The First Step to Happiness---Be Saved and Know It

 Many people are actually frightened when they hear Christians use the word “saved”.  It has been said to me, “One of the reasons that some educated people will not attend Bible preaching churches is because you talk so much about being ‘saved’.  We have gone to church most of our lives and never heard the word saved.  What do you mean by that word?”

There is no reason for any sincere person to become ill at ease when they hear Christians use the word “saved”.  It is a good Bible word referring to the condition enjoyed by every genuine Christian.  The word “saved” in the Bible means “delivered” and “preserved”.  It describes what happens when God translates a sinner from the realm of the lost into the realm of the saved.

 Here are some examples:  In Acts 2:21, Peter preached at Pentecost, “…Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be ‘saved.”  This quotation from Joel 2:13 is also quoted in Romans 10:13.  In Acts 2:47 we read, “…And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved”.  In Acts 4:12, Peter preached to the religious leaders of Israel, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved”. 

 The Apostle Paul told the jailer in Philippi (Acts 16:31) “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”    1st Corinthians 1:18 declares, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  And Ephesians 2:8 informs us:  “For by grace you have been saved through faith…”

 In all the word “saved” appears fifty-seven times in the New Testament.  It is truly amazing that there are multitudes of church members who have attended their churches regularly for years and have never heard the word “saved” used from the pulpit.



The penalty of sin is physical and spiritual death.  “The wages of sin is death...”  (Romans 6:23).  Physical death comes when the soul and spirit separate from the body.  Spiritual death describes the condition of a lost sinner whose body, soul, and spirit are separated from the spiritual life that comes from God.  If a sinner dies physically in his lost condition he will be separated forever from God in a place of torment.

God has provided for mankind to receive the forgiveness of their sins through the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus on the cross.  Jesus was prophesied from the beginning of time to be the Savior of souls by His sacrifice.

Skins of animals slain in sacrifice provided a covering for Adam and Eve that made them acceptable in God’s presence.  The sacrifice that made Abel acceptable before the Lord was a slain lamb.  Noah, Abraham, Job and Jacob were notable for their sacrifices which expressed their faith in a coming Redeemer Who would abolish sins by a sacrificial death.

The lamb slain on the Day of Passover and the goats slain on the Day of Atonement pictured how the innocent Lamb of God would receive the punishment for the sins of His people.  In fact, every sacrifice of the Old Testament pointed to the remission of mankind’s sin and privileges of salvation through the sacrificial death of Christ. 

The clearest statement on the sacrificial work of Christ in the Old Testament is Isaiah 53.  Isaiah 53:5, 6 proclaims: “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

John the Baptist, the God ordained forerunner of Jesus, introduced Him thus; “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”  John 1:29.  The New Testament gospel message is that Christ died to save us from the penalty of sin. “Christ died for the ungodly”  (Romans 5:6);  “Christ died for us”  (Romans 5:8); “For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”  (2nd Corinthians 5:21); “…That He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:9); “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree,…”(1st Peter 2:24); “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God…” (1st Peter 3:18).

When a sinner is saved from the penalty of sin he enjoys wonderful peace of heart because he has peace with God.  He knows that God’s wrath against him for sin has been satisfied through the death of Christ.  “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Romans 5:1).


The sinner must trust Jesus to save him from sin’s power as well as sin’s penalty.  The Angel of the Lord affirmed this when he told Joseph, “…And you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”  (Matthew 1:21)

The chains of sin so powerfully bind the lost man and woman that they are a slave to sin’s power.  Jesus said, “…Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.”  (John 8:43).  Thank God, He went on to state, “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”  (John 8:36).  Jesus not only cancels the condemnation but He also breaks sin’s fetters, delivers the sinner from the dungeon and sets him at liberty. He saves from the power of sin.\


Everyone feels the need of a reliable guide to take them safely through the perils of the future.  For this they are confiding in everything from fortune tellers to computers.  Jesus is the only safe Guide through life.  He is God.  He spoke the Words of God.  By teaching and example He has revealed the safe pathway of life.  “I am the light of the world.  He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  (John 8:12).

Those who trust themselves to chart their life’s course are bound for certain disaster.  “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12).  The Scriptures relate the story of several men who did this who came to a tragic end:  Cain, Lot, Pharaoh, Samson, Saul, and Judas are a few. 


Jesus has given the promise that those He saves will spend eternity with Him.  (John 14:2b, 3).  “I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself:  that where I am, there you may be also.”

If the body of the Christian sleeps in the grave, then Jesus will raise the body.  “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth---those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”  (John 5:28, 29). 

If the Christian is still living when Jesus comes, then Jesus will change his body.  “Behold, I tell you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed---in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”  (1st Corinthians 15:51, 52.).  The Christian’s glorified body shall be forever rid of the sin nature.  His body shall be just like the body of Jesus is now.  “…We know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”  (1st John 3:2). At that time the Christian shall also be forever rid of the presence of sinful temptations in his surroundings.  In that eternal dwelling place of God’s people no sin will be tolerated to enter.  “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles…”  (Revelation 21:27).

 The first step to happiness is to be saved and know it.  In the next message we will discuss how you can know you are saved.         

Copyright © 2004 Thomas E Berry
Scripture quotations from NKJV unless otherwise noted


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