Vol. 8, No. 5
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Through this theme, "Come Meet Jesus," already we have considered "Come Meet Jesus as Creator," "Come Meet Jesus as God Incarnate," "Come Meet Jesus as Master Teacher" and "Come Meet Jesus at the Cross." Now, let us consider "Come Meet Jesus as the Savior."
Unable to save himself from his sins, mankind desperately needs a divine Savior. Fortunately, Jesus Christ accepted God the Father's mission for him as our Savior. We need to arm ourselves with biblical information regarding Jesus Christ as Savior before we can obtain redemption for ourselves.
Both testaments teach about a divine Savior of humanity. The definition of the word "savior" has a basic meaning, but the true significance depends upon the context in which it appears. The 15 judges between the time of Joshua and King Saul were physical, human saviors (Judges 2:16; 3:9, 15). However, regarding salvation or redemption, Jesus Christ is mankind's spiritual, divine Savior. "SAVIOR. A term applied in Scripture, in its highest sense, to Jesus Christ, but in a subordinate manner to human deliverers" (New Unger's). "1: one that saves from danger or destruction; 2 : one who brings salvation; specifically capitalized : JESUS" (Merriam).
Hebrew and Greek have their respective words that are translated into English as "Savior." The English word "Savior" appears 37 times in the KJV: 13 in OT; 24 NT. The Hebrew word translated "Savior" is yasha' (yaw-shah'), though altogether the Hebrew word appears 207 times and is translated also as "save," "rescue," "deliverer," "avenging" and "help." The Greek word translated "Savior" is soter (so-tare') and means "deliverer" (Biblesoft's).
Both testaments also use synonyms for the word "Savior." "Redeemer" and "Savior" appear as synonyms in Isaiah 49:26 and 60:16. The word "redeemer" signifies what is meant respecting Jesus Christ as mankind's Savior (Isaiah 59:20; Titus 2:13-14). "REDEEMER In the New Testament, Christ is viewed as the ultimate Redeemer, although the Greek word for redeemer is not used. Jesus gave His life as 'a ransom for many' (Mark 10:45). Thus, the apostle Paul speaks of believers as having 'redemption through His blood' (Eph 1:7)" (Nelson's). The apostle Peter also wrote that redemption is available to humanity through the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19). See also Romans 3:24-25.
Biblical information gathered from both testaments discloses the reason and function of Jesus Christ coming from heaven into the world to be mankind's spiritual Savior. A divine Savior in the person of Jesus Christ who came from heaven to earth is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. The spiritual promise made to Abraham was realized when Jesus Christ came to this poor world of sin as its Savior (Genesis 12:3; Luke 1:68-77). As our Savior, Jesus Christ fulfilled prophecies about removing mankind's sins (Isaiah 53:10-11; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Zechariah 9:9).
Jesus Christ came into this world for the express purpose to function as the Savior of mankind. Our Heavenly Father expressly sent Jesus Christ into the world to be our Savior (John 3:17; 1 John 4:14). At the birth of Jesus, an angel announced to shepherds that their "Savior, which is Christ the Lord" was born, Luke 2:11; compare what an angel told Joseph in Matthew 1:21. Jesus Christ came to be "the Saviour of all men" (though some will not receive him as Savior) (1 Timothy 4:10). John the Baptist declared that Jesus Christ would function as Savior by taking "away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). Samaritans acknowledged that Jesus "is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world" (John 4:42). Jesus affirmed that he came to be the world's Savior (Matthew 18:11; Luke 19:10; John 12:47-48). Jesus Christ became Savior upon his resurrection and subsequent ascension back to heaven (Acts 5:31). Strictly speaking, though, Jesus Christ is the Savior of the body of Christ (Ephesians 5:23).
By consulting the Word of God (Bible) about the mission of our Savior, we can obtain salvation for ourselves. Studying Scripture will enable one to find salvation from the Savior (2 Timothy 3:15; 2 Peter 3:18). Christians can look confidently toward the end of time for the return of the Savior (Philippians 3:20).
Jesus Christ is our Savior, who "was manifested to take away our sins" (Titus 1:4; 1 John 3:5). Because Jesus Christ is Savior, the apostle Peter acknowledged that Jesus possessed "the words of eternal life" (John 6:68). Because Jesus Christ is Savior, the apostle Paul repeatedly affirmed that salvation is obtainable exclusively through Jesus Christ (Acts 13:23, 38-39; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9). With Job's statement in Job 19:25 we concur confidently: "I know that my redeemer liveth" (i.e., Jesus Christ our Savior).
Armed with biblical information regarding Jesus Christ as Savior, we can obtain redemption for ourselves. Jesus is Savior to those who obey the Gospel (Romans 6:17; Hebrews 5:9). Non-Christians obey the Gospel by turning to the Word of God and deriving faith from biblical evidence (Rom. 10:17), repenting of sins, acknowledging Jesus Christ as the Son of God and being baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 8:37). Erring Christians obey the Gospel by repenting of sin and praying for forgiveness (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9). Is Jesus Christ your Savior today?
Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, 1994.
Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. CD-ROM. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 1993.
Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary. CD-ROM. Nashville: Nelson, 1986.
New Unger's Bible Dictionary. CD-ROM. Chicago: Moody P., 1988.