As a child, I would attend summer camp every year. Once I was on an inner tube at the lake, blissfully having a great time, but totally unaware that I was in water that was way over my head.  I had floated out to where the big boys were playing, and one of them reached over and flipped me off my inner tube. Down I went. I didn’t know how to swim. While swallowing water (half the lake, it seemed)  I somehow thrashed my way towards the sunlight even though I hardly knew which way was up. Thankfully, someone recognized my difficulty and pulled me in. I was saved. Rescued.

What if someone had said to me at that point, “You need to be saved”? In between gulps of air and water, I might have answered with “Thanks, Captain Obvious!”
 So where does this salvation language come from that Christians use? The answer is rather simple. It comes from the Holy Scriptures, the Bible. Christians believe the Bible is God’s Word, His message to all of mankind.
Jesus used that language when he walked the earth. Here is an example of what He said and taught. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved(John 10:9).
According to Jesus, entering the kingdom of God through the “gateway” that He claimed to be and “being saved” was the same thing. He regarded mankind as being lost and in terrible danger of never finding their way back home to the heart of God. The gateway to the heart of God is Jesus Christ. This is why he taught us the following words:
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
While I was almost drowning, it would have done me no good to tell me to learn how to swim. I could not have rescued myself. I needed someone to pull me out of the water. I had no strength or skill to do that on my own. Had it not been for that person who reached down and rescued me, I would not be here today.
It is the same in the spiritual realm. The Bible teaches us that we cannot save ourselves. We do not have the capacity to do that. We are disconnected from God, and the very thing that we need to be rescued lies not with us, but with God. It’s called, God’s grace. He needs to extend his grace to us. We do not need to extend our best efforts to Him. They simply get in the way.
So how does God’s grace reach me?
Here is how it all works together. Jesus Christ died on the cross to actually pay the penalty for our sins. Our sins are what keeps us disconnected from God. As we place our complete trust in Him (remember John 3:16?) God reconciles us to Himself. We are forgiven of all our moral failures. Jesus has taken care of all that through his death. We are promised this in His Word. Our responsibility is to simply believe with all our hearts that Jesus did this for us.
So what are we saved from? We are saved from the danger of being lost to God. We are saved from condemnation and judgment by God. We are saved to live a life of meaning and purpose. We are saved to live for God’s pleasure. Now do you understand what it means when someone asks you, “Have you been saved?”
It is impossible to explain all of it in a short leaflet. If you have any questions or feedback, please consider contacting us or joining us to learn the teachings of Jesus together.