The word "saved," used to describe one's standing with Almighty God, apparently needs to be defined, because many who profess to be Christians, who call themselves "saved," are as lost as Judas. When we think of the term "saved," several things should come to mind, but the term is bantered about so freely that few of us consider what the term implies. First of all, when folks are "saved," they are not lost or destroyed. Second, the term suggests that they have been "saved" from something and/or for something. It means they have value to the One making the effort to preserve them. Third, and by all means the most important, it implies that the ones being saved are unable to save themselves, and that there is Someone willing and able to "save" them.
The greatest obstacle to a person being saved is the belief that he can do something, and/or avoid doing something, to rescue himself. The question most asked is, "What must I do to be saved? (Mk. 10:17, 25; Lk. 18:18; Jn. 6:28; Acts. 16:30). The answer in every case is "believe what the Word of God says (Rom. 10:9-10, 13, 17). Christians are "saved" by putting their trust in God, Who loved them enough to give His Son as an offering for their sin (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 5:8). The Gospel or "good news," is that God has provided the means to salvation through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus (1 Cor. 15:1-4). It is our faith in what the Gospel tells us that saves us, for the Gospel is the "power of God unto salvation" (Rom. 1:16). But before someone reading this thinks that by believing, they are somehow good enough or worthy to be "saved," the very faith that it takes to believe in the love of God demonstrated by the finished work of Christ on our behalf, is a gift from God (Eph. 2:8-9).
Churches that teach salvation requires works and/or holiness to be "saved," are no different than the cults that offer a false gospel; they are betraying the very God they profess to serve. The Apostle Paul declared that churches which teach "another gospel" should be accursed (Gal. 1:6-9). Those who add works and legalism to the "requirements for salvation," betray not only Christ, but their own family and friends. By altering the Gospel, they, being "lost" themselves, prevent others from being "saved" (Matt. 15:14). Paul wrote that from the very beginning of the Church, there were those used of Satan, who tried to alter the Gospel. He had this to say: "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been openly set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, 'Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?'" (Gal. 3:1-3). I ask you, have you believed in the finished work of Christ on your behalf as the means by which God has saved you, or are you foolish enough to believe that you, living a religious life, are worthy of salvation? Are you "saved?"