Am I Saved OR Being Saved?

The idea of a person being “saved” hasn’t been a primary focal point for the church for most of the past 2000 years. Saved wasn’t a term widely recognized until the 1970’s when, “born again Christian” began to be used to describe a person who had been saved, or made a personal decision to follow Christ.

As I mentioned in my post on Ash Wednesday, the early church had a word that was synonymous with salvation, theosis. One writer explains it this way, “Theosis is the process by which a persons essential being is permeated and filled with the presence of God. Theosis is a biblical idea. When St. Paul talked about being ‘in Christ,’ or Christ being ‘in me’ he meant it literally. That’s how his words were understood by people who lived in his world and spoke his language, the ones who were his original audience.” To the early followers of Jesus, the idea of theosis and salvation were synonymous.

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” Is 30:15

As we look at Isaiah’s word again with the consideration of salvation as a process more than a decision, Isaiah’s words seems to make a little more sense. “In repentance and rest is your salvation.” As I read that with an interpretation of salvation as theosis, I can see a little more clearly how repentance and rest help aid in ongoing salvation. As I read the Isaiah passage with more of a current American understanding of salvation, I would see it reading more like this… Repentance and rest lead a person to a one-time decision to follow Jesus. I don’t really see how repentance which is a process (we will dive into that in upcoming weeks)  and learning to rest, which is a process, pinnacle with a one-time decision.

I could be way off here, but the prophet Isaiah appears to be writing about how repentance and rest are catalysts to surrendering one’s life to God on a day-to-day basis, rather than trying to get someone to make a certain decision that equates to “salvation.” We’ll keep exploring this together as we make our way through Lent.

2 thoughts on “Am I Saved OR Being Saved?

  1. Like the stimulation of your post. I’ve noticed that the younger generation is a little critical of our older generation (I’m 76) where we led people to ‘make a decision’ to follow Jesus (Luke 19:9) and then discipled them in the Isaiah 30:15 concept. (This is not referring to your post here which is very helpful and uncritical) We looked at it as a ‘beginning’ of faith’ for someone — perhaps the realization of justification by faith which seems to biblically be a ‘moment in time.’

    At the same time there were many people who grew up in the church and probably made a ‘decision’ for Christ each time they decided to go to church or a SS class or often along their life journey. They couldn’t pin down their commitment to a one-time decision — but probably made many smaller decisions. For them it was an ongoing ‘identification’ with Jesus that was their ‘decisional’ reality.

    I still like the idea (old fashioned?) of helping people consciously ‘make a decision’ to follow Jesus — in step with the Spirit’s work in their life vs. my pressure — and I’ve done both in my time. I personally think that helps ‘anchor’ a person in their faith. “. . . he who HAS the Son HAS life . . . He who does NOT have the Son, has NOT life.” 1 John 5:11-12. “These things have I written to you that you may KNOW you HAVE eternal life.” 1 John 5:13.
    Keep up the good work! (and we’re certainly praying for you, Anna and the kids in these days!)

  2. Thanks David. I appreciate your insight as well. So glad to hear y’all are getting to spend time with Russ and Margie today. We appreciate your ongoing prayers.

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