction to mankind lies in the fact that he is in danger and it is impossible for him to save himself or for anyone else other than God to come to his rescue. Hence there are severe limitations in the Kingdom and Old Testament Gospels in that they are conveyed strictly from the Earthly vantage-point and are thus couched in language that could construe man as a participant or as least an influence force in the process of his eternal deliverance and rescue. In this sense, the inference of human participation and influence enviably results in the inevitable concept of human free will. In this view is also invoked the intellection of human determination and so-called fortuitous circumstances. For example, a person may jump from a burning building and survive the fall. Another person who is shipwrecked might use his own strength and effort to swim several miles to shore. Unfortunately, these imagined precisions are brought forth into the salvation process both by 1). the discipline of these writing to the contents and conditions of their respective covenants and 2). their inability to recognize that though the tenure of the Earthy Kingdom is everlasting, the posture of it is limited to the Earthly-eternal viewpoint and is not thus conveyed in eternal-Heavenly language.



In the most advance and mature writings of God’s superior information, there is the unquestionable conveyance that self-salvation is impossible. In considering an Earth-view analogy, a person is sinking in quicksand yet the more he struggles the deeper he sinks, thus he needs someone else to stand on solid ground and pull him out! Although the permanent or ultimate peril of destruction in existence is fully established in several of the other gospels, the Heavenly-eternal viewpoint conveys all of God’s eternal workings as established in His decrees before He created the universe, which is the only reliable foundation and solid ground. In this view, all was actuated in eternity including planning, implementing and culminating all things but more specifically, He actualized the SALVATION PLAN FOR HIS ELECT, all in the eternal sphere. Thus when it comes to God’s great salvation, is it possible in the sphere of time and creation for a sinner to save himself (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9)? In this sense, if a man could save himself then he would not need a SAVIOR because according to the view that salvation is at least an Earthly occurrence, he could possibly be his own savior. If the person in quicksand could get out on his own, then he would need no one else. Even those who purposively lay claim to the doctrine of God’s Sovereign Election place the actuation or initiation of at least some of the elect’s salvation in the sphere of time. Thus the majority of Christendom, regardless of their varied positions, teaches in some manner that the moment a sinner confesses, "I need a savior" he is really saying, "I can’t do it myself. I need someone else to do what I could never do." Now this is absolutely correct but this does not convey the factuality that the underlined reason none of it is possible is because the entire gamut of salvation as well as everything else has ALREADY BEEN COMPLETED and actualized in God’s eternal decrees!  

The eternal view and fact of the matter is, in the essence of both eternity and time, salvation engenders God’s deliverance of mankind based solely upon His sovereign grace in His chose of designated ones out of humanity; strictly in the eternal sphere according to the accommodations of His will, plan and purpose. Much of Christendom fail to grasp the workings of God’s magnificent feat of justification and sanctification simply because their primary focus in the Bible is upon the 10 Commandments and other Old Testament Doctrines with a view to duplicating or authenticating such for the purpose of obtaining or defining moral perfection in the sphere of time rather the conferment of such solely by His grace in the sphere of eternity. The comprehension of God’s complete and eternal workings is far more glorious and secure than the manifestation of His Earthy accomplishments. When one understands the Lord’s eternal accomplishments it certifies the security of salvation thus negating all aspects for the obtaining and securing of it from the manifestation mode of the child of God’s Earthly walk. Ephesians 1:11-14 delineate God’s initiation, implementation and completion of His eternal working in the salvation of His elect in eternity before the creation of the world. The fact that individuals were made heirs is not left to chance in light of the phrase “having been foreordained according to the purpose of the one working all things.” The Heavenly-eternally based information conveyed in Paul’s epistles comprise a specific volume of truth, the Grace Gospel, i.e., the Mystery (Ephesians 3:8; Colossians 4:3; Acts 20:24), which is the good news in the Grace Dispensation for those conferred the privilege of becoming members of the Body of Christ.


II Thessalonians 2:13-17 depict God’s process of growth and development in the hearts of those whom He privileges to internalize the initiation, implementation and completion of His eternal workings of salvation. This enlightenment exudes an informed sense of obligation and thanksgiving to God in light of the knowledge that we were and are surely His beloved because according to II Thessalonians 2:13, “God did chose” us “from the beginning to salvation,” which unmistakably refers to the chose of His elect in eternity. The continued conveyance, “in sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth,” denotes that this election to salvation also includes the fact of eternal sanctification in His Spirit in eternity and the assignment of belief of the truth, to be manifested in time. This passage also identifies the manifestation of God’s purpose for us, His elect in the sphere of time, i.e., those who were chosen in eternity, were also in effect called (having been called) through their pre-assigned belief of the gospel (good news), which is certified by the fact that we were eternally “in the possession of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The expressed goals and desired ends is that God causes us to experience the blessings of the identification in Christ process; which depicts the purpose of His process of growth and development in identification of such spiritual blessings as we are established “in every good word and work.” This expresses the ultimate end of those who He has so privileged to comprehend the establishment of the eternal workings of salvation, which secures all of God’s people in our daily living and ministering this testimony of God. This is truly in essence what salvation is and does, i.e., we are eternally safe and secure from all the permanent or ultimate peril of destruction in existence. This all that our gospel promises us howbeit this is more than we need ever hope for!