Salvation, commonly referred to as “being saved” means deliverance or redemption from sin and its consequences. We are told in Romans 5:8 that God demonstrated His love for us through the death of His son, because of our sins. Ephesians 2:5 tells us “even though we were dead because of our sins, [God] gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved.” In order to receive salvation, we have to be born again. We commonly hear the terms, "born again" again and "saved" in Christian circles.They are two of the most popular phrases used by-present day Christians, but many can’t pinpoint the definition when they are asked to. When you are saved, or born again, you experience a spiritual transformation, a total change of heart. To be born again is to be saved.
To better understand salvation through the act of being born again, turn to John 3:1-21. In this passage, Jesus Christ is talking to Nicodemus, a prominent Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin was the ruling body of the Jews. During this exchange, Nicodemus came to Jesus with a number of questions.
Nicodemus says “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” (John 3:2) Jesus uses an illustration Nicodemus can easily understand, one of a newborn baby entering its life to represent beginning new life with God. “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” (John 3:3). Nicodemus is confused at first by Jesus’ response, when he uses the term born again, “How can a man be born when he is old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!’”(John 3:4). Jesus provides clarity: ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again”(John 3: 5-7). You can see through this passage that Nicodemus is searching for answers, but what he really needs is a change of his heart. The same applies to us. When we identify as born again we have experienced new birth in Christ and through this process ultimately become children of God.
Another crucial aspect of salvation is God’s gift of grace. We are told in Ephesians 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift from God.” Grace is God’s love in action. Biblical scholar Paul Enns describes grace as “the unmerited or undeserving favor of God to those who are under condemnation.” (The Moody Handbook of Theology). Though we are undeserving of grace, God loves us so much that He continues to save us. We needed to be rescued. God made us “in His own image.” Genesis 2:7 tells us “Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into His nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” God energized them through His breath. Given man was created in God’s image, we know that they were perfect. But their disobedience showed not only their distrust of God, but their own brokenness. We are similar, being that we are like God, yet ungodly, victims in a world of sin. We are living in a world of lost souls. But God doesn’t want this for us. In fact, God rescues us from our sin.
To be saved, or born again is to accept the plan of salvation that Jesus offers us. In order to understand salvation, it’s imperative that you understand the death and resurrection of Christ which points to our salvation. The son of God was made human, and during His earthly life, he lived a perfect life, and died not because He wanted to but because we needed salvation. He was made to die for us. Amazingly, God raised Him from the dead into new life, and promises to resurrect us when Jesus comes again. The salvation we need is Jesus, and can only be accessed through Him.