Salvation (properly ישׁוּעָה, 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 (De 33:29); saved from Egypt (Ex 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 (2Sa 3:18; 2Ki 13:5; 2Ki 14:27; Ne 9:27), and that there was not power in man to be his own savior (Job 40:14; Ps 33:16; Ps 44:3,7), so that he must look to God alone for help (Isa 43:11; Isa 45:22; Ho 13:4,10). 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 (Ps 106:13); the "rock of salvation" to a rock where any one takes refuge, and is in safety (2Sa 22:47); "the shield of salvation" and "helmet of salvation" to protection from the attack of an enemy (Ps 18:35; Isa 59:17); the "horn of salvation" to the power by which deliverance is effected (Ps 18:2); "the garments of salvation" to the beauty and protection of holiness (Isa 61:10); the "wells of salvation" to the abundant sources of the mercies of salvation, free, overflowing, and refreshing (Isa 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 (Ps 28:9; Ps 69:35); to the needy (Ps 72:4,13), to the meek (Ps 76:9), to the contrite (Ps 34:18), but not to the wicked (Ps 18:41) unless they repented and turned to him. Salvation consisted not only of deliverance from enemies, and from the snares of the wicked (Ps 37:40; Ps 59:2; Ps 106:20), but also of forgiveness (Ps 79:9), of answers to prayer (Ps 69:13), of spiritual gifts (Ps 68:19), of joy (Ps 51:12), of truth (Ps 25:5), and of righteousness (Ps 24:5; Isa 45:8; Isa 46:13; Isa 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 (Isa 62:11; Zec 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.
⇒"Salvation." topical outline.
⇒Bible concordance for SALVATION.