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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

SALVATION. —The Gospel usage of this word is closely connected with that of OT.

The corresponding Heb. words are derivatives of ישׁע and נצל. Of the former, the Niphal and Hiphil are found in the verb; of noun forms יַשַׁע; or יָשַׁע, יֽשׁוּעָה, תְּשׁוּעָה, מוֹשָׁעוֹת and some proper names, of which the most important is יְהוֹשׁוּעַ ‘Jehovah is salvation.’ The root נצל occurs in the Niphal and Hiphil of the verb; its only noun-derivative is the ἅταξ λεγομενον, הַצָלָה,  Esther 4:14. The fundamental meaning of ישׁע appears to be ‘enlargement,’ whence the notion of ‘deliverance’ naturally springs, the same association of ideas being observed in the use of ‘compression,’ ‘confinement’ as figures for ‘distress.’ So far as the verbal forms of both roots are concerned, the idea of ‘saving’ is entirely negative, that of deliverance from some evil, no reflexion being passed upon favourable, positive consequences. A negative sense is very clear in such passages as  Psalms 28:9;  Psalms 69:35, where the positive results of the saving act are named as something additional. From other words denoting deliverance ‘to save’ is distinguished by the constant presence of two elements, that of a delivering agent, and that of an active interposition on his part for the removal of actual evil or peril. For mere ‘preservation’ or mere ‘escape’ other words are used: ‘healing’ also is expressed by different terms; of.  Genesis 45:7;  Genesis 47:25,  Exodus 1:17,  Jeremiah 48:6,  Ezekiel 3:18,  Psalms 6:5;  Psalms 41:3,  Job 2:6. The evil from which salvation takes place varies; in most cases it is the oppression of Israel by its enemies; sometimes, though not frequently, it appears in the acute form of individual or national death ( Psalms 68:19-20). While the noun-forms frequently have the same negative meaning as the verb, they pass over more readily into the positive sense, so that the act of deliverance becomes the point of departure for the bestowal of favour, blessing, and prosperity. Thus יְשׁוּעָה and תְּשׁוּעָה come to mean ‘victory’ ( 1 Samuel 14:45,  2 Samuel 19:2,  2 Kings 5:1,  Isaiah 60:18). ‘Salvation’ becomes synonymous with other positive terms like ‘righteousness,’ ‘blessing,’ ‘light’ ( Isaiah 45:8;  Isaiah 46:13;  Isaiah 49:6;  Isaiah 61:10;  Isaiah 62:1,  Psalms 24:5;  Psalms 106:4). In the Prophets and the Psalter it obtains an eschatological (Messianic) sense, and stands as one of the terms for the great final deliverance and the final blessedness to follow ( Isaiah 12:2 f.,  Isaiah 45:17;  Isaiah 45:22;  Isaiah 49:8;  Isaiah 51:6;  Isaiah 51:8;  Isaiah 52:7;  Isaiah 56:1,  Jeremiah 23:6;  Jeremiah 33:16,  Micah 7:7,  Habakkuk 3:8;  Habakkuk 3:18,  Psalms 14:7;  Psalms 35:4;  Psalms 74:12;  Psalms 85:8;  Psalms 98:2-3;  Psalms 109:27;  Psalms 118:15;  Psalms 118:21.) The religious importance of the conception in the OT springs not so much from the nature of the evil removed, or from the nature of the blessedness bestowed, as rather from the fact that salvation, of whatever nature, is a work of Jehovah for His people, a Divine prerogative; hence the frequently recurring statements that salvation belongs to Jehovah, is of Jehovah, that Jehovah is salvation, the Saviour of Israel ( 1 Samuel 14:39,  2 Samuel 22:3,  2 Chronicles 20:17,  Isaiah 12:2-3;  Isaiah 33:22,  Psalms 3:8;  Psalms 62:2;  Psalms 118:14;  Psalms 118:21). In so far as salvation is valued not merely from the point of view of its benefits for man, but as a pledge of the Divine favour, the idea becomes spiritualized in principle. Besides, in so far as all national developments in the history of Israel have a religious and moral background, it is felt that every act of salvation must have for its antecedent a change in the people’s spiritual condition ( Isaiah 33:22;  Isaiah 33:24). In a few passages the conception is directly transferred from the national-political to the purely religious sphere, sin being named as the evil from which Israel or the individual is saved ( Ezekiel 36:29,  Psalms 51:14).

The LXX Septuagint renders the Heb. verbs by σώζειν, the nouns by σωτηρία. and σωτήριον. These words, however, are likewise used to render Heb. terms of a different shade of meaning, and thus to a large extent the nice distinction of the original between ‘salvation ‘specifically so-called and such more general terms is obscured. Thus σώζειν stands for מלט Niphal, Piel, and Hiphil, frequently in the Passive for mere ‘escape,’ also for forms of פלט and חיה. On the other hand, σώζειν never bears in the LXX Septuagint the specific sense of ‘healing’ ( Jeremiah 17:14).

In the Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphical writings the usage does not vary much from that of the OT; cf.  Sirach 51:12 (ἐξ ἀτωλείας),  Wisdom of Solomon 16:7,  Judith 9:11, Enoch 48:7 (of ‘the Son of Man’; ‘in his name are they being saved, and he is the God of their life’) 50:3 (eschatological-negative, mere salvation without glory) 63:8, 4 Ezr 6:25, 7:131, 9:8, 12:34, 13:26, 8:39 (the righteous shall he satisfied with salvation in connexion with the Messiah), Ps-Sol 6:2, 10:8, 12:6, 18:6,  Baruch 4:22;  Baruch 4:24;  Baruch 4:29, Test.  Judges 1:22, Test. Daniel 5, Test. Napht. 8, Jub 23:29,  1 Maccabees 4:30;  1 Maccabees 9:9,  4 Maccabees 11:7;  4 Maccabees 15:3 (‘piety which saves unto eternal life’)  4 Maccabees 15:27. In most of these passages the conception is eschatological-positive, and in many of them it has reference to the issue of the Last Judgment, wherein lies a transition from the OT to the NT usage. There is also an advance in this, that in a couple of instances the act of salvation is connected with the Messiah.

In the Gospels σώζειν occurs 54 times (not counting  Luke 17:33, where ζωογονήσει is better attested than σώσει of the Textus Receptus, nor  Matthew 18:11, a verse omitted by the best authorities). The noun σωτηρία occurs 5 times (not counting αἰώνιος σωτηρία in the rejected shorter conclusion of Mk.)— Luke 1:69;  Luke 1:71;  Luke 1:77;  Luke 19:9,  John 4:22. τὸ σωτήριον is found twice— Luke 2:30;  Luke 3:6. Of the instances of this use of the verb 14 relate to the deliverance from disease or demoniacal possession— Matthew 9:21-22 bis ,  Mark 5:23;  Mark 5:28;  Mark 5:34;  Mark 6:56;  Mark 10:32,  Luke 8:36;  Luke 8:48;  Luke 8:50;  Luke 17:19;  Luke 18:42,  John 11:12; in 20 instances the reference is to the rescue of physical life from some impending peril or instant death— Matthew 8:25;  Matthew 14:30;  Matthew 16:25;  Matthew 27:40;  Matthew 27:42 bis. ,  Matthew 27:49,  Mark 3:4;  Mark 8:35;  Mark 15:30-31 bis.  Luke 6:9;  Luke 9:24;  Luke 9:56;  Luke 23:35 bis.  Luke 23:37; Luk_23:39,  John 12:27; in the remainder of cases, 20 times, the reference is to religious salvation technically so called— Matthew 1:21;  Matthew 10:22;  Matthew 19:25;  Matthew 24:13;  Matthew 24:22,  Mark 8:35;  Mark 10:26;  Mark 13:13;  Mark 13:20;  Mark 16:16,  Luke 7:50;  Luke 8:12;  Luke 9:24;  Luke 13:23;  Luke 18:26;  Luke 19:10,  John 3:17;  John 5:34;  John 10:9;  John 12:47. The noun σωτηρία is used twice in the OT sense of deliverance from the enemies of Israel— Luke 1:69;  Luke 1:71; Luke , 3 times in the more specifically religious sense— Luke 1:77;  Luke 19:9,  John 4:22. τὸ σωτήριον in  Luke 2:30 has the same distinctly religious associations; in  Luke 3:6 it stands in a quotation from  Isaiah 40:5, where the meaning is eschatological from the OT point of view.

1. First we examine the passages relating to the deliverance from diseases or demoniacal possession . The question is whether the import of σώζειν here is exhausted by the notion of ‘healing.’ The Greek word has this meaning, being connected with σῶς (σάος), ‘whole,’ ‘sound,’ therefore σώζειν = ‘to render whole, sound.’ The Authorized Version accordingly renders in most of these cases ‘to make whole’ or ‘be whole,’ in two ‘to heal’ ( Mark 5:23,  Luke 8:36), in one ‘to do well’ ( John 11:12), and only once ‘to save’ ( Luke 18:42). In one instance it offers ‘to save’ as a marginal reading for ‘to make whole’ ( Mark 10:52). Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 everywhere follows the rendering of Authorized Version except that it makes the two passages where the latter has ‘to heal’ and the one passage where it has ‘to save’ uniform with the others; further, that it renders in  John 11:12 ‘to recover,’ and that it offers in all passages except  Mark 6:56 the marginal alternative ‘to save.’ It should be noticed that on other occasions the Evangelists use, and make Jesus use, different words, whose import is restricted to ‘healing’ in the medical sense, and that not only where the object is some disease or disability, but also with a personal object; so θεραπεὑειν ( Matthew 4:23-24;  Matthew 8:7;  Matthew 8:16;  Matthew 9:35;  Matthew 10:1;  Matthew 10:8;  Matthew 12:10;  Matthew 12:15;  Matthew 14:14;  Matthew 15:30;  Matthew 17:16;  Matthew 17:18;  Matthew 19:2;  Matthew 21:14,  Mark 1:34;  Mark 3:2;  Mark 3:10;  Mark 3:15;  Mark 6:5;  Mark 6:13,  Luke 4:23;  Luke 4:40;  Luke 5:15;  Luke 6:7;  Luke 6:18;  Luke 7:21;  Luke 8:2;  Luke 8:43;  Luke 9:1;  Luke 9:6;  Luke 10:9;  Luke 13:14;  Luke 14:3,  John 5:10) and ἱᾶσθαι ( Luke 6:19;  Luke 9:2;  Luke 9:11;  Luke 9:42;  Luke 14:4;  Luke 22:51,  John 4:47). The question is not, of course, whether the element of ‘healing’ as a connotated idea should be entirely eliminated from σώζειν. Not only would this have been impossible to a Greek speaker or writer in cases where the saving act as a matter of fact consisted in or involved healing, but it is also excluded by the observation that Jesus more than once referred to His saving work as the work of a physician, and in the instruction to His disciples spoke also of it as ‘healing’ ( Matthew 9:12;  Matthew 10:1;  Matthew 10:8;  Matthew 13:15,  Mark 2:17,  Luke 4:18;  Luke 5:31;  Luke 9:1-2;  Luke 10:9). The only point at issue is whether the Evangelists are aware of a difference between statements where ‘healing’ is designated as such, and other statements where ‘healing’ is implied, but where for a certain purpose it is characterized as ‘saving.’

The data above cited show that this last question must be answered in the affirmative. In view of the fact that Aramaic lies behind the Greek form of the words of Jesus or the Evangelists, we shall also have to assume a clearly marked difference between the two sets of cases. The additional element which the use of σώζειν introduces into the situation is that of deliverance from the sphere or power of death. In  Mark 3:4,  Luke 6:9, while speaking of His healing work, our Lord contrasts σώζειν with ἀποκτείνειν, which implies that He regarded it as the opposite of ‘killing,’ i.e. as rescuing from death and restoring to life. According to  Mark 5:23, the purpose of ‘being saved ‘is ‘to live.’ In  Luke 7:3 διασώζειν, the use of the preposition marks the process as a transition from death to life. It is true that in some instances the disease or infirmity from which Jesus saves is not fatal in itself, e.g. the withered hand ( Mark 3:4), the issue of blood ( Mark 5:28), certainly some of the diseases of  Mark 6:56, blindness ( Mark 10:52). Still even here the act of saving is viewed not from a medical point of view, but from the religious point of view, according to which all disease and infirmity lie on the side of death, so that it belongs to the function of one who delivers from death to work deliverance from these consequences of sin and precursors of death likewise.

This is further continued by the general interpretation Jesus puts upon His healing miracles as prophecies and pledges of the approaching Kingdom, in which all sin and death shall be done away with. With regard to the casting out of demons, the correctness of this view is vouched for by the explicit statement ( Matthew 12:28 =  Luke 11:20). But it applies equally well to the other miracles of healing. Jesus did not look upon these as works of philanthropy merely, or as signs authenticating His mission primarily. While the latter was one of the purposes for which they were intended—and this is brought out prominently in the Fourth Gospel—in the Synoptics, where Jesus’ teaching is centred in the Kingdom-idea, the miracles are before all else signs of the actual approach of the Kingdom,—proofs that the saving power of God, which calls the Kingdom into being, is already in motion, and therefore so many instances of σώζειν. Jesus’ saving power is simply the Kingdom-power applied to the individual under the influence of sin and death. Thus only can we naturally explain the fact that, where ‘salvation’ has a direct religious reference, both in our Lord’s own and in the later Apostolic teaching, the close connexion between it and the ideas of death and life is unmistakable. If this religious usage is at all dependent on the physical aspect of our Lord’s saving activity, it can be only through the common element of victory over sin and death. Jesus Himself has sufficiently indicated the connexion between the two, both in the Synoptical sayings and in the Johannine discourses. In the former the physical evils, which the saving Kingdom-power removes, have a moral and spiritual background. Hence Jesus makes such physical salvation the occasion for suggesting and working the profounder change by which the bonds of sin are loosed, and the rule of God set up in the inner life of man. The external and the internal are significantly placed side by side as co-ordinated halves of an identical work ( Mark 2:9). And in the Fourth Gospel we are explicitly told that the physical acts are intended to point to corresponding spiritual transactions; the healing of the blind, the raising of the dead, are symbolic of Jesus’ saving work in the spiritual sphere ( John 5:14;  John 5:19-29;  John 9:3;  John 9:39;  John 12:25-26). On three occasions our Lord has brought out the spiritual significance of the physical salvation by calling special attention to its dependence on the exercise of faith: the woman with the issue of blood ( Mark 5:34 =  Matthew 9:22 =  Luke 8:48), the blind man near Jericho ( Mark 10:52 =  Luke 18:42), one of the lepers ( Luke 17:19). The words ‘thy faith has saved thee’ are on these occasions the same as were used in such a case of purely spiritual salvation as is recorded  Luke 7:50. They were intended as a suggestion that faith, which had yielded such results in the physical sphere, could be made equally fruitful in the sphere of spiritual salvation. Thus the external and internal are linked together by the common factor of faith.

That σώζειν has to do with the contrast of life and death becomes plain also from those instances of its natural use where deliverance from evil other than disease or demon-possession is referred to, for here everywhere the evil is that of physical death ( Matthew 8:25;  Matthew 14:30;  Matthew 16:25;  Matthew 27:40;  Matthew 27:42;  Matthew 27:9,  Mark 8:35;  Mark 15:30-31,  Luke 9:24;  Luke 9:56;  Luke 23:35;  Luke 23:37;  Luke 23:39,  John 12:27).

2. In connexion with the directly religions use in the Gospels several questions emerge. (1) Is the saving act, when belonging to the spiritual sphere, still viewed as a translation from death into life, and what is the meaning of death and life as related to salvation in this sphere? (2) Is the deliverance conceived eschatologically, as something to be experienced in the Last Day, or is it treated as an experience already attainable in this present life? (3) Is the conception negative or positive, or both negative and positive, i.e. does it express merely the removal of spiritual evil, or also the bestowal of positive spiritual blessings, especially the gift of life in a positive, pregnant sense?

(1) The answer to the first question is that spiritual salvation still revolves around the contrast between life and death, and that in a twofold sense. Both as subjective and as objective states, death and life come under consideration here. In other words: Jesus saves from spiritual death as a condition of the soul, and He saves from eternal death as a punishment awaiting the sinner. As the object of His saving activity, our Lord names τὸ ἀπολωλός ‘that which has become lost and now is lost’ ( Matthew 10:6;  Matthew 15:24;  Matthew 18:12-14,  Luke 15:4;  Luke 15:6;  Luke 15:8;  Luke 15:24;  Luke 19:10). From the figures used it appears that the Gr. ἀπόλλυσθαι has in this connexion the sense ‘miss,’ ‘be missing,’ not primarily the sense ‘destroy,’ ‘be destroyed.’ The ‘lost’ are like sheep gone astray upon the mountains, like the coin slipped out of the hand of its owner, like the prodigal who lias left the father’s home. A lost condition means estrangement from God, a missing of all the religious and moral relations man is designed to sustain towards his Maker. But this lost condition is further identified by Jesus with spiritual death, for of the prodigal the father declares: ‘This thy brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found’ ( Luke 15:24;  Luke 15:32). Elsewhere also the state of sin is described as a state of death ( Matthew 8:22,  Luke 20:38). Salvation of ‘the lost,’ therefore, is salvation from spiritual death. As such it includes both forgiveness of sin and moral-religious renewal. To the woman who had anointed Him Jesus said: ‘Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace,’ and this obviously repeats in another form the preceding statement, ‘Thy sins are forgiven’ ( Luke 7:48;  Luke 7:50). In the case of Zaeehaeus also assurance of pardon is undoubtedly implied when Jesus declares ‘salvation’ to have come to his house ( Luke 19:9). Here, however, the salvation manifests itself also in the moral transformation of the publican, issuing directly into repentance and good works. The prodigal is pardoned and restored to the privileges of sonship. But salvation is not confined to deliverance from this subjective spiritual death, just as the conception of being ‘lost’ is not exhausted by estrangement from God. ἀπόλλυσθαι is used in a retributive sense in eonnexion with the judgment of God to which the sinner is subject; it involves exposure to objective death as a result of condemnation. With reference to this the two senses of the verb, ‘to be missing’ and ‘to be destroyed,’ are used side by side. From the point of view of man the judgment may bring a ‘losing’ or a ‘finding,’ ‘keeping’ of the soul or life ( Matthew 10:39;  Matthew 16:25,  Mark 8:35,  Luke 9:24-25;  Luke 17:33,  John 12:25). From the point of view of God as Judge it may bring ‘destruction.’ This is the ἀπώλεια, which is spoken of in  Matthew 5:30;  Matthew 7:13;  Matthew 10:28;  Matthew 18:14,  Luke 13:3;  Luke 13:5,  John 3:15-16;  John 6:39;  John 10:28;  John 17:12;  John 18:9. The two aspects of ἀπόλλυσθαι—the subjective spiritual ‘being lost’ and the objective retributive ‘being lost’ or ‘perishing’—are joined together in  Matthew 18:10-14, where first the sinning one is compared to a sheep gone astray and to be sought, and then, to give the motive for this search after the subjectively lost, Jesus adds: ‘Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish’ (ἀπόληται); that which is already lost in the one sense must be diligently sought, lest it should be lost in the deeper, absolute sense. And the deliverance from this final ἀπώλεια, as well as the deliverance from the other lost condition, is σώζεσθαι, σωτηρία. Thus in  Mark 16:16 ‘to be saved’ is the opposite of ‘to be condemned’; in  John 3:16-17 of ‘to be judged’ and ‘to perish,’ in  John 10:9-10 of ‘to be destroyed,’ in  John 12:47 of ‘to be judged.’ This ἀπώλεια, however, not less than the other ‘being lost,’ is equivalent to death. It is a losing of the life (ψυχή,  Matthew 10:39;  Matthew 16:25,  Mark 8:35,  Luke 9:24-25,  John 12:25); its opposite is ‘to have eternal life’ ( John 3:16;  John 10:28), or ‘to be raised up at the last day’ ( John 6:39). Thus it appears that salvation in its speeilie religious sense is still viewed throughout as a deliverance from death and an introduction into the sphere of life.

(2) The second question was whether ‘salvation’ is conceived eschatologically or as something experienced already in this present life. It has been answered in principle by the above, for present salvation coincides with deliverance from subjective spiritual death; eschatological salvation coincides with deliverance from objective death in the Judgment. In a number of the passages already considered the reference to the present is very plain. To the woman who anointed Him Jesus addressed the words, ‘Thy faith has saved thee.’ Of Zacchaeus He declared: ‘To-day is salvation come to this house’; and in the following statement—‘The Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost,’—the ‘saving’ must belong to the same time as the ‘seeking,’ i.e. to the present time of our Lord’s earthly ministry. In  John 12:47 the saving of the world for which Jesus has come is a present thing as distinct from the judging of the world for which He has not come, but which is reserved for the future. In  Matthew 1:21 the sins of the people being the evil from which Jesus saves, the salvation is viewed as a present one. In other passages the eschatological reference is equally obvious. ‘He that endures to the end shall be saved’ ( Matthew 10:22;  Matthew 24:13).  Matthew 16:25,  Mark 8:35,  Luke 9:24 speak of the finding or saving of life in the future Judgment as conditioned by the willingness to sacrifice one’s life here. This is clear from the context ( Mark 8:38 in Mk.,  Matthew 16:27 in Mt. =  Luke 9:26 in Lk).

The point of the saying is not, as often interpreted, that for one kind of life, physical life, given up, another kind of life, spiritual life, will be received in return; in which case the future tenses might be purely logical, and no eschatological reference implied. The meaning is that for life, in its general sense, sacrificed by accepting physical death, life in the same general sense will be received in reward through the escape from death, when Jesus comes to judge and to render every man according to his deeds. As Zahn observes, the distinction between two kinds of ‘life’ or ‘soul’ is scarcely in harmony with the Hebrew point of view, according to which the ‘life’ or the ‘soul’ is frequently called ‘the only one’ ( Com. on Matthew, in loco ).

Eschatological is also the reference in the question of the disciples recorded in  Matthew 19:25,  Mark 10:26,  Luke 18:26. ‘Then who can be saved?’ The question was called forth by Jesus’ declaration, that the rich would with great difficulty enter into the Kingdom of God, which was in turn called forth by the question of the rich young man, ‘What shall I do, that I may inherit eternal life?’ Here ‘to be saved’ = ‘to enter the Kingdom’ = ‘to inherit eternal life,’ and the qualification of life as eternal , as well as the further context,—St. Peter’s question about future rewards, and our Lord’s answer to this,—prove that the whole discussion is eschatological in its scope.  Matthew 24:22 ||  Mark 13:20 ‘Except these days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved,’ is best understood as follows: The temptation in these last times will be so severe, that, if their duration had not been kept within certain limits, all men, even the elect, would have fallen away, and so no flesh would have been ultimately saved in the Day of Judgment.

This interpretation seems to be required by the fact that the shortening of the days is for the sake of the elect. The mere preservation of physical life could have no special bearing upon the destiny of the elect, since, even when killed in the body, they would be sure to inherit the Kingdom; the whole representation concerning the possibility of none being saved, and the elect falling away and the shortening of the days, is, of course, conceived from the human point of view (cf. Zahn, Com. on Matthew, in loco ).

In the remainder of the passages there are no means of determining whether ‘salvation’ be future or present. For  Matthew 18:11 (Textus Receptus only) the reference to the present is supported by  Luke 19:10. In  Luke 8:12 ‘that they may not believe and be saved,’ the eschatological sense would be quite plausible, but the other view is slightly favoured by the general import of the parables dealing with the present invisible aspect of the Kingdom. In general, the representation of the Kingdom as both present and future creates a presumption in favour of the view that our Lord regarded salvation as both a present and an eschatological experience. The form σωζόμενοι, ‘those who are being saved,’ in  Luke 13:23, probably reflects the two-sidedness of the process, as belonging to both present and future, and therefore unfinished in this life. In the case of the Johannine sayings ( John 3:16-17;  John 4:22;  John 5:34;  John 10:9) we shall have to assume, in harmony with the generalization of the conception of ‘life,’ ‘eternal life,’in the discourses of this Gospel—which makes out of it a conception indifferent to the distinction between present and future—that the same will be true of the synonymous conception of salvation. The future in  John 10:9 is purely logical in its force.

(3) The third question concerned what may be gathered from the Gospels in regard to the positive or negative context of the idea of religious salvation. The negative aspect—escape from death—stands in the foreground in  Matthew 24:22,  Mark 13:20 : if the days had not been shortened, not even the elect would have escaped the fate of death in the Judgment; similarly in  Matthew 16:25,  Mark 8:35,  Luke 9:24 : he who will sacrifice his life here shall escape the loss of life in the Judgment. Probably  Matthew 10:22;  Matthew 24:13 should be interpreted on the same principle: the enduring now will save from greater calamity in the Last Day. On the other hand, in  Matthew 19:25,  Mark 10:26,  Luke 18:26, where ‘salvation’ is equivalent to entrance of the Kingdom and inheriting of eternal life, the emphasis rests on the positive side. In the Johannine passages the positive content of the idea is very marked. According to  John 3:16-17, ‘to have eternal life’ and ‘to be saved’ are synonymous. In  John 5:34 also the preceding context revolves around the idea of life ( John 5:21-29), and in the sequel the same idea is again brought forward ( John 5:39). Again, in  John 10:9-10 ‘salvation’ and ‘life’ appear in close conjunction;  John 12:47 receives its interpretation from  John 3:17. The same difference as is observable with reference to eschatological salvation may be observed where present salvation is spoken of. Sometimes the conception is negative ( Matthew 1:21,  Luke 7:50), sometimes positive as well as negative ( Luke 19:10); the salvation which came to Zacchaeus’ house certainly included more than pardon, since it issued in renewal of life. The facts, therefore, do not bear out the contention of B. Weiss, who maintains that σώζεσθαι has everywhere a purely negative meaning.

In the saying of  Luke 19:10 Jesus declares ‘saving’ to be the highest category under which His Messianic activity is to be subsumed. He came to save, i.e. His entrance into the world was for this specific purpose (cf.  Mark 10:45). The connexion between Him and salvation consists not merely in this, that as a preacher of the gospel He proclaims it. Everywhere the supposition is that salvation is in some way bound to His Person. For the Johan nine discourses this needs no proof. But it is no less true for the Synoptics. Because He lodged with Zacchaeus, salvation entered the latter’s house. The rich young man was not saved, because he refused to follow Jesus. The saving acts in the physical sphere are suspended on faith, and this faith involves trust in Jesus,—in Jesus, to be sure, as the instrument of God, but none the less so that on Jesus’ Person together with God the act of faith terminates. It is psychologically inconceivable that in those who were helped by the miracles of Jesus, faith should not have assumed the form of personal trust in Him. Faith in God and faith in Jesus here inevitably coalesce. On the occasion of the storm, Jesus rebukes the disciples for their lack of confidence in His presence with them as a guarantee of absolute safety ( Matthew 8:26). Similarly Peter, when walking upon the water, calls upon Jesus to perform the saving act. From the close connexion in which these transactions stand to the specific religious salvation, it may be safely inferred that in the latter also Jesus occupies a necessary place. This is confirmed by  Luke 7:50, where the woman’s faith, which is declared to have saved her, consists in the attitude of trust she had assumed towards Jesus; the love shown the Lord is here the result of the forgiveness of sins ( Luke 7:47), and inasmuch as this love terminated on Jesus, the faith which conditioned the forgiveness must likewise have had Him for its object. Similarly in the discourse at Caesarea Philippi, ‘salvation’ in the Last Day is made dependent on following of Jesus and sacrifice of life for Jesus’ sake and the gospel’s sake, and the corresponding acknowledgment by Jesus in the Judgment ( Mark 8:34-35;  Mark 8:38 || Mt. and Lk.).

It is not true, as is being frequently asserted of late, that in the gospel preached by Jesus there is no place for His own Person, it being merely a gospel about God. Though not frequently in so many words, yet in acts we find our Lord seeking to cultivate a relationship of faith between the disciple and Himself and, in Himself, with God. If only once in the Synoptics we read explicitly of faith in Jesus ( Matthew 8:10), and that in a passage where the authenticity of the words εἰς ἐμς is doubtful, this is counterbalanced by the fact that not more than once God Himself is specified as the object of faith ( Mark 11:22). Jesus, conscious of being the Messiah, the Judge at the Last Day, who would finally dispose of the destiny of all mankind, could not help ascribing a central soteriological position to Himself. Such a figure as He was in His own view, could not be kept outside of the saving transaction, which in a certain sense forestalls the Last Judgment. The absence of more direct affirmations.of this principle is simply the result of Jesus’ method of not directly proclaiming at first His Messianic dignity, but rather allowing it to be gradually inferred from the impression made by His Person and the witness of His works. On the basis of our present Gospels, apart from critical reconstructions of the teaching of Jesus, no other view is possible than that our Lord represented salvation as in some way bound to and wrapped up in His Person. He did not represent salvation as something unconditioned, flowing simply from the love of God, which would overleap every necessity of mediation. The parable of the Prodigal Son, so often quoted to the contrary, furnishes, when rightly read, the clearest demonstration of this, for it was spoken to describe not God’s attitude towards sinners in the abstract, but the historic approach of God to lost men in the appearance of His Son Jesus. It was the attitude of Jesus towards publicans and sinners that drew forth the parable, and therefore it describes God’s attitude towards them as bound to that assumed by Jesus (cf. Ernst Cremer, ‘Die Gleichnisse Lukas 15 und das Kreuz’ in Beitr . z. Förder. Christl. Theol . 1904, Heft 4). The gospel is not a mere announcement of the love of God unpreceded and unattended by any action on His part; it is the glad message of the love of God in action, of what God does in Jesus to give His love effect in actual, substantial salvation. The unfolding of what the Person of Jesus as the bearer and worker of salvation contains could not be fully given by our Lord before His saving work had actually transpired, but had to be left to Apostolic teaching.

3. Humanly considered, salvation is dependent on faith . This is not merely explicitly announced ( Mark 16:16,  Luke 8:12,  John 3:16-17), it is likewise presupposed or expressed in connexion with the healing acts of Jesus. It is a striking fact that in the Synoptics nearly the whole of our Lord’s teaching on faith attaches itself to the performance of miracles. This is because miracles embody that saving aspect of the Kingdom to which faith is the subjective counterpart. The miracles, almost without exception, have two features in common. Firstly , they are transactions in which the result depends absolutely on the forth-putting of the Divine supernatural powers, where no human effort could possibly contribute anything towards its accomplishment. And, secondly , the miracles are healing miracles, in which the gracious love of God approaches man for his salvation. Faith is the spiritual attitude called for by this twofold clement in God’s saving work. It is the recognition of the Divine power and grace,—not, of course, in a purely intellectual way, but practically so as to carry with it the movement of the whole inner life. How faith stands related to the saving power of God is most clearly illustrated in the narrative of  Mark 9:17-24. “When the disciples could not heal the child with the dumb spirit, Jesus exclaimed, ‘O unbelieving generation!’ The father says, after describing the severity of the case: ‘But if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us and help us.’ To this Jesus replies: ‘What, if thou canst! all things are possible to him that believeth.’ Faith is omnipotent. To speak, with reference to it, of an ‘if thou canst’ is an absurdity. Thus to faith is ascribed what can be affirmed of God alone. And elsewhere also this same principle is emphasized by our Lord ( Matthew 21:21-22,  Mark 11:22-23,  Luke 17:6). The explanation lies in this, that faith is nothing else than that act whereby man lays hold of, appropriates, the endless power of God. This line of reasoning, however, is not applicable to the miracles only. The miracles, as has been shown, illustrate the saving work of God in general. All salvation partakes, humanly speaking, of the nature of the impossible: it can be accomplished by God alone ( Matthew 19:25-26,  Mark 10:26-27,  Luke 18:26-27). All genuine saving faith is as profoundly conscious of its utter dependence on God for deliverance from sin and death as the recipients of our Lord’s miraculous cures were convinced that God alone could heal their bodies from disease. Faith, however, is more than belief, more than a conviction regarding the necessity and sufficiency of the Divine power. It also involves trust, the reliance upon God’s willingness and readiness to save. Jesus never encouraged the exercise of faith as a mere theoretical belief in supernatural power. The performance of a sign from heaven, such as men might have witnessed without trust in God or Himself, He persistently refused. He who truly believes, realizes that God is loving, merciful, forgiving, glad to receive sinners. Faith transfers to God in the matter of salvation what human parents experience in themselves with reference to their own children, the desire to help and supply ( Matthew 7:7-11). This reliance of faith is not confined to the critical moments of life; it is to be the abiding, characteristic disposition of the disciple with reference to his salvation as a whole. Faith, in those on whom the wonderful cures were wrought, may have manifested itself at first as a momentary act, but, as shown above, Jesus frequently called the attention of such people to what faith had done for them, thus suggesting that it was permanently available as an instrument of salvation.

4. In proper names, the conception of ‘saving’ occurs twice in the Gospels, namely, in the name Jesus , and in the exclamation Hosanna . A reflexion upon the meaning of the name Joshua is found also in  Sirach 46:1, and in Philo, who explains it by σωτηρία κυρίου ( de Mut. Nom . 21). The meaning of  Matthew 1:21 is not that Jesus will bear this name symbolically in illustration of the fact that ‘Jehovah is salvation,’ but rather that in Him Jehovah save

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [2]

Of the many Hebrew words used to signify salvation, yasa [ישַׁע יָשַׁעמֹושִׁיעַ] (to save, help in distress, rescue, deliver, set free) appears most frequently in the Old Testament. Commonly, the deliverance of which the Old Testament speaks is material in nature, though there are important exceptions. In contrast, the employment of soteria in the New Testament, though it may include material preservation, usually signifies a deliverance with special spiritual significance. In addition to the notion of deliverance the Bible also uses salvation to denote health, well-being, and healing.

Broadly speaking, one might say that salvation is the overriding theme of the entire Bible. But since it is a multidimensional theme with a wide range of meaning, simple definitions are impossible. The biblical writers speak of salvation as a reality with at once spiritual and physical, individual and communal, objective and subjective, eternal and historical dimensions. Since the biblical writers view salvation as a historical reality, the temporal dimensions of past, present, and future further intensify and deepen the concept. Salvation is a process with a beginning and an end. Further, salvation involves the paradox of human freedom and divine election. Despite the complexity of these dimensions, the Bible constantly speaks about salvation in the context of some very simple and concrete relationships—between humans and God, between human beings, and between human beings and nature. God is the main actor throughout, from the deliverance of Noah's family to the great multitude who shout "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" ( Revelation 7:10 ).

The Old Testament . In general the Old Testament writers see salvation as a reality more physical than spiritual, more social than individual. Where individuals are singled out it seems to be for the good of the community. For example, the Genesis narrative develops the theme of God's blessing, which though resting on certain individuals, renders them agents for some greater work of God. Joseph's rise to fame in Egypt preserves the lives of his entire family ( Genesis 45:4-7 ). Through Noah's faithfulness God brings salvation to his family as well as animal life ( Genesis 7-9 ). And the blessing of the promise of nationhood and land for Abraham was not only for his descendants but for all families on the earth ( Genesis 12:1-3 ). After 430 years in Egypt, an entire people is delivered through Moses ( Exodus 1-12 ). Through Esther's rise to power the Jewish people are spared annihilation ( Esther 7 ).

Despite the importance of human agency, salvation is attributed above all to God. None but God can save ( Isaiah 43:14;  Hosea 1:7 ). He is the keeper of his flock ( Ezekiel 34 ) and on him alone one waits for a saving word to penetrate the silence ( Psalm 62 ). Idolatry is an illusion, for the salvation of Israel is in the Lord ( Jeremiah 3:23 ). God is the warriornot Moseswho triumphs gloriously over Pharaoh's armies at the sea ( Exodus 15 ). Salvation is something to stand and watch, for "The Lord will fight for you; and you need only be still" ( Exodus 14:13 ). "In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and trust is your strength" summons Isaiah (30:15). The content of God's salvation includes personal and national deliverance from one's enemies, deliverance from slavery ( Deuteronomy 24:18 ), ongoing protection and preservation from evil ( Psalm 121 ), escape from death ( Psalm 68:19 ), healing ( Psalm 69:29;  Jeremiah 17:14 ), inheritance of land, descendants, and long life.

Salvation from sin, though not a dominant concern, is by no means absent, especially in the prophets. As much as he is concerned for Israel's national restoration, Ezekiel stresses the need for salvation from uncleanness, iniquity, and idolatry (36:22-32). Here salvation involves the gift of a new heart of flesh and new spirit, which will finally empower his people to keep the commandments, after which comes habitation in the land. In this passage, too, we encounter a common refrain: such salvation, when it comes, will be neither for the sake of Israel nor her deeds, but for God and his glory, which has been profaned and which now must be vindicated among the nations. Isaiah tells of a salvation still on the way, which will be achieved through the vicarious suffering of the Servant (chap. 53) who bears the sin of many. This salvation will last forever (51:6).

The anticipated salvation of the prophetic writings manifests a tension similar to that which pervades the New Testament. While salvation is a fait accompliGod saved Israel from slavery in Egypt unto a covenant relationship with himselfIsrael still awaits God's salvation. God had saved Israel in the past, and therefore God can be expected to deliver in the future. Whatever else salvation may be from a biblical perspective, its dimensions of "settled past" and "anticipated future" show it in its widest scope to be an elongated reality covering the entire trajectory of history. This recognition has helped recent biblical scholarship to avoid the earlier pitfall of relegating the role of the Old Testament to that of mere preparation or precursor for the gospel. One cannot escape the fact that for the Jews of the Old Testament salvation was not an abstract concept, but a real and present experience. The psalms are replete with praise for God's salvation, which is experienced as joy (51:12). It is a cup of thanksgiving lifted to God (116:13) and a horn (18:2). Elsewhere salvation is depicted as a torch ( Isaiah 62:1 ), a well ( Isaiah 12:3 ), and a shield ( 2 Samuel 22:36 ).

The New Testament . The advent name "Immanuel, " "God with us, " signifies momentous progress in the history of salvation. In Matthew's Gospel the angel tells Joseph that Mary's child is conceived of the Holy Spirit, and that he is "to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins" (1:21-23). The name "Jesus" (derived from the Hebrew Joshua [   Luke 19:10 ). The New Testament continues the Old Testament affirmation that salvation belongs to God alone, but with greater specificity. Now it is God's presence in and to the man Jesus that proves decisive. Peter's certainty of this relation between "Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified" and the "God [who raised him] from the dead" moves him to the exclusive confession that salvation belongs only to the name of Jesus Christ ( Acts 4:10-12 ).

In Jesus' teaching salvation is linked to the advance of God's kingdom, which is in turn linked to Jesus' own person. By using God's kingdom as a circumlocution for salvation, Jesus deepens the Old Testament conviction that salvation belongs to God, for the kingdom signifies a sphere of reality in which God reigns sovereign. The disciples themselves responded to Jesus' teaching about the kingdom with the question "Who then can be saved?" ( Mark 10:23-26 ). That Jesus understood himself to be that bringer of God's kingdom is evident in the claim following his synagogue reading, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing" ( Luke 4:21 ). Salvation belongs to those who follow Jesus, bringer and embodiment of God's kingdom.

Salvation is described as the mystery of God that is now revealed ( Ephesians 3:9;  6:19 ), a plan conceived before the foundations of the world ( Ephesians 1:3-14 ), a light for revelation to the Gentiles ( Luke 2:30-32 ), a transition from death to life ( John 5:24 ), a message especially for sinners ( Mark 2:17 ), a gift of grace through faith not of works ( Ephesians 2:8-9 ), that for which the whole creation groans ( Romans 8:22 ), the revelation of God's righteousness to faith and for faith ( Romans 1:16-17 ), the justification that comes through faith ( Romans 4:22-25 ), reconciliation ( 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 ), and redemption ( Romans 8:23 ). In response to Nicodemus's statement, salvation is said to be a spiritual birth, a birth from above without which one cannot enter the kingdom ( John 3:1-11 ). Salvation means death to and freedom from sin ( Romans 6 ), a new perspective that transcends the human point of view and participation in a new creation ( Romans 5:16-17 ), peace with God ( Romans 5:1 ), life as adopted children of God's ( Galatians 4:4 ), baptism into Christ's death ( Romans 6:4 ), and the reception of the Holy Spirit ( Romans 5,8 ).

Salvation encompasses both the physical and spiritual dimensions of life, having relevance for the whole person. On the physical side, entrance into the kingdom requires attention to earthly needs, especially those of the poor. Jesus demands that a wealthy man give his riches to the poor ( Mark 10:17-22 ). The salvation that comes to Zacchaeus's house inspires him to give half his possessions to the poor ( Luke 19:8-10 ). Care for the poor was a regular function of the earliest Christian communities ( Acts 9:36;  10:4,31;  24:17;  Galatians 2:10;  James 2:1-7 ). But for Jesus the physical and spiritual dimensions are held very close together. Forgiveness of sins and physical healing frequently coexist, as in the healing of the paralytic ( Mark 2:1-12 ). Other healings done in Jesus' name call attention to the intimate connection ( Acts 3:16;  4:7-12 ) among spirit, mind, and body. In these examples salvation means not only forgiveness of sin but mitigation of its effects.

Salvation also extends beyond the parameters of national Jewish identity. On at least two occasions Jesus corrects (or at least sidesteps) national expectations concerning the kingdomonce in response to the disciples' question ( Acts 1:6-8 ) and once on the Emmaus road ( Luke 24:25-26 ). Since Jesus' death was for all people ( John 11:51 ), repentance and forgiveness of sins were to be proclaimed to all nations ( Luke 24:47 ). This gospel, says Paul, was given in advance in the form of God's promise to bless all the nations through Abraham ( Galatians 3:8 ).

The objective basis and means of salvation is God's sovereign and gracious choice to be "God with us" in the person of Jesus Christ, who is described as both author and mediator of salvation ( Hebrews 2:10;  7:25 ). But the movement of Jesus' life goes through the cross and resurrection. It is therefore "Christ crucified" that is of central importance for salvation ( 1 Corinthians 1:23 ), for "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures" ( 1 Corinthians 15:3 ) and was handed to death for our trespasses ( Romans 4:25 ). What Jesus did in our name he also did in our place, giving "his life as a ransom for many" ( Matthew 20:28 ). And if Christ demonstrated his love by dying when we were still sinners, how much more shall we now be saved by his life? ( Romans 5:8-10 ). So critical is the resurrection to the future hope of salvation that "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins" ( 1 Corinthians 15:17 ).

The subjective basis of salvation is personal repentance and faith, often associated closely with water baptism. John the Baptist preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins ( Matthew 3:2;  Mark 1:4 ), a message echoed by Peter ( Acts 2:38 ) and Paul ( Acts 20:21 ). Jesus said salvation required belief in him ( Mark 16:15;  John 6:47 ). Paul enjoined confession with the mouth that "Jesus is Lord" and belief that God raised him from the dead ( Romans 10:8-9 ). The writer of Hebrews suggests that the hearing of the gospel is of no value unless combined with faith (4:1).

The New Testament articulates salvation in terms of past, present, and future time. In Christ we were elected before the foundation of the world ( Ephesians 1:4 ). In hope we were saved ( Romans 8:24 ). Yet the cross is the power of God for those who are being saved ( 1 Corinthians 1:18 ). Likewise Paul's readers are admonished to work out their salvation with fear and trembling ( Philippians 2:12 ). And there is yet a salvation that lies waiting to be revealed in the last time ( 1 Peter 1:5 ), a redemption for which we groan inwardly ( Romans 8:23 ). For Paul, the past dimension of salvation is generally conceived as justification, redemption, and reconciliation, while its present dimension is depicted in terms of the Spirit's sanctifying work. Its future dimension is said to be glorification, the culmination of the saving process wherein believers will experience Christ's presence in new and resurrected bodies no longer burdened by the vestiges of sin.

William T. Arnold

See also Atonement; Crucifixion Cross; Death Of Christ; Eternality Everlasting LifeEternal Life; Faith; Gospel

Bibliography . D. Bloesch, The Christian Life and Salvation  ; O. Cullmann, Salvation in History  ; E. M. B. Green, The Meaning of Salvation  ; S. Kevan, Salvation  ; H. D. McDonald, The Atonement of the Death of Christ  ; G. G. O'Collins, ABD, 5:909-14; U. Simon, Theology of Salvation  ; G. R. Smith, The Biblical Doctrine of Salvation  ; J. R. W. Stott, The Cross of Christ .

Holman Bible Dictionary [3]

Old Testament For Israelite faith, salvation never carried a purely secular sense of deliverance from death or harm. Because God and no other is the source of salvation, any saving act—even when the focus is preservation of life or release from national oppression—is a spiritual event. The primary saving event in the Old Testament is the Exodus ( Exodus 14:13 ) which demonstrated both God's power to save and God's concern for His oppressed people ( Exodus 34:6-7 ). Israel recounted God's deliverance from Egyptian slavery in the Passover ritual ( Exodus 12:1-13 ), in sermon ( Nehemiah 9:9-11 ), and in psalms (for example,  Psalm 74:12-13;  Psalm 78:13 ,Psalms 78:13, 78:42-54;  Psalm 105:26-38 ). The retelling of the Exodus event and of God's provision during the wilderness years ( Nehemiah 9:12-21;  Psalm 78:14-29;  Psalm 105:39-41;  Psalm 114:8 ) provided a precedent for sharing other stories of national and even personal deliverance ( Psalm 40:10;  Psalm 71:15 ).

Some argue that the Old Testament does not link salvation with the forgiveness of sins. The recurring cycle of national sin, foreign oppression, national repentance, and salvation by a God-sent “judge,” however, witnesses the linkage ( Judges 3:7-9 ,Judges 3:7-9, 3:12 ,Judges 3:12, 3:15;  Judges 4:1-4;  Judges 6:1 ,Judges 6:1, 6:7 ,Judges 6:7, 6:12; also  Nehemiah 9:27;  Psalm 106:34-46 ). God's sending of a deliverer is in effect God's act of forgiveness of the penitent (compare  Psalm 79:9;  Psalm 85:4 ).  Psalm 51:12 perhaps provides the best Old Testament case for personal salvation from sin.

In the Old Testament, salvation primarily concerns God's saving acts within human history. The early prophets anticipated God's salvation to be realized in the earth's renewed fruitfulness and the rebuilding of the ruined cities of Israel ( Amos 9:13-15 ). Salvation would extend to all nations who would stream to Zion for instruction in God's ways ( Isaiah 2:2-4;  Micah 4:1-4;  Zechariah 8:20-23 ). The prophets also hinted of a salvation that lies outside history (for example,  Isaiah 51:6 ). The larger context of  Isaiah 25:9 reveals that God's salvation embraces abundant life (  Isaiah 25:6 ) and the end of death ( Isaiah 25:7 ), tears, and disgrace ( Isaiah 25:8 ).

Throughout most of the Old Testament, salvation is a corporate or community experience. The Psalms, however, are especially concerned with the salvation of the individual from the threat of enemies ( Psalm 13:5;  Psalm 18:2 ,Psalms 18:2, 18:35;  Psalm 24:5 ). Though the focus is negative—salvation involves foiling the enemies' wrongdoing—there are hints of a positive content of salvation that embraces prosperity (as in  Psalm 18:35 ). The Psalms are especially interested in God's salvation of the “upright in heart” ( Psalm 36:10 ) or righteous ( Psalm 37:19-40 ) who rely on God for deliverance.  Psalm 51:12 more than any other Old Testament text associates personal salvation with a conversion experience; renewed joy of salvation accompanies God's creation of a new heart and right spirit and assurance of God's abiding presence.

New Testament For convenience, salvation can be viewed from the two perspectives of Christ's saving work and the believer's experience of salvation.

Christ's saving work involves already completed, on-going, and future saving activity. Jesus' earthly ministry made salvation a present reality for His generation. Jesus' healing ministry effected salvation from disease ( Mark 5:34;  Mark 10:52;  Luke 17:19 ). Jesus offered God's forgiveness to hurting people ( Mark 2:5;  Luke 7:50 ). He assured a repentant Zacchaeus that “Today salvation has come to this house” ( Luke 19:9 ). Through such encounters Jesus fulfilled the goal of His ministry: “to seek and to save that which was lost” ( Luke 19:10 ).

The apex of Christ's completed work is His sacrificial death: Christ came to “give his life a ransom for many” ( Mark 10:45 ); Christ “entered once for all into the Holy Place, with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption” ( Hebrews 9:12 NRSV); “in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them” (  2 Corinthians 5:19 NRSV). Here ransom, redemption, and reconciliation are synonyms for salvation. With reference to Christ's atoning work, the believer can confess, “I was saved when Jesus died for me.”

Christ's present saving work primarily concerns Christ's role as mediator ( Romans 8:34;  Hebrews 7:25;  1 John 2:1 ). Christ's future saving work chiefly concerns Christ's coming again “to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him” ( Hebrews 9:28 REB) and salvation from the wrath of God's final judgment (  Romans 5:9-10 ).

Though Christ's sacrificial death is central, Christ's saving activity extends to the whole of His life, including His birth ( Galatians 4:4-5 ), resurrection ( Romans 4:25;  1 Corinthians 15:17 ), and ascension ( Romans 8:34 ).

The believer's experience also offers a perspective for viewing salvation. The experience again embraces the past, present, and future. God's initial work in the believer's life breaks down into various scenes: conviction of sin ( John 16:8 ); repentance (turning) from sin to God ( Luke 15:7 ,Luke 15:7, 15:10;  2 Corinthians 7:10 ); faith which involves commitment of one's whole life to Christ ( John 3:16 ,John 3:16, 3:36 ); confession of Christ as Lord ( Acts 2:21;  Romans 10:9-10 ). Scripture uses a wealth of images to describe this act: new birth ( John 3:3;  Titus 3:5 ); new creation ( 2 Corinthians 5:17 ); adoption ( Romans 8:15;  Galatians 4:4-5;  Ephesians 1:5 ); empowerment to be God's children ( John 1:12 ); the status of “saints” ( 1 Corinthians 1:2;  2 Corinthians 1:1 ). This initial work in the believer's life is often termed justification. Justification, however, also embraces God's final judgment ( Romans 2:13;  Romans 3:20 ,Romans 3:20, 3:30 ).

God's ongoing work in the believer's life concerns the process of maturing in Christ ( Hebrews 2:3;  1 Peter 2:2;  2 Peter 3:18 ), growing in Christ's service ( 1 Corinthians 7:20-22 ), and experiencing victory over sin through the power of the Holy Spirit ( Romans 7-8 ). Here sin remains a reality in the believer's life ( Romans 7:1;  1 John 1:8-2:1 ). The believer is caught in between what God has begun and what God is yet to complete ( Philippians 1:6;  Philippians 2:12 ).

God's yet to be finished work in the lives of all believers is sometimes called glorification ( Romans 8:17;  Hebrews 2:10 ). Scripture, however, uses a wealth of terms for this future saving work: adoption ( Romans 8:23 ); redemption ( Luke 21:28;  Romans 8:23;  Ephesians 4:30 ); salvation ( Romans 13:11;  Hebrews 1:14;  Hebrews 9:28;  1 Peter 1:5;  1 Peter 2:2 ); and sanctification ( 1 Thessalonians 5:23 ). God's future work involves more than the individual; God's future work extends to the renewal of heaven and earth.

Some Contested Issues (1) The relationship between faith and works: Scripture repeatedly affirms that salvation is the free gift of God appropriated through faith ( Ephesians 2:8-9;  Romans 3:28 ). No individual merits salvation by fulfillment of God's law ( Romans 3:20 ). Saving faith is, however, obedient faith ( Romans 1:5;  Romans 16:26;  1 Peter 1:2 ). We are saved for good works ( Ephesians 2:10 ). Faith that does not result in acts of Christian love is not salvific but demonic ( James 2:14-26 , especially  James 2:19 ).

(2) The perseverance of the saints: Assurance of salvation is grounded in confidence that God is able to finish the good work begun in us ( Philippians 1:6 ), that God who sacrificed His Son for sinners ( Romans 5:8-9 ) will not hold back anything necessary to save one of his children ( Romans 8:32 ), and that nothing can separate us from God's love in Christ ( Romans 8:35-39 ). Confidence in God's ability to keep those who have entrusted their lives to Christ is not, however, an excuse for any believer's inactivity or moral failure ( Romans 6:12-13;  Ephesians 2:10 ). See Atonement; Conversion; Election; Eschatology; Forgiveness; Future Hope; Grace; Justification; New Birth; Predestination; Reconciliation, Redeem, Redemption, Redeemer; Repentance; Sanctification; Security Of The Believer .

Chris Church

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [4]

God’s salvation, as the Old Testament spoke of it, had a broad meaning. It referred to deliverance or preservation from disease, dangers, sufferings, death and the consequences of wrongdoing ( Exodus 14:30;  Judges 2:11-16;  Psalms 34:6;  Psalms 37:40;  Jeremiah 4:14;  Jeremiah 17:14). The means of God’s salvation may have been a warrior, a king, or some other national leader ( Judges 3:9;  2 Kings 13:5), but in the highest sense the saviour was always God ( 1 Samuel 14:23;  Isaiah 33:22;  Isaiah 43:3;  Isaiah 43:11;  Isaiah 43:15;  Habakkuk 3:18).

In the New Testament, salvation may have the same broad meaning as in the Old Testament ( Acts 27:20;  Acts 27:43;  2 Corinthians 1:10;  2 Thessalonians 3:2;  2 Peter 2:9), but its best known meaning is in relation to deliverance from sin and its consequences. This salvation comes from God through Jesus Christ ( Matthew 1:21;  Luke 2:11;  Luke 19:10;  John 3:17;  John 12:47;  Acts 4:12;  1 Timothy 1:15) and it is possible only because Jesus Christ atoned for sin in his death on the cross ( 1 Corinthians 1:18;  Titus 2:14; see Atonement ; Sin ).

This salvation is so great that no words can describe it fully. The Bible therefore uses many different pictures of salvation in an effort to help people understand what God has done.

One picture is that of the courtroom, where God the judge declares believers righteous and acquits them ( Romans 3:26;  Romans 8:33; see Justification ). Another picture is that of slavery, which shows that God has freed believers from the bondage of sin ( 1 Peter 1:18-19; see Redemption ). The picture of new birth shows that God gives life to those who are spiritually dead ( 1 Peter 1:23; see Regeneration ), and the picture of adoption shows how God places believers in his family and gives them the full status of sons ( Romans 8:15; see Adoption ).

A further picture is that of God’s turning those who are his enemies into his friends ( Romans 5:10-11; see Reconciliation ). The picture of a sacrificial offering expresses further aspects of salvation; for example, the death of a sacrificial victim in the place of the sinner ( Hebrews 9:26; see Sacrifice ), and the presentation of an offering to turn away God’s anger against sin ( Romans 3:25; see Propitiation ). But regardless of whatever picture the Bible uses, it emphasizes constantly that salvation is solely by God’s grace, and that people receive it through faith and repentance ( Acts 5:31;  Acts 16:30-31;  Acts 20:21;  1 Corinthians 1:21;  Ephesians 2:8-9;  Titus 3:3-7; see Faith ; Grace ; Repentance ).

There are past, present and future aspects of salvation. The past aspect is that believers already have been saved because of Christ’s death for them. Their sin has been dealt with, they are no longer under condemnation, and they have the assurance of eternal life ( John 5:24;  Romans 5:1-2;  Ephesians 2:1;  Ephesians 2:8; see Assurance ). The present aspect is that believers continue to experience the saving power of God in victory over sin in their daily lives ( 1 Corinthians 1:18;  Philippians 2:12;  2 Timothy 1:8-9; see Sanctification ). The future aspect is that believers will experience the fulfilment of their salvation at the return of Jesus Christ ( Romans 8:24;  Romans 13:11;  Philippians 3:20;  1 Thessalonians 5:9;  Hebrews 9:28;  1 Peter 1:5; see Resurrection ).

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [5]

A — 1: Σωτηρία (Strong'S #4991 — Noun Feminine — soteria — so-tay-ree'-ah )

denotes "deliverance, preservation, salvation." "Salvation" is used in the NT (a) of material and temporal deliverance from danger and apprehension, (1) national,  Luke 1:69,71;  Acts 7:25 , RV marg., "salvation" (text, "deliverance"); (2) personal, as from the sea,  Acts 27:34; RV, "safety" (AV, "health"); prison,  Philippians 1:19; the flood,  Hebrews 11:7; (b) of the spiritual and eternal deliverance granted immediately by God to those who accept His conditions of repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus, in whom alone it is to be obtained,  Acts 4:12 , and upon confession of Him as Lord,  Romans 10:10; for this purpose the gospel is the saving instrument,  Romans 1:16;  Ephesians 1:13 (see further under SAVE); (c) of the present experience of God's power to deliver from the bondage of sin, e.g.,   Philippians 2:12 , where the special, though not the entire, reference is to the maintenance of peace and harmony;  1—Peter 1:9; this present experience on the part of believers is virtually equivalent to sanctification; for this purpose, God is able to make them wise,  2—Timothy 3:15; they are not to neglect it,  Hebrews 2:3; (d) of the future deliverance of believers at the Parousia of Christ for His saints, a salvation which is the object of their confident hope, e.g.,  Romans 13:11;  1—Thessalonians 5:8 , and  1—Thessalonians 5:9 , where "salvation" is assured to them, as being deliverance from the wrath of God destined to be executed upon the ungodly at the end of this age (see  1—Thessalonians 1:10 );  2—Thessalonians 2:13;  Hebrews 1:14;  9:28;  1—Peter 1:5;  2—Peter 3:15; (e) of the deliverance of the nation of Israel at the second advent of Christ at the time of "the epiphany (or shining forth) of His Parousia" ( 2—Thessalonians 2:8 );  Luke 1:71;  Revelation 12:10; (f) inclusively, to sum up all the blessings bestowed by God on men in Christ through the Holy Spirit, e.g.,  2—Corinthians 6:2;  Hebrews 5:9;  1—Peter 1:9,10;  Jude 1:3; (g) occasionally, as standing virtually for the Savior, e.g.,  Luke 19:9; cp.  John 4:22 (see SAVIOR); (h) in ascriptions of praise to God,   Revelation 7:10 , and as that which it is His prerogative to bestow,  Revelation 19:1 (RV).

A — 2: Σωτήριον (Strong'S #4992 — Adjective — soterion — so-tay'-ree-on )

the neuter of the adjective (see B), is used as a noun in  Luke 2:30;  3:6 , in each of which it virtually stands for the Savior, as in No. 1 (g); in  Acts 28:28 , as in No. 1 (b); in  Ephesians 6:17 , where the hope of "salvation" [see No. 1 (d)] is metaphorically described as "a helmet."

B — 1: Σωτήριον (Strong'S #4992 — Adjective — soterios — so-tay'-ree-on )

"saving, bringing salvation," describes the grace of God, in  Titus 2:11 .

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [6]

imports, in general, some great deliverance from any evil or danger. Thus, the conducting the Israelites through the Red Sea, and delivering them out of the hands of the Egyptians, is called a great salvation. But salvation, by way of eminence, is applied to that wonderful deliverance which our blessed Saviour procured for mankind, by saving them from the punishment of their sins; and in the New Testament is the same as our redemption by Christ. This is that salvation referred to by St. Paul: "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" The salvation which Christ purchased, and the Gospel tenders to every creature, comprehends the greatest blessings which God can bestow; a deliverance from the most dreadful evils that mankind can suffer. It contains all that can make the nature of man perfect or his life happy, and secures him from whatever can render his condition miserable. The blessings of it are inexpressible, and beyond imagination. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." For, to be saved as Christ saves, is to have all our innumerable sins and transgressions forgiven and blotted out; all those heavy loads of guilt which oppressed our souls perfectly removed from our minds. It is to be reconciled to God, and restored to his favour, so that he will be no longer angry, terrible, and retributive, but a most kind, compassionate, and tender Father. It is to be at peace with him and with our consciences; to have a title to his peculiar love, care, and protection, all our days; to be rescued from the bondage and dominion of sin, and the tyranny of the devil. It is to be translated from the power of darkness, into the kingdom of Christ; so that sin shall reign no longer in our mortal bodies, but we shall be enabled to serve God in newness of life. It is to be placed in a state of true freedom and liberty, to be no longer under the control of blind passions, and hurried on by our impetuous lusts to do what our reason condemns. It is to have a new principle of life infused into our souls; to have the Holy Spirit resident in our hearts, whose comfortable influence must ever cheer and refresh us, and by whose counsels, we may be always advised, directed, and governed. It is to be transformed into the image of God; and to be made like him in wisdom, righteousness, and all other perfections of which man's nature is capable.

Finally, to be saved as Christ came to save mankind, is to be translated, after this life is ended, into a state of eternal felicity, never more to die or suffer, never more to know pain and sickness, grief and sorrow, labour and weariness, disquiet, or vexation, but to live in perfect peace, freedom, and liberty, and to enjoy the greatest good after the most perfect manner for ever. It is to have our bodies raised again, and reunited to our souls; so that they shall be no longer gross, earthly, corruptible bodies, but spiritual, heavenly, immortal ones, fashioned like unto Christ's glorious body, in which he now sits at the right hand of God. It is to live in the city of the great King, the heavenly Jerusalem, where the glory of the Lord fills the place with perpetual light and bliss. It is to spend eternity in the most noble and hallowed employments, in viewing and contemplating the wonderful works of God, admiring the wisdom of his providence, adoring his infinite love to the sons of men, reflecting on our own inexpressible happiness, and singing everlasting hymns of praise, joy, and triumph to God and our Lord Jesus Christ for vouchsafing all these blessings. It is to dwell for ever in a place, where no objects of pity or compassion, of anger or envy, of hatred or distrust, are to be found; but where all will increase the happiness of each other, by mutual love and kindness. It is to converse with the most perfect society, to be restored to the fellowship of our friends and relations who have died in the faith of Christ, and to be with Jesus Christ, to behold his glory, to live for ever in seeing and enjoying the great God, in "whose presence is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore." This is the salvation that Christ has purchased for us; and which his Gospel offers to all mankind.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [7]

A blessed word of a most blessed doctrine founded in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is JEHOVAH'S salvation to the ends of the earth. ( Isaiah 49:6) I refer the reader to the article Redeemer for the several features of salvation. And in addition to what is there said, I would just beg to observe that the thing itself meets poor lost souls so many ways, and answereth to their wants in such a variety of purposes, that it is always blessed to meditate upon it.

The term salvation implies somewhat more than a state of recovery from a state in which before the sinner was lost, but it includes every thing that is blessed in that state of recovery. The lost soul is not only brought out of bondage and the shadow of death, but brought into the liberty of the sons of God. So that in salvation is meant a release from all evil, and an introduction into all that is good. A right and interest in all temporal, spiritual and eternal blessings, is the sure consequence. Everlasting life, with all its preliminaries, for it hath the promise of "the life that now is, and of that which is to come."

And what endears salvation yet more, is the consideration of the almighty and all-loving author of it, and by whom it was accomplished. What he is in himself, in the glories of his person, his greatness, fitness, suitability, and all-sufficiency; what he is in his work, and what he hath done for his redeemed, the salvation he hath wrought beyond all conception of value in its completeness, and beyond all reach of extent in its efficacy, being like himself, everlasting and eternal; and what he is in his relations to his people, being their everlasting Father, Brother, Husband, Friend all these things, included as they all are in salvation, give the happy partakers of it "a joy unspeakable and full of glory;" so that every individual finds cause to join in the hymn of the church, and say: "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation: he is a rock, his work is perfect, just and right is he." ( Isaiah 61:10)

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [8]

Means, strictly, deliverance; and so it is used of temporal deliverance, victory, in  Genesis 14:13   1 Samuel 14:45 . But as the spiritual deliverance from sin and death, through the Redeemer,  Matthew 1:21 , is a far greater salvation, so this word has come to be used mostly only in this moral and spiritual sense; and implies not only this deliverance, but also the consequences of it, namely, eternal life and happiness in the kingdom of out Lord,  2 Corinthians 7:10   Ephesians 1:13 . It is most justly described as a "great salvation,"  Hebrews 2:3 .

The Hebrews rarely use concrete terms, as they are called, but often abstract terms. Thus, instead of saying, God saves them and protects them, they say, God is their salvation. So, a voice of salvation, tidings of salvation, the rock of salvation, the shield of salvation, a horn of salvation, a word of salvation, etc., are equivalent to a voice declaring deliverance; the joy that attends escape from a great danger; a rock where any one takes refuge, and is in safety; a buckler that secures from the attack of an enemy; a horn or ray of glory, of happiness and salvation, etc. Thus, to work great salvation in Israel signifies to deliver Israel from some imminent danger, to obtain a great victory over enemies.

The "garments of salvation,"  Isaiah 61:10 , refer to the splendid robes worn on festival days. The expression is used figuratively to denote the reception of a signal favor from God, such as deliverance from great danger.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [9]

This may be seen in various connections in scripture.

1. It has reference primarily to the judgement of God to which man is obnoxious by reason of sin. This is illustrated by the destruction of the firstborn (the strength) of Egypt when the destroying angel passed through the land. The Israelites were saved only through being sheltered by the blood of the passover lamb. Salvation is based on God's righteousness having been maintained and declared in the death of Christ, and hence is for the believer in Christ.   Luke 1:77 .

2. Intimately connected with the above is the question of salvation from enemies carnal or spiritual. With Israel it was the former, as the Egyptians and the Canaanites. With Christians it is the latter, as sin, death, the world and the power of Satan. Salvation in this sense is by the power of God.   Luke 1:71 .

3. It has reference further to the actual physical condition of Christians which is met by the redemption of the body. In this sense salvation is hoped for. During the interval the Christian has to work out into result his own salvation (it was in the case of the Philippians their 'own salvation' in contrast to the care exercised over them by Paul when present with them).   Philippians 2:12,13 : cf.  Hebrews 7:25 .

King James Dictionary [10]

SALVA'TION, n. L. salvo, to save.

1. The act of saving preservation from destruction, danger or great calamity. 2. Appropriately in theology, the redemption of man from the bondage of sin and liability to eternal death, and the conferring on him everlasting happiness. This is the great salvation.

Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation.  2 Corinthians 7 .

3. Deliverance from enemies victory.  Exodus 14 . 4. Remission of sins, or saving graces.  Luke 19 . 5. The author of man's salvation.  Psalms 27 . 6. A term of praise or benediction.  Revelation 19 .

Webster's Dictionary [11]

(1): ( n.) The act of saving; preservation or deliverance from destruction, danger, or great calamity.

(2): ( n.) Saving power; that which saves.

(3): ( n.) The redemption of man from the bondage of sin and liability to eternal death, and the conferring on him of everlasting happiness.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [12]

 Genesis 49:18 (a) This is one of the early pictures of Christ It is a prophecy concerning the fact that this One who is GOD's salvation would one day come to those who were waiting for Him. (See also  Luke 2:30;  Luke 19:9. Christ Jesus Himself is GOD's "salvation."

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [13]

Means the safety or preservation of any thing that has been or is in danger; but it is more particularly used by us to denote our deliverance from sin and hell, and the final enjoyment of God in a future state, through the mediation of Jesus Christ.

See articles Atonement, Propitiation, Reconciliation, Redemption and SANCTIFICATION.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [14]

 Exodus 14:13 Hebrews 2:3

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [15]

(properly יְשׁוּעָה , Σωτηρία , both meaning originally Deliverance or Safety ) . No idea was more ingrained in the Jewish mind than the truth that God was a Savior, a Helper, a Deliverer, a Rescuer, a Defender, and a Preserver to his people. Their whole history was a history of salvation, and an unfolding of the nature and purposes of the Divine Being. Israel was a saved people ( Deuteronomy 33:29); saved from Egypt ( Exodus 14:30), delivered from enemies on every side, preserved in prosperity, and restored from adversity all by that One Person whom they had been taught to call Jehovah. Though human instruments were constantly used as saviors as, for instance, the judges the people were always taught that it was God who saved by their hand ( 2 Samuel 3:18;  2 Kings 13:5;  2 Kings 14:27;  Nehemiah 9:27), and that there was not power in man to be his own savior ( Job 40:14;  Psalms 33:16;  Psalms 44:3;  Psalms 44:7), so that he must look to God alone for help ( Isaiah 43:11;  Isaiah 45:22;  Hosea 13:4;  Hosea 13:10). This the Scriptures express in varied forms, usually in phrases, in which the Hebrews rarely use concrete terms, as they are called, but often abstract terms. Thus, instead of saying, God saves them and protects them, they say, God is their salvation. So, a voice of salvation, tidings of salvation, a word of salvation, etc., is equivalent to a voice declaring deliverance, etc. Similarly, to work great salvation in Israel signifies to deliver Israel from some imminent danger, to obtain a great victory over enemies. Most of these phrases explain themselves, while others are of nearly equal facility of apprehension, e.g. the application of "the cup of salvation" to gratitude and joy for deliverance ( Psalms 106:13); the "rock of salvation" to a rock where any one takes refuge, and is in safety ( 2 Samuel 22:47); "the shield of salvation" and "helmet of salvation" to protection from the attack of an enemy ( Psalms 18:35;  Isaiah 59:17); the "horn of salvation" to the power by which deliverance is effected ( Psalms 18:2); "the garments of salvation" to the beauty and protection of holiness ( Isaiah 61:10); the "wells of salvation" to the abundant sources of the mercies of salvation, free, overflowing, and refreshing ( Isaiah 12:3). See each of these associated terms in its alphabetical place.

"When we come to inquire into the nature of this salvation thus drawn from God, and the conditions on which it was granted during the Old Test. dispensation, we learn that it implied every kind of assistance for body and soul, and that it was freely offered to God's people ( Psalms 28:9;  Psalms 69:35); to the needy ( Psalms 72:4;  Psalms 72:13), to the meek ( Psalms 76:9), to the contrite ( Psalms 34:18), but not to the wicked ( Psalms 18:41) unless they repented and turned to him. Salvation consisted not only of deliverance from enemies, and from the snares of the wicked ( Psalms 37:40;  Psalms 59:2;  Psalms 106:20), but also of forgiveness ( Psalms 79:9), of answers to prayer ( Psalms 69:13), of spiritual gifts ( Psalms 68:19), of joy ( Psalms 51:12), of truth ( Psalms 25:5), and of righteousness ( Psalms 24:5;  Isaiah 45:8;  Isaiah 46:13;  Isaiah 53:5). Many of the beautiful promises in Isaiah refer to an everlasting and spiritual salvation, and God described himself as coming to earth to bring salvation to his people ( Isaiah 62:11;  Zechariah 9:9). Thus was the way prepared for the coming of him who was to be called Jesus, because he should save his people from their sins. (See Messiah).

"In the New Testament the spiritual idea of salvation strongly predominates, though the idea of temporal deliverance occasionally appears. Perhaps the word restoration most clearly represents the great truth of the Gospel. The Son of God came to a lost world to restore those who would commit themselves unto him to that harmony with God which they had lost by sin. He appeared among men as the Restorer. Disease, hunger, mourning, and spiritual depression fled from before him. All the sufferings to which the human race is subject were overcome by him. Death itself, the last enemy, was vanquished; and in his own resurrection Christ proclaimed to all believers the glad tidings that God's purpose of bringing many sons unto glory was yet to be carried out. During his lifetime Jesus Christ was especially a healer and restorer of the body, and his ministrations were confined to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; but by his death for the sins of the whole world, and by his subsequent resurrection and exaltation, he was enabled to fulfil the mission for which he had taken our nature. He became generally the Savior of the lost. All who come to him are brought by him to God; they have spiritual life, forgiveness, and peace, and they are adopted into the family of God. Their bodies are made temples of the Holy Ghost, by whose inworking power Christ is formed within them. Their heart being purified by faith in him as the Son of God, they receive from him the gifts and graces of God, and thus they have an earnest of the final inheritance, the complete restoration, which is the object of every Christian's hope. If it be asked when a man is saved, the answer is that the new life which is implanted by faith in Christ is salvation in the germ, so that every believer is a saved man. But during the whole Christian life salvation is worked out, in proportion to our faith, which is the connecting link between the Savior and the saved the vine and the branches. Salvation in its completion is ready to be revealed' in the day of Christ's appearing, when he who is now justified by Christ's blood shall be saved from wrath through him, and when there shall be that complete restoration of body and soul which shall make us fit to dwell with God as his children for evermore." (See Savior).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [16]

(1) John had the task of presenting Christ to Gentiles, who were as unfamiliar with the technical meaning of such phrases as "kingdom of God" or "Son of Man" as is the world today, and to Gentiles who had instead a series of concepts unknown in Palestine. So a "translation of spiritual values" became necessary if the gospel were to make an immediate appeal, a translation accomplished so successfully that the Fourth Gospel has always been the most popular. The Synoptists, especially the extremely literal Mark, imperatively demand a historical commentary, while John has successfully avoided this necessity. (2) The "kingdom of God," as a phrase ( John 3:3 ,  John 3:5; compare  John 18:36 ), is replaced by "eternal life." This life is given in this world to the one who accepts Christ's teaching ( John 5:24;  John 6:47 ), but its full realization will be in the "many mansions" of the Father's house ( John 14:2 ), where the believer will be with Christ ( John 17:24 ). A judgment of all men will precede the establishment of this glorified state ( John 5:28 ,  John 5:29 ), but the believer may face the judgment with equanimity ( John 5:24 ). So the believer is delivered from a state of things so bad as expressible as a world under Satan's rule ( John 12:31;  John 14:30;  John 16:11 ), a world in darkness ( John 3:19 ), in ignorance of God ( John 17:25 ), and in sin ( John 8:21 ), all expressible in the one word "death" ( John 5:24 ). (3) The Jews had real privilege in the reception of Christ's message ( John 1:11;  John 4:22 , etc.), but the extension of the good tidings to all men was inevitable ( John 12:23 ,  John 12:12 , etc.). Belief in Christ is wholly a personal matter, but the believers enter a community of service ( John 13:14 ), with the unity of the Father and Son as their ideal ( John 17:21 ). (4) The nature of the moral ideal, reduced to the single word "love" ( John 13:34;  John 15:12 ), is assumed as known and identified with "Christ's words" ( John 5:24;  John 6:63 , etc.), and the necessity of progress toward it as sharply pointed as in the Synoptists. The sinner is the servant of sin ( John 8:34 ), a total change of character is needed ( John 3:6 ), and the blessing is only on him who does Christ's commandments ( John 13:17 ). This "doing" is the proof of love toward Christ ( John 14:15 ,  John 14:21 ); only by bearing fruit and more fruit can discipleship be maintained ( John 15:1-6; compare  John 14:24 ), and, indeed, by bearing fruit men actually become Christ's disciples ( John 15:8 , Gr). The knowledge of Christ and of God that is eternal life ( John 17:3 ) comes only through moral effort ( John 7:17 ). In John the contrasts are colored so vividly that it would almost appear as if perfection were demanded. But he does not present even the apostles as models of sanctity ( John 13:38;  John 16:32 ), and self-righteousness is condemned without compromise; the crowning sin is to say, "We see" ( John 9:41 ). It is the Son who frees from sin ( John 8:36 ), delivers from darkness ( John 8:12;  John 12:46 ), and gives eternal life ( John 11:25 ,  John 11:26; compare  John 3:16;  John 5:24; James M.A. DD General Editor. Entry for 'Salvation'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.Copyright Statement These files are public domain and were generously provided by the folks at WordSearch Software. Bibliography Information Orr