Salvation Words: Introduction

Don’t miss out on the glories of salvation–what God has done for you in Christ! In fact, the book of Hebrews warns us about neglecting “so great a salvation” (2:3). Neglect brings condemnation and disaster upon us (2:2). Moreover, the author of Hebrews repeatedly points out the dangers of  “neglect” or “drift”:

  • “We must pay closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it…” (2:1).
  • “Christ was faith as a Son over His house–whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end” (3:6)
  • “Take care, brothers, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God” (3:12)

I think you get the idea.

The startling thing about even those three verses is that they all seem to speak to a situation where someone starts out fairly well,  but then “falls away” or “neglects” God’s salvation. Neglecting salvation can begin by not really understanding it fully. If salvation becomes merely a “get-out-of-Hell-free” card, then you won’t really believe it has any relevance for your day-to-day living. Having a coupon for a free meal at a restaurant you’re not really interested in will be easily forgotten. Being able to escape the consequences of some distant reality (in your mind) like Hell will seem trivial compared to the pleasures or pains of daily life.

What God has done in salvation is much bigger, much grander, than we typically think. It takes the whole Bible to recount the story of God’s rescue plan for His people. Although beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelation is a great way to see how God has worked to save us, it can also be extremely time consuming. The Bible is a big book!

So to capture the essence of our salvation and to summarize what Scripture says, Bible teachers throughout the church’s history have often categorized the different things God has done for us using big theological words like “propitiation” or “reconciliation.” But these words are important. Why? Because they help us pay close attention to the gospel message! They help us focus on salvation and learn more of its depth and beauty.

What you will find, too, is that many of these big theological words and concepts interact and overlap with each other. Concepts like “justification” and “reconciliation” are built upon things like “propitiation.” When you study the Bible and unpack each of these salvation words you will find a glorious and grand truth: God saves sinners.


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