"Jesus Saves!" This two-word message can be found everywhere -- printed on plaques in Christian homes, shining in neon letters over inner-city churches, scribbled in the margins of old Bibles, and painted on walls as graffiti. Some Christians like to tell their friends, "I've been saved," or "Jesus saved me!" Or they ask their friends, "Have you been saved?" What does it all mean?

The Two Meanings of "Salvation"

The New Testament word translated "saved" has two meanings: "rescue" and "heal." In the Bible, God is the Rescuer and Healer, and we human beings are the ones who need to be rescued and healed.

What do you need to be rescued from? Because you have done things you knew were wrong, you owe a debt to justice. Until that debt is paid, you bear the guilt of your wrong actions.

You also need to realize that the natural human condition is separation from God. No human can see or touch God. God lives in another realm -- a spiritual realm. If you go on living without God, you will die, and you will spend eternity without Him.

These two problems converge. Your wrong actions are ultimately self-destructive, because they intensify your separation from God -- who is both just and good. So you need to be rescued from your wrong actions (or "sin"), but you also need to be rescued from the guilt of your sin and from the consequence of your sin (which is "hell").

And what is it that you need to have healed? Simply stated, your natural tendency to do wrong and your broken relationship with God.

How are You "Rescued" and "Healed?"

While you are separated from God, you are in spiritual darkness. However, God has shined a light into your darkness, showing you the way to rescue and to healing. Jesus Christ, the light of the world, shows you the path to God's door. Jesus Christ, by His life and by His teaching, tell us everything we need to know about God.

By dying on the cross -- a death He did not deserve -- Jesus made it possible for YOU to be rescued from your sin, from your guilt, and from your due punishment. When your sins are forgiven, you are enabled to see God in Jesus; your relationship with Him is healed.

Jesus is the center of salvation. His Name actually means "The Lord's Salvation," and He is rightly called "The Savior."

The Process of Salvation

Salvation is a process which affects your past, your present and your future. You "have been saved" because Jesus died and your sins are forgiven. You "are being saved" because God is working in your life. You "will be saved" when you are physically resurrected to enjoy eternal life with God. This process is described by these theological terms (among others).

Atonement: sins are atoned, "covered," "put away" by the blood Jesus shed on the cross.

Justification: to be declared "right" in God's court because Jesus paid your penalty.

Sanctification: "to make holy" or "to make saints." This is what God is currently doing in the lives of those He saves.

Reconciliation: changed from God's enemies into His friends through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Regeneration: birth into a new and spiritual life; "born again."

Substitution: Jesus, taking your place, your sin, your guilt, and your punishment.

Access to God's Salvation

If you were drowning in the ocean, would you not scramble into a rescue boat? The Bible assumes that you need to be rescued and that you will eagerly reach out for God's salvation. The first step is to recognize your spiritual condition.

God's salvation is free. The Calvary Chapel staff is trained to introduce you to Jesus Christ and to lead you into salvation through loving instruction and prayer.