Truth, Understanding, Insight

How Jesus Saves

1st October 2012, hej


1) Who is the Saviour?

There is so much focus from Christians on how the death of Jesus saves. But is the substance of what it often said borne out by the text? Is the focus on this one event, the death by crucifixion, missing some elements of the broader picture of salvation?

The Saviour

There are 37 references to Saviour in the KJV in both Old and New Testaments. There are a few more where the same Hebrew word is translated salvation. The first occurrence gives the most important meaning.

The God (Heb: Mighty Ones) of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou save me from violence. 2 Samuel 22:3

The next reference is to a human saviour.

And the LORD gave Israel a saviour, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians: and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents, as beforetime. 2 Kings 13:5

The psalms are clear,

For thou art the God of my salvation; Psa 25:5
In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Psa 62:7
They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt; Psalm 106:21

Then Isaiah speaks of God sending a saviour. In this way God is a saviour.

And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. Isaiah19:20

When and how were people saved for 4000 years before Christ? In what way were people saved?

For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Isa_43:3
I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. Isa_43:11
Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour. Isa_45:15
Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Isa_45:21
My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust. Isa 51:5
Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me. Hos_13:4

Has anyone been saved yet if they are all awaiting the resurrection as Paul says in Hebrews 11? When shall the earth see the promised salvation, finally? When...

...all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. Isaiah 49:26
Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, .. thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. Isa iah 60:16
For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. Isaiah 63:8
O the hope of Israel, the saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night? Jeremiah 14:8
I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Micah 7:7

Our Lord's mother quotes,

My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Luke 1:47

The one who is sent to be a saviour as it was written is Christ (from Greek) which is Messiah (from Hebrew) For more see Christ Messiah

Luk_2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Joh_4:42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
Act_5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Act_13:23 Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:
Eph_5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Php_3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from where also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Yet Paul says that God is our saviour,

1Ti_1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;
1Ti_2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti_4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

Paul explains the mechanism of salvation as Christ abolishing death

2Ti_1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who has abolished death, and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

Tit_1:3 But has in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;
Tit_1:4 To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Tit_2:10 Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
Tit_2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit_3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit_3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

Paul says that God is our saviour and he speaks the Gospel from God, and it is due to Jesus (Hebrew Y'shua) being sent by God that he appears as our saviour.

Simon Peter speaks of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ five times (2Pet 1:1, 1:11, 2:20,3:2,3:18 )

John is very specific,

And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

Jude also speaks of God our Saviour as One and 'only',1Jn_4:14

To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jud_1:25

In this we have established that it is emphasised through all scripture, that God is the only saviour, and that he has sent saviours. The Father sent the son. We have established that one who is sent as a saviour by God whether it be temporal or eternal, is a saviour, but the power and glory rests with God. Our Lord witnesses twice (so it is established) where his power was from,

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. John 5:19
I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. John 5:30
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:5

We see how we can achieve nothing unless we be 'in Christ,' and how Christ could do nothing unless he does the will of the Father who sent him.