How Are We Saved?

Photograph of the Earth taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17
The most famous of all the verses of the Bible are John 3:16-17

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."

This is the most basic statement of the Gospel.

How Broad Is God's Love?

This verse teaches us that God's love was so great and strong that it was the root of all of Jesus' life and death and all the work of spreading the good news since then. God's love is the basis for all of our faith. God's highest wish for all of us is that we may not perish but have eternal life. All the stories in the Bible, all the actions of God in the world, make sense only when understood in terms of that love. All the teachings of the church must be understood in terms of that love. Jesus came to earth because of God's love for you. Jesus died for you because of God's love for you. Jesus rose from the dead as the promise of God's love for you.

Experiencing God's Love

"Salvation" is a word that Christian's use a lot and seem to never agree about. For some it has become a way of dividing people into groups according to how they define the word. Are you saved because you recited a specific prayer, because you have been baptized, because of how you were baptized or who baptized you, because of the political views you hold, because of your good actions and thoughts? No!

Salvation is the result of God's love, and God's work. We do not believe we receive salvation because of anything we do. Our hardest work as Christians is learning to accept, depend, and rest on that love. We accept salvation when we give up trying to earn God's love and begin to enjoy it. We believe that salvation is a gift from God. We trust that gift in all the circumstances of life and know that not even death can separate us from the love of God.

For Further Study

Presbyterian 101 article on Faith