Perhaps you have been asked “are you saved?” Perhaps the question seemed odd. Perhaps you were unsure how to answer. The question has invaded popular culture so much that it seems a lot of people, inside and outside the church, think that you can answer the question “Are you saved?” with a “Yes” only if you have prayed the “sinner’s prayer,” or have had a profound “born again” experience. Only if we have “accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior” can we know for sure that we are saved.
Are you saved? It is an important question, but the answer differs greatly depending on your religious background. There is more than one way to answer. Jesus provides a way for us to answer this question faithfully (hint, it isn’t by saying some form of a sinner’s prayer).
In chapter 8 of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus comes down from a mountain and encounters a leper. The leper asks Jesus to make him clean. Jesus cleanses the leper. Through this healing, Jesus saves the man. He saves the leper from not being able to practice his faith. Unclean people were not allowed to worship or be around others. The leper was cleansed, making it possible for him to have a relationship with family again. He was saved from a lifetime of not being able to be touched. He was made whole. The leper was saved in that moment when Jesus cleansed him from his disease. Notice: Jesus did the saving.
Mark tells us in his gospel account about a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. She reached out while Jesus was walking by and just touched his clothes. The moment she touched Jesus’ clothes, her bleeding ceased. Jesus knows something has happened (Mark says that Jesus knew power had gone out from him) and he turns to find out what exactly has occurred. He sees this woman, who had been considered unclean and untouchable for 12 years. He speaks with her and most translations of the Bible state that he tells her she has been healed. Another translation says her faith has made her well. One translation even states that this woman has been made whole.
The Greek word underneath the variations is sozo, which means to save. All those translations are correct, and they all tell us she was saved, in a very different way than a lot of people talk about being saved. This woman’s faith – simple trust in Christ – saved her, not because she said some sinner’s prayer, had some special experience, or assented to a doctrine. In her desperation she simply cried out to one that she somehow knew could save her from her suffering and pain. Notice: Jesus did the saving.
The sermon series for Lent is “Are You Saved?” Jesus came that all might be saved, but what does that exactly look like? As a congregation we will explore the many different ways that we are saved so that our answer to the question is not just a resounding “YES!” but so that we can develop a depth to our understanding of what we are saved from and saved for. If you want to hear more about how we answer the question, “Are You Saved?” and the abundance of ways that we are all saved, come to worship (or listen in on the podcast if you can’t be here in person). Notice: Jesus is the savior.
Travis Segar, Pastoral Intern