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What Does Salvation Really Mean?

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We all know that words change meaning over time.  Many of the words we commonly throw around in Christian circles such as salvation, eternal life, hell, etc. have taken on different meanings over the years and have diverged from their original meanings as used in the New Testament.  I think it is important to define our terms and to have clarity on what Jesus or the apostles really meant when they used a certain Greek word.  We tend to read our current cultural Christianity *into* the Scriptures, rather than reading out the meaning that would have been apparent to the first century audience to whom the New Testament was originally written.

One of these words is the word “salvation.”  When we 21st century evangelical Christians hear the word “saved” or “salvation”, we tend to think, “a state where an individual’s sins are forgiven and they are assured a place in heaven when they die.”  This however is not what the Greek word means that is translated as “salvation” in our New Testament.
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