By Femi Aribisala
Jesus is more than able to save from any and every human affliction.
Many Christians don’t even know what Jesus saves us from. Some believe he saves us from God. But that would make God evil for no man is saved from good but from evil. However, Jesus affirms that: “Only God is good.”(Matthew 19:17). Moreover, God is Almighty; therefore no man can be saved from him. God declares: “I am he; and no one delivers out of my hand.” (Isaiah 43:13).
Indeed, it is God who is first and foremost our Saviour. He says: “I am Jehovah your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.” (Isaiah 43:3). It is God who sends Jesus to be “the Saviour of the world.” (1 John 4:14). Therefore, Jesus does not save us from God. On the contrary, he brings us to God and reconciles us to him. (2 Corinthians5:18).
Who and what then does Jesus save us from?
Salvation from the world
God saved the Israelites by delivering them physically out of Egypt. He saves today by delivering us spiritually out of this present evil world. (Galatians 1:4). When we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour, God gives us the Holy Spirit and then translates us into the kingdom of God. (Colossians 1:13); a spiritual kingdom not of this world. (John18:36).
The world hated Jesus and crucified him. This evil act crucifies believers to the world. (Galatians 6:14). It ensures we neither love the world, nor the things in it. Thus, John warns: “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15).
Jesus overcame the world. He says: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you.”(John 15:18). Paul also counsels: “Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think.”(Romans 12:2).
Salvation from the devil
The devil holds men captive to sin through the love of life. We steal, cheat, fight, kill and commit adultery in order to save our lives. “For this purpose the Son of God was revealed, that he might undo the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8).
The demonic principle says: “All that a man has he will give for his life.” (Job 2:4). But God insists those who claim to be his friends must lay down their lives for him. Jesus says: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13). We overcome Satan when we are willing to give up our lives for God’s sake.(Revelation 12:11).
“Jesus died to bring to nothing the devil, who had power over death.” (Hebrews 2:14). Once he laid down his life, the devil’s stranglehold on the lives of men was broken. Jesus then empowers us to follow his example by sending us the Holy Spirit. Thanks to Jesus: “Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped.” (Psalm 124:7).
Salvation from death
The gospel reveals that man is already dead. We are “dead in our trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1). Jesus saves from this living death by raising the dead back to life. He declares: “I am the Resurrection and the Life! He who believes in me, though he die, yet he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26).
Jesus even allowed himself to be killed. However, he rose triumphantly from the dead. So doing, he exposed the lie of counterfeit death. Through Jesus, we discover that what we fear as death is actually no more than sleep. The real death comes from separation from God. Jesus “died to rescue all of us who live each day in fear of dying.”(Hebrews 2:15).
Salvation from life
Jesus says: “I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10). This shows although men were alive before Jesus came, the life we lived was fake. Jesus comes to give us the real life; the life of God. To receive this, we have to be born again. (John 3:3).
Life on earth is a death sentence. It is a life of sickness and death. Worse still, we do not even know what it means to be well. But God is the Lord who heals us. (Exodus 15:26). To save us, Jesus asks: “Do you want to be healed?” If we answer “yes,” he then heals us from the sickness of this life. In exchange, he himself becomes our life. (Colossians 3:4).
In effect, Jesus not only saves from death, he also saves from life. That is the reason why God kills and makes alive. (1 Samuel 2:6). He kills our temporal lives and gives us eternal life instead. Accordingly, those determined to save their life; who refuse to relinquish their life, cannot inherit the life of God. Jesus warns: “If you love your life, you will lose it. If you give it up in this world, you will be given eternal life.” (John 12:25).
Salvation from ourselves
Jesus says: “A man’s worst enemies will be right in his own home!” (Matthew 10:36). Indeed, we are our worst enemies. We are snared by our evil thoughts; our adulterous eyes; our lying lips. We sin against our own souls.(Proverbs 20:2). Jesus gives us a tall order: “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off!” (Matthew 9:43).
Kings control others but have no self-control. But Jesus was in full control of himself.
Power without self-control is no power at all. A good man must be able to humble himself and submit to God.
The devil was unable to impede the goodness of Jesus. He made a big mistake in deciding to kill him. When he did, Jesus rose from the dead; proving even death cannot impede the goodness of God.
Jesus saves us from ourselves by giving us the Holy Spirit, who provides us with “God-control.” “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (1 Corinthians 3:17).
Salvation from sin
God is “the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls.” (1 Peter 2:25). Therefore, the most important thing Jesus saves us from is our sins. God told Joseph concerning Mary: “She shall bear a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21).
Jesus saves us from our sins by his word, through which he calls sinners to repentance. (Matthew 9:13). The psalmist says: “(God) sent his word and healed them.” (Psalm 107:20). Jesus’ word frees us from the bondage of sin. Through it, we know the truth that makes us free. (John 8:31-32). Jesus is the word of God that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. (John 6:32-33).
Salvation to the uttermost
Jesus’ salvation is not limited to these more salient aspects of his redemptive work. His Hebrew name is Yehoshua, which means “God saves.” God is not limited in salvation. Jesus is more than able to save from any and every human affliction. “He is able also to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him.”(Hebrews 7:25).