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What does it mean to be saved, to accept Jesus as your personal savior?

 

The phrase being saved in the Christian tradition carries with it the obvious assumption that someone is in need of rescuing. It implies that one needs to be freed from imminent danger; that a life is imperiled; that dreams, hopes, and aspirations are all very near to being lost. Being saved in the Christian faith is really a two-part experience: being saved from something and being saved to something.

To be saved means turning away from a life that is without God, that is focused solely upon ourselves. It means giving up the obsession with our needs, our wants, our pleasures, our comforts, our importance, our egos, and our power. If my world is nothing but me, then no one else, including God, is likely to get in. Being saved from also means being saved from destructive patterns of life -- things that destroy us instead of build us up. Some of those common destructive elements (which Christians call sin) are alcohol, drugs, sexual misuse and abuse, intolerance, lust for power, pursuit of money at the expense of others, and so forth. Involvement in such patterns usually comes from a need to fill a void in life, to cover a feeling of inadequacy.

When God becomes a part of our life, we realize that a focus on self is not a full life. We understand that self-focus alone has no future and offers nothing to build up anyone else or to advance the great causes of humanity.

But being saved from ourselves also means that we are saved to a life that is the exact opposite. Such a life says that the will of God and living this faith daily is a greater priority than our own will, that being the people of God is more important than anything, that giving and sharing are better than taking and accumulating. Our lives are changed by God to lives that affirm others, lives of healing and wholeness.

Being saved means that we have awakened to the wondrous opportunities to share each day with our brothers and sisters and see what God is doing in our lives together. Most people who are rescued begin to evaluate their lives, take stock, and find ways to improve their lives; it is a wake-up call. We believe that being saved is, in essence, God's wake-up call to us.

-- Peter Harrington
10 FAQ's of New Christians

From 10 FAQ's of New Christians by Peter Harrington. Copyright © 2000 Discipleship Resources. Reprinted with permission of Discipleship Resources.