Salvation Terms

At last week’s Bible study, we went back to basics. We considered the basic terms used to describe salvation. Whilst preparing, I truly wondered if this would be the shortest study we’ve ever done, but we finished at the usual time having had a worthwhile and profitable discussion. 


Definition: from the Latin salvatus, to save; to make whole or complete again.

The Christian is saved from God’s wrath and saved for eternal life and communion with God.



Definition: To recover ownership by way of payment or exchange; to buy back.

Humans are slaves to sin; Christ liberates them, returning them to God’s rightful rule.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace Ephesians 1:7

Leviticus 25: 47 ‘Now if a sojourner or stranger close to you becomes rich, and one of your brethren who dwells by him becomes poor, and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner close to you, or to a member of the stranger’s family, 48 after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him;



Definition: Amends made for a wrong, sin, or crime. Reconciliation between parties who are seriously at odds.

Christ’s sacrifice allows for humans and God to once be ‘at one’

Exodus 29:36 And you shall offer a bull every day as a sin offering for atonement. You shall cleanse the altar when you make atonement for it, and you shall anoint it to sanctify it.



Definition: to appease, pacify, placate, assuage, or mollify. Latin propitius (favourable, auspicious), pro- (forward) + -pitius, (to eagerly volunteer or give of oneself); to obtain pity 

Christ’s death pacified God’s wrath that our sins rightly illicit.

Hebrews 2:17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.



Definition: expiation is the means used to compensate, repay, make amends for, or make up for.

Not directly used in most translations, the word helps us understand the effects of Christ’s sacrifice:  His death was an offering to the Father, the making of a payment on sinners’ behalf.



Definition: To pay the release of a captive.

Christ rescued us from our captor. We had a discussion of Origen’s idea that the ransom payment was made to the devil on our behalf. Though acknowledging the logic of this approach, it was agreed that Satan had no right to receive such a payment; it was God’s wrath, the penalty of our sin, which held us hostage 

Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”



Definition: to be declared righteous, declared not guilty, acquitted.

The forgiven sinner is considered sinless in the heavenly court on account of Christ’s substation. Upon the cross, He was reckoned a vile sinner by the Father’s wrath; conversely, the believing sinner is reckoned as righteous as Christ. We are therefore found ‘not guilty’ in a legal sense. 

Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ