Which books in the Bible should I refer to for salvation?
The Bible uses the words saved or salvation to refer to temporal, physical deliverance, such as Paul’s deliverance from prison. “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:19
More often, the word “salvation” concerns an eternal, spiritual deliverance. When Paul told the Philippian jailer what he must do to be saved, he was referring to the jailer’s eternal destiny.
“And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:30-31
Jesus equated being saved with entering the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:24-25).
What are we saved from? In the Christian doctrine of salvation, we are saved from “Gods wrath,” that is, from God’s judgment of sin which is multi faceted, for the living at the time of the tribulation, the plagues that ensue, followed by Hell for all those who are judged and ultimately the lake of fire.
“Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:9
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Thessalonians 5:9
Our sin has separated us from God, and the consequence of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Biblical salvation refers to our deliverance from the consequence of sin and therefore involves the removal of sin. Only God can remove sin and deliver us from sin’s penalty (2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5).
How does God save? In the Christian doctrine of salvation, God has rescued us through Christ (John 3:17). Specifically, it was Jesus’ death on the cross and subsequent resurrection that achieved our salvation (Romans 5:10; Ephesians 1:7). Scripture is clear that salvation is the gracious, undeserved gift of God (Ephesians 2:5, 8) and is only available through faith in Jesus the Christ.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
How do we receive salvation? We are saved by faith. First, we must hear the gospel—of Jesus’ death and resurrection (Ephesians 1:13). Then, we must believe—fully trust the Lord Jesus (Romans 1:16). This involves repentance, a changing of mind about sin and Christ (Acts 3:19), and calling on the name of the Lord.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:9-10, 13
A definition of the Christian doctrine of salvation would be “The deliverance, by the grace of God, from eternal punishment for sin which is granted to those who accept by faith God’s conditions of repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus.” Salvation is available in Jesus alone (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) and is dependent on God alone for provision, assurance, and security.