In Acts Chapter 16 a jailer asks Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They answer,
“Believe on the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, and you will be saved, you and your house.” And they spoke to him and to all that were in his house the word of the Lord.
And the jailer took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. After he had brought them into his house, he set food before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. (Acts 16:31-34)
There are many words for the idea of salvation: Deliverance. Redemption. Rescue. Forgiveness. Healing. Renewal. Reconciliation.
And there is more than one place it might be:
Is it here;
Are we saved by God;
or by ourselves;
Are we saved by belief;
Is this salvation individual;
Who must we be in covenant
—in right relation—with?
In the Acts passage, the message is simple: “Believe on the Lord Jesus, the Messiah.” Yet, what does that mean? The jailer believes, but he also takes action. Both.
Though several religious traditions have concepts that can be compared to salvation, it is in Christianity that salvation has been most talked about and most sought after. It is in Christianity that we find, as the cliché goes, that salvation is both “already” and “not yet.”