One has to be more accurate when one uses such a broad term as salvation in the Bible. Ones eternal destiny is one thing, being delivered from the pollution and power of sin during ones mortal life is another, being delivered from dangers or unto blessings is another, having the value of ones mortal life saved unto rewards in heaven another, being saved from an early physical death yet another. More often than not the words saved and salvation in Scripture do not refer to an eternal destination in heaven with God. The issue is context, context, context.


[Joseph C. Dillow, 'The Reign of the Servant Kings', 1992, Schoettle Publishing, Miami Springs, Fl, pp. 110-120]:

"It would be difficult to find a concept which is richer and more varied in meaning than the biblical concept of salvation. The breadth of salvation is so sweeping and its intended aim so magnificent that in many contexts the words used defy precise definition. Yet these difficulties have not thwarted numerous interpreters from assuming, often without any contextual justification, that the words used invariably mean 'deliverance from hell' or 'go to heaven when you die.' It may come as a surprise to many that this usage of 'salvation' (Gk. soteria) would have been the least likely meaning to come to the mind of a reader of the Bible in the first century. Indeed, in 812 usages of the various Hebrew words translated 'to save' or 'salvation' in the Old Testament, only 58 (7.1 percent) refer to eternal salvation.

As will be seen in the following discussion, the tendency to assume that salvation always refers to final deliverance from hell has led many to interpret certain passages incorrectly. When James, for example, says, 'Can faith alone save a man,' the Experimental Predestinarians [those that maintain that ones salvation must be tested by experiment, i.e., ones life experience] understandably are perplexed about the apparent conflict with Paul. However, if salvation means something other than 'go to heaven when you die,' the apparent conflict evaporates.


An adequate discussion of the Greek verb sozo ('to save'), and the noun soteria could easily consume an entire book. This analysis will summarize its meaning in secular Greek and in the Old Testament, and then it will discuss some of the references to these words in the New Testament (over 150 references). In particular, the burden will be to illustrate those usages which establish meanings other than 'final deliverance from hell.'


The noun soteria is often found in the papyri in the sense of bodily health or well-being (happiness, health, and prosperity). Moulton and Milligan cite one manuscript which reads, 'To all this I swear by Almighty God and by the supremacy, salvation and preservation of our most pious sovereigns, Flavius Heraclius and Aelia Flavia.' The citizen is flattering his ruler with wishes of good health and good fortune. It commonly means, 'to thrive, prosper or get on well' or 'to keep or preserve in good condition' in extra biblical Greek. In fact, the positive notion of 'keeping in good health,' 'benefiting,' or 'well-being' is common, and the thought of deliverance disappears altogether.

In the Apocrypha the word often means salvation from the afflictions of earthly life; in Qumran it was salvation from temptation or from oppression which was central; and the sense of 'blessing' is common in Josephus. Philo often used it for preservation , deliverance, health or well-being (i.e., happiness, prosperity, etc.). In the Testament of the Twelve salvation is obtained by prayer and personal piety along with God's help and refers to temporal salvation, i.e., a rich and meaningful life.

In view of this common usage one would not be surprised to find similar thoughts in the Old Testament. In fact, such is the case.



The principal Old Testament word, yasha, which is translated by soteria in the LXX, is used 353 times in the Masoretic text... Salvation could be from the misery of slavery in Egypt [Ex 14:13; 15:2]; from adversaries, [Ps 106:10]; or from oppression [Judges 3:31]. It evidently includes divinely bestowed deliverance from every class of spiritual and temporal evil to which mortal man is subjected.

Of particular interest are references to salvation from social decay which may parallel New Testament usages of salvation from the filth of the world. [Hos 1:7] It often approaches the meaning of 'moral and personal welfare' when it is used for prosperity in Job 30:15, and it regularly means religious blessing in general (Ps 28:9).

By far the most common usage in the Old Testament is of God's deliverance of His people from their struggles (Ex 14:30). Scores of passages could be cited. This meaning has been considerably enriched by the New Testament writers when they point out that the salvation of Christ also saves us from our enemies - - the world, the flesh, and Satan. Spiritual victory in life is salvation!

Often, however, the word simply means blessing, health, or happiness - [Ps 7:10; 28:8, 9; 86:16; Jer 17:14];

restoration to fellowship - [Ps 51:12; 6:3-6: Ezek 37:23];

or future blessings of the messianic kingdom - [Ps 132:16; Isa 43:3, 5, 8, 19; 44:3, 20; Isa 25:9; Jer 31:7]

Schneider notes that 'certain passages in the prophets have an eschatological dimension. In the last days Yahweh will bring full salvation for his people (e.g., Isa 43:5ff; Jer 31:7; 46:27; Zech 8:7) [Ps 132:16; Isa 43:3, 5, 8, 19; 44:3, 20; Isa 25:9; Jer 31:7] At that time, in the future earthly kingdom, Israel 'will draw water from the wells of salvation' (Isa 12:3), and the entire world will participate in the messianic salvation (Isa 45:22; 49:6). The enemies of Israel will be put to shame in that future day, 'but Israel will be saved by the LORD with an everlasting salvation' (Isa 45:17). The messianic salvation is called the 'everlasting salvation' because the kingdom of Messiah will last forever. The phrase is strikingly similar to the phrase 'eternal salvation' in Heb 5:9. In Isa 52:10 we are told that 'all the ends of the world will see the salvation of our God.' In that glorious future era His people will know His name, and the feet of those who proclaim salvation will be called beautiful (Isa 52:7).

According to Schneider, the theme of the great future messianic salvation was often found in the Qumran literature where the people of God are redeemed out of tribulation, saved for an eternal salvation from the powers of darkness, and the enemy nations of Israel destroyed. That salvation could be considered a future deliverance of the people of God in the last day, and the subsequent blessings of the messianic era will be important in our understanding of the meaning of salvation in the book of Hebrews....

In fact, in the LXX the Hebrew word shalom ('peace, prosperity, well, health, completeness, safety') is often translated by the word soterios ('saving'). Jesus seems to have merged the ideas of physical preservation of life and the finding of a meaningful and blessed life.


It has been observed that the Epistle of James is the New Testament writing which most clearly reflects the wisdom literature of the Old Testament. The theme of death as a consequence of sin is an extremely frequent one in the book of Proverbs. A few illustrative texts can be mentioned:

1) [Compare Pr 10:27]:

"The fear of the LORD adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short."

2) [Pr 11:19 NAS]:

"He who is steadfast in righteousness will attain to life, And he who pursues evil will bring about his own death."

3) [Pr 19:16 NAS]:

"He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, But he who is careless of his ways will die"

'To save the soul' (= 'life') is to preserve the physical life from an untimely death due to sin.



1) [Ps 42:11]:

"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God."

[Dillow, cont., p. 120]:

"In the LXX the words are found in the same verse four times. In Ps 42:11 David's 'soul,' i.e., 'life' (Gk psuche), is in despair because enemies revile him and ridicule his belief in God in the midst of his trials. Yet he turns to God for 'help of my countenance,' which in the LXX is 'salvation (Gk. soteria) of my countenance.' Salvation of a soul is assistance in the midst of trials."

2) [1 Sam 19:5]:

"He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The LORD won a great victory, [lit., salvation] for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?"

[Dillow, cont.]:

David took his life (Gk. psuche ), in his hand[s] and killed Goliath, and this resulted in salvation (Gk. soteria) of all Israel, including, of course, David. Salvation from enemies is the meaning.

3) [Ps 3:1-2]:

[A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.]

(v. 1) '''O LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!

(v. 2) Many are saying of me, "God will not deliver him." Selah'''

[Dillow, cont.]:

"Similarly, in Ps 3:2 David once again finds many enemies saying God will not save (Gk. soteria) him."

4) [Ps 35:2-3]:

(v. 1) '''Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me.

(v. 2) Take up shield and buckler; arise and come to my aid.

(v. 3) "Brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me. Say to my soul, "I am your salvation." '''

[Dillow, cont.]:

"He asks the Lord to save to his soul (Gk. psuche), 'I am your salvation (Gk. soteria).' He wants deliverance from those who are his enemies and who fight against him (v. 2)."


[Dillow, cont.]:

"We conclude, therefore, that this phrase ['salvation of a soul'] is very similar in meaning to 'save a soul' (Gk. sozo psuche) studied above [in the New Testament]. In no instance does it mean 'go to heaven when I die' or final deliverance from hell. The starting point for our understanding of this term should be 'deliverance from enemies.' Unless there are contextual indications to the contrary, there is no reason to depart from this universal sense."



It is in the New Testament, however, that the full breadth of meaning of salvation comes to the forefront. The verb sozo occurs 106 times and the noun soteria 46 times. The meaning 'deliver from hell,' while rare in the Old Testament, is quite common in the New. Statistically, sozo is used 40 percent of the time in this way [Acts 4:12; 11:14; Rom 8:24; 9:27; 1 Cor 5:5; Jude 23] and soteria [Acts 4:12; 13:26; Rom 1:16; 10:1; 2 Cor 6:2] 35 percent. Like the Old Testament it sometimes simply means healing or recovery of health. When this happens, the notion of 'deliver' disappears altogether, and the word simply means 'to heal.' For example, in response to the faith and resultant healing of the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years, Jesus said: 'Your faith has healed [sozo] you' (Mt 9:21-22). This sense is quite common (19 percent).

Consistent with its most frequent usage in the Old Testament (LXX), sozo often means to deliver from some danger (19 percent). For example, when Jesus prayed in the garden, He asked, 'Save [sozo] Me from this hour' (Jn 12:27).


Similar to the idea of 'deliverance from danger,' but with a distinctively positive emphasis, are the references in which salvation is viewed as victorious endurance and not just escape.

Paul's concern over the soteria of the believers at Corinth may reflect this thought:

1) [2 Cor 1:6]:

"If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation [soteria]; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer."

Salvation seems to be equated with patient endurance, an aspect of sanctification.



The phrase 'save a soul' (Gk sozo psyche) seems to have a technical meaning of 'preserve your physical life.' Jesus used it in Matthew.

a) [Mt 16:24-27 (Lk 9:23-27; Mk 8:34-9:1)]:

(v. 24) "Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.

[Notice that "coming after Me [Jesus]", i.e., discipleship and not salvation is in view, i.e., following the Lord in service, denying ones own personal direction and accepting the Lord's direction in ones life to the extent of taking up ones particular cross in life of difficulty, persecution and service to God]

(v. 25) For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it.

[So in light of the previous verse the phrase

"to save his life" = "ton ....psuchen autou .sosai" =

................................." save" =

to preserve his life, his physical life and the value of it as the rest of the passage indicates to earn a reward when Christ comes again.

Notice that since salvation unto eternal life is not a reward but a gift, (Eph 2:8-9, Ro 3:23-24), then something other than eternal life is in view in this passage.

"but whoever loses his life for Me will find it" = Notice that Eternal Life vs the Lake of Fire cannot be in view here because losing ones life for Christ results in finding it. What is in view is finding ones life, i.e., preserving the value of ones life via service to the Lord = becoming a disciple]

(v. 26) What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?

[So gaining the whole world is pictured as valueless in some respect: the eternal respect; for worldly gains are only short lived, temporal. But the value of ones life which is found in serving Christ results in eternal rewards that will last forever]:

(v. 27) For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father's glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done."

[Notice that the one who loses, i.e., gives up control of his life by committing it to serving the Lord will preserve his life, i.e., preserve its value in eternity for rewards when the Lord comes again.

[Dillow, cont.]:

"It remains for scholars of historical theology to discern how this phrase ever became connected with the idea of deliverance from hell. It is never used that way in the Bible, and such an idea would have been foreign to any Jewish reader of the New Testament.

Furthermore, the context requires that works, suffering, and taking up ones cross are necessary conditions for the saving of the soul. This creates obvious problems with the rest of the New Testament where works such as this are distanced as far as possible from the gospel offer (e.g., Eph 2:8-9; Jn 3:16). It is either necessary to redefine faith as being equivalent to obedience, which a lexical study will not allow, or reconsider the traditional meaning of 'save a soul.'

This phrase is found eleven times in the LXX, and in each case it has the notion of preserving ones physical life. In Gen 19:17 it means to 'escape with your life'; and in Gen 32:30 Jacob, after his struggle with the Angel of the LORD, exclaims, 'My life has been preserved.' In one passage it seems to refer to delivering the needy from social injustice (Ps 72:13) by preserving their lives. Even the warrior, declares Amos, will 'not save his life' in the coming invasion (Amos 2:14).

Because the meaning is definitely established from other passages, there is no reason to abandon it in the New Testament, no reason except the interests of the Reformed doctrine of perseverance. Here we have a case where the traditional meaning, 'deliver from hell,' is absolutely without parallel in biblical or extra-biblical literature, and yet it is accepted as the starting point for understanding the meaning in the New Testament.

It is clear that the saying in question was addressed to believers (Mt 16:24), and therefore Christ is not preaching the gospel to unbelievers to come to salvation but challenging Christians to a life of discipleship. The fact the unbelievers may have heard the message does not mean they were the ones addressed. The message was specifically directed toward and applied to the disciples."


a) [Compare Jas 1:18-21]:

(v. 18) "In the exercise of His will He brought us forth [i.e., begat us] by the Word of truth, so that we might be as it were the first fruits among His creatures.

[Notice that born again believers are in view and what they do with their lives]

(v. 19) "This you know, my beloved brethren, [believers] let every man [let every believer] be quick to hear, [be a ready listener] slow to speak, slow to anger;

(v. 20) for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

(v. 21) "Therefore [you believers] put aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in a humble spirit receive the word [which] implanted [in your heart] is able to save your souls."

"so that" = "hoste" = so that - refers back to vv. 17-18: so that as a consequence of our salvation, i.e., of our new birth - v. 18. We Christians will be the first fruits, the pre-eminent glory of all creation. Therefore, verses 19-21 go on to exhort believers to act accordingly.

"able to save your souls" - "souls" - "psuchas". The soul is defined as the essence which animates the body but is not dissolved by death, (Mt 10:28). In this context, the 'soulish life' which is lived on earth, (i.e., the life as directed by ones soul), will be saved from a premature physical death and rewards in heaven, if the believer turns from living a sinful life.

[Zane C. Hodges states, ("The Epistle of James", Grace Evangelical Society, Irving, Texas, 1994, pp. 58-59]:

"That this passage is analogous to 2:14 is easy to see.

b) [Compare Jas 2:14]:

"What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?"

Here, too, James is affirming the necessity of doing something, and he clearly means that only if his readers do God's Word will it be able to 'save their souls.'

At first glance, this seems only to repeat the problem already encountered. But in fact it offers us the solution. The reason we do not see it immediately is due to the fact that we are English speakers with a long history of theological indoctrination. To us, the expression 'save your souls' can scarcely mean anything else than 'to be delivered from hell.'

But this is the meaning least likely to occur to a Greek reader of the same text. In fact the expression 'to save the soul' represents a Greek phrase whose most common meaning in English would be 'to save the life.' In the New Testament it occurs in this sense in parallel passages Mark 3:4 and Luke 6:9 (see also Luke 9:56). Among the numerous places where it is used with this meaning in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the following references would be especially clear to the English reader: Genesis 19:17 and 32:30; 1 Samuel 19:11; and Jeremiah 48:6. Perhaps even more to the point, the phrase occurs again in James 5:20, and here the words 'from death' are added.

By contrast, the expression is never found in any New Testament text which describes the conversion experience!

The natural sense of the Greek phrase ('to save your lives') fits perfectly into the large context of James 1. Earlier, James was discussing the consequences of sin. He has said, 'Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-growth, brings forth death' (1:15). Sin, states James, has its final outcome in physical death. But obedience to God can defer death and 'save' or 'preserve' the life. This truth is echoed also by Paul (see Rom 8:13).

c) [Compare Jas 5:19-20]:

(v. 19) "My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back,

(v. 20) remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins."

The understanding of James 1:21 agrees completely with 5:19, 20, where James says to his fellow Christians, "Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins"

On this attractive note of mutual spiritual concern among the brethren, James closes his letter. But in doing so, he manages to emphasize once again that sin can lead to death.


a) [Ro 8:12-13]:

(v. 12) "Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.

[Notice brothers are in view, i.e., genuine believers who are admonished not to live according to the sinful nature, i.e., not lead a lifestyle of sin]

(v. 13) For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

[Notice that if a true believer lives according to the sin nature they will physically die early. And if they don't, they will live, i.e., be saved from early physical death and consequently live our their appointed years accordingly]



a) [Compare 1 Pet 1:1-12, 22, 2:11]:

(v. 1) "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,

(v. 2) who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

(v. 3) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

["hope" = "elpida" = a sure hope ]

(v. 4) and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you,

[Bible Knowledge Commentary, NT, Walvoord & Zuck Eds, Victor Books, USA, 1988, p. 841]:

"The sure hope is of a future inheritance (klEronomian). This same word is used in the Septuagint to refer to Israel's promised possession of the land (cf. Num 26:54, 56; 34:2; Josh 11:23); it was her possession, granted to her as a gift from God. A Christian's inheritance cannot be destroyed by hostile forces, and it will not spoil like over ripened fruit or fade in color. Peter used three words, each beginning with the same letter and ending with the same syllable, to describe in a cumulative fashion this inheritance's permanence: can never perish (aphtharton), spoil (amianton), or fade (amaranton). This inheritance is as indestructible as God's Word (cf. 1 Peter 1:23, where Peter again used aphtharton). Each Christian's inheritance of eternal life is kept in heaven or 'kept watch on' by God so its ultimate possession is secure (cf. Gal 5:5)."

(v. 5) who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

[Notice that 'an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you, who through faith...', i.e., through faith one receives and has kept for them by God an eternal inheritance]

[BKC, op. cit., p. 841]:

"Not only is the inheritance guarded, but heirs who have been born into that inheritance are shielded by God's power. 'Shielded'(phrouroumenous) is a military term, used to refer to a garrison within a city (Phil 4:7 uses the same Gr. word). What greater hope could be given to those undergoing persecution than the knowledge that God's power guards them from within, to preserve them for an inheritance of salvation that will be completely revealed to them in God's presence. Believers possess salvation now (pres. tense) but will sense its full significance at the return of Christ in the last time. This final step, or ultimate completion of 'the salvation of their souls' (1 Peter 1:9), will come 'when Jesus Christ is revealed,' a clause Peter used twice (vv. 7, 13)."]

(v. 6) In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

(v. 7) These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

(v. 8) Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,"

(v. 9) Obtaining as the outcome of your faith ["pisteOs" = faithfulness] the salvation of your souls

(v. 10) Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,

(v. 11) trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

[Zane Hodges states, "Gospel Under Siege", Redención Viva, Dallas, Texas, 1992, pp. 100-101]:

"The same idea is present in the Apostle Peter's famous passage on suffering found in 1 Peter 1:6-9. The expression in verse 9 which is translated 'the salvation of your souls' would be much better translated according to its normal Greek sense: 'the salvation of your lives.' Peter is describing the messianic experience in which the believer partakes of Christ's sufferings first, in order that he might subsequently share the glory to which those sufferings lead (1 Peter 1:10, 11). In this way the 'life' is saved, even when paradoxically it is lost, because it results in 'praise honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ' (1 Pet 1:7).

(v. 12) It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

(v. 22) Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.

(v. 2:11) Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.

[Dillow, cont., p. 119]:

"In 1 Pet 1:9 Peter speaks of the salvation of our souls in a similar way. The entire passage is instructive and bears comment. His burden is to encourage his readers toward steadfastness in trials (1:6). Not only are there external enemies, but there are internal enemies such as 'fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul" (2:11). This warfare against their soul (Gk. psuche) is severe, and they need victory in the battle; they need deliverance, or 'salvation' (Gk. soteria). Only by daily obedience to the truth can their 'souls' be 'purified' so that they can love fervently (1:22).

Peter's method of encouragement is to set their hearts aglow with a vision of the great future. They have, he says, been 'born again to a living hope' (1:3). This birth is to 'obtain an inheritance which is imperishable' (1:4)." [an eternal reward]

i) [Compare Col 3:23-24]:

(v. 23) "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,

(v. 24) since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

[Note that this cannot be the inheritance of eternal life for it is described as a reward, not a gift, (Eph 2:8-9)]

[Dillow, cont., p. 121-2]:

'''This inheritance is the 'reward of the inheritance' (Col 3:24) of which Paul spoke. All are appointed to this at spiritual birth but only those who persevere in faith will obtain the intended goal. He gently reminds them of this in the following verse when he says, '...who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1:5). The salvation to be revealed is the consummation of our salvation in glories of the messianic era. This is the future tense of salvation. Only those Christians who maintain their faith will experience protection now and have a share in that great future.

In vv. 5 and 7 the word 'faith' (Gk. pisteOs ) is best rendered '"pisteOs" = faithfulness.' The phrase 'are protected' refers to present protection that the life of faithfulness to God provides. Possibly the continuous aspect of the present tense could be pressed here, i.e., 'are continually being protected.'

Even though they are distressed by various trials (v. 1:7), they rejoice in the prospect that, if they remain steadfast, they will 'obtain an inheritance.' Indeed, Peter says, the intended result of these trials is that after the suffering they may receive 'praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ' (NASB). First comes faithful perseverance under suffering, then comes honor from Christ at the revelation.

As they gaze at this glorious future salvation, this wonderful prospect, they obtain benefits of that great future even now:'''

a cont.) [1 Pet 1:1-12, 22, 2:11 cont.]:

(v. 9 NASB) "Obtaining as the outcome of your faith [= "pisteOs" = faithfulness] the salvation of your souls"

[Dillow, cont.]:

'''It is customary for Experimental Predestinarians [those that demand that ones life experience prove out that they are truly saved] to understand "salvation of your souls" as a reference to final deliverance from hell. However, the starting point for our understanding should not be our system of theology but the usage of the phrase in the Bible and the immediate context...

That this is the intended meaning [= deliverance from enemies, not from hell] in 1 Pet 1 seems to be confirmed by the fact that they are receiving this salvation now (present tense). That great future is being experienced now. This is the present "outcome of their faith." As they are steadfast and faithful, they experience the benefits of the future salvation in the present. In other words, v. 9 has sanctification and not justification in view. It is not an act of faith which will give them victory but a life of faith that is needed. Thus, the Greek word pisteOs is best rendered "faithfulness."

a cont.) [1 Pet 1:1-12, 22, 2:11 cont.]:

(v. 9 NASB) Obtaining as the outcome of your faith [= pisteOs = faithfulness] the salvation of your souls

(v. 10) Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,

(v. 11) trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

(v. 12) It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things." '''

[Dillow, cont.]:

'''Some have objected that this cannot be true [deliverance from temporal trials in verse 9] because the next verse (v. 10) begins, 'As to this salvation, the prophets...' (1 Pet 1:10). The salvation referred to in this verse is clearly the future salvation of the soul [unto eternal life] and not its present salvation. Since the salvation in v. 10 refers back to the salvation in v. 9, it is argued that the salvation in v. 9 must be future as well. In this way some notion of 'entrance into heaven' is read into the words. However, in v. 9 the salvation is an extension into the present of the benefits of future salvation. So both verses are speaking about the same thing. When the future salvation is experienced in the present, it is a salvation from the present enemies of the people of God. When experienced in the future, it is the final and permanent deliverance from all enemies. They are able now, however, to earn this salvation in the future as a reward (Gk. komizo, 'receive') and have the benefits extend to the present.

This way of viewing the passage is widely held. Edwin Blum, for example, says:

'For you are receiving [komizomenoi, a present causal participle], giving the reason for the paradoxical joy while stressing that the anticipated salvation is even now in the process of realization. The 'goal' [telos] or consummation of faith is 'the salvation of your souls.' ... The 'soul' is used in the Semitic biblical sense of 'self' or 'person.' Therefore the thought of this section closes with the believer's enjoyment of the future salvation in this present age....' '''

What is the present expression of future salvation which they are receiving? In what way does steadfast faith bring salvation to their souls now? What is the salvation of a life (soul) in the present? It is not deliverance from hell or entrance into heaven! The battle against fleshly lusts (2:11), the battle for purity (1:22), and the battle for survival in the midst of trials (1:6). These are the enemies these readers face. As they trust God and set their gaze on the great future and remain faithful to Him now, they experience the salvation which consists in victorious perseverance in trials and triumph over the pollutions of the age. They are by this means 'protected' (a military term, 1:5) from their 'enemies'. '''


1) [Compare 1 Tim 2:9-15]:

(v. 9) "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes,

(v. 10) but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

(v. 11) A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.

(v. 12) I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.

(v. 13) For Adam was formed first, then Eve.

(v. 14) And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.

(v. 15) But women will be saved [sozo] through childbearing--if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety."

[Dillow, cont., p. 126]:

"Another passage which has exercised much exegetical ingenuity is found in 1 Tim 2:15...

This is certainly a novel approach for obtaining deliverance from future wrath! The meaning of sozo in this passage is once again something like 'spiritual health,' a full and meaningful life. This fits the context quite well. Paul has just excluded women from positions of teaching authority in the church (1 Tim 2:9-14). What then is their primary destiny? They will find life through fulfilling their role as a mother if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with propriety. A salvation which comes only to mothers who persist in faithful service is not the faith alone salvation taught elsewhere. For this reason many interpreters agree... and understand 'saved' as being 'preserved from insignificance by means of her role in the family.' A woman will normally find her fulfillment and meaning in life not by pursuing the male role but by being a wife and mother. But she must follow this vocation with faith and love."



a) [1 Tim 4:9-16]:

(v. 9) "This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance

(v. 10) (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.

(v. 11) Command and teach these things.

(v. 12) Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

(v. 13) Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.

(v. 14) Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

(v. 15) Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.

(v. 16) Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."

[Dillow, op. cit., p. 126]:

"Salvation in this passage is conditioned on watching ones life and doctrine and perseverance in this attitude. Yahweh exhorted Ezekiel along the same lines..."

i) [Compare Ez 33:9]:

(v. 7) "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.

(v. 8) When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you will surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.

(v. 9) But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself."

[Dillow, cont., p. 126]:

"Both Timothy and Ezekiel are regenerate and justified saints who are still in need of being saved, of finding spiritual wholeness, or possibly, as one writer suggested, of 'continuous preservatoin from surrounding evil.' Timothy is not to neglect his gift (4:14), and the mothers are not to neglect their calling, motherhood.. If both heed this injunction, they will find a rich and rewarding experience of Jesus Christ in this life and a great reward in the future. He will truly 'save his life' and the lives of many of this flock who observe his progress and follow his example (4:15)."

on 1 Tim 4:16


[Dillow, op. cit., p. 127]:

"Often in the Old Testament salvation has messianic overtones. It refers to the future regathering of the nation of Israel and their establishment as rulers in a universal kingdom under the kingship of David's greater Son. It is not surprising then to find that both sozo and soteria often have similar connotations in the New Testament: joing participation with Christ in the coming kingdom rule.

It is possible that this is the thought behind our Lord's famous saying:"

1) [Mt 24:13]:

"But he who stands firm to the end will be saved [sozo]."

[Dillow, cont.]:

"The context refers to the terrors of the future tribulation. While it is possible that the meaning is simply, 'he who endures to the end will be delivered at the second coming,' that seems a bit tautologous and lacks encouragement. If the content of the salvation here is positive, then a great motive for endurance has been provided. It may be preferable to view the salvation here as the receipt of the kingdom and the right to rule there. The condition of salvation in this passage is steadfast endurance which does not yield under persecution but perseveres to the final hour, i.e., either the end of the tribulation or the end of life."

2) [Compare Mt 25:34]:

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.' "

3) [Compare 2 Tim 2:10]:

"Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation [soteria] that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory."

[Dillow, cont.]:

"While the majority of the commentators understand the 'elect' to refer to the unregeneate who have not yet believed (but certainly will), there is good reason to understand the term in this context as a virtual synonym for a regenerate saint. First of all, in every usage of the term applied to men, in the New Testament it always refers to a justified saint. [Mt 24:22; Mk 13:21-22; Ro 8:33, 16:13; Col 3:12; 2 Jn 1, 13; Rev 17:14] Conversely, it never refers to someone who was elect in eternity past but who has not yet entered into the purpose of their election, justification...

The eklektoi [elect] are persons who not only are in thesi the objects of the divine election, but who are so in fact, i.e., those who have entered upon the state of reconciliation... Thus oi eklektoi denote those in whom God's saving purpose.. of free love is realized. There appear to be no particular contextual indicators against applying this consistent usage of the term to 2 Tim 2:10 [quoted above]. It is best to understand by 'the elect' Timothy and the faithful men of v. 2. Timothy is being exhorted to suffer in his ministry to the faithful men just as Paul has been imprisoned for his ministry to the 'elect.' The idea of Paul suffering for the sanctification and growth of the churches is a common theme and is easily seen in this passage as well.

Here then are saved people in need of salvation! The salvation in view is necessarily sanctification or, perhaps, more precisely, victorious perseverance through trials (1:8; 2:3, 9). Elsewhere in the Pastorals, 'salvation' has referred to aspects of sanctification so there is no reason why it cannot have such a meaning here as well (e.g., 1 tim 2:15; 4:16). The setting is the dismal situation of apostasy (in 1:15, shortly to be identified, 2:17-18). Paul reminds Timothy that loyalty to the profession of faith (v. 11) does not go unrewarded (Rom 8:17; 2 Tim 2:12). If they persevere, they will not only obtain victory but eternal honor (v. 10), reward at the judgment seat of Christ."


[Dillow, op. cit., p. 128]:

"Moving as he does in Old Testament context, it is to be expected that the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews would use the word soteria in a sense more akin to its Hebrew background. For him salvation is participation with Christ in the future kingdom rule. He distinguishes his usage of the term from the meaning of final deliverance from hell when he says:

1) [Heb 9:28]:

"So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, [Gk choris "apart from sin"], but to bring salvation [soteria] to those who are waiting [apekdechomai] for Him."

[Dillow, cont., p. 129]:

"The verb apekdechomai commonly means to 'wait eagerly' or 'wait patiently.' This salvation does not deal with the removal of the negative (it is choris from sin, 'apart' from sin). Rather, it refers to a salvation which will come to those Christians who are waiting eagerly for the Lord's return.

The verse seem to precisely parallel Paul's anticipation of receiving the crown of righteousness which goes to those who 'love His appearing' (2 Tim 4:8 KJV).

2) [2 Tim 4:8]:

"Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

[Dillow, cont.]:

"The readers of the epistle would understand to what he was referring. Indeed, the major theme of the book is to exhort them to continue to wait patiently, to endure faithfully in the midst of their trials."

3) [Compare Heb 10:35-36]:

(v. 35) "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

(v. 36) You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised"

[Dillow, cont.]:

"Some of the readers were considering throwing away their confidence, returning to Judaism. They would not be the ones found waiting eagerly, who have 'labored to enter into rest' (Heb 4:11), and who have 'done the will of God' (10:36), i.e., finished their work."

4) [Compare Heb 4:11]:

"Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience."

5) [Compare Heb 10:36]:

"You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."

6) [Compare Heb 2:1-3]:

(v. 1) "We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.

(v. 2) For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment,

(v. 3) how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him."

7) [Compare Heb 2:10]:

"In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for Whom and through Whom everything exists, should make the Author of their salvation perfect through suffering."

[Dillow, cont.]:

"The fact that he is thinking in Old Testament terms, quoting Psalms, and anticipating this salvation as future ('will inherit') suggests that he is thinking of the messianic salvation proclaimed by the prophets mentioned above. In 1:8-9, for example, he quotes the messianic Ps 45:6-7, which describes the kingdom of Messiah and His companions (Gk. metochoi).

8) [Heb 1:8-9]:

(v. 8) "But about the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.

(v. 9) You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.' "

[Dillow, cont.]:

"In 1:13 he cites Ps 110:1, another messianic psalm, where David says, 'Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.' This psalm was quite appropriate because it anticipates the day when the enemies of Messiah and His people will be defeated. One day the enemies of the readers, those who were persecuting them and therefore tempting them to cast aside their confession of faith, will likewise be destroyed. Then in the verse immediately following he mentions the great salvation."

9) [Heb 1:13-14]:

(v. 13) "To which of the angels did God ever say, 'Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet'?

(v. 14) Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation [soteria]?"

[Dillow, cont.]:

"Surely, the immediate associations with the quotations from the Psalms would lead us to think of the future messianic kingdom and not redemption from hell. Furthermore, as argued in the previous chapter, the verb 'to inherit' always has the sense of 'to obtain by works' in the New Testament; therefore, this salvation is obtained by works. That there is a salvation which can be obtained by works is taught elsewhere in Hebrews, 5:9."


(v. 7) "During the days of Jesus' life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One Who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission.

(v. 8) Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered

(v. 9) and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him..."


"made perfect" = "teleiotheis" = a better translation is made complete.

God the Son is absolutely perfect and complete as God. However, as a Man, He had to experience the condition of humanity, especially relative to suffering as a man in order to qualify as the Savior of the world. Christ was already perfect - morally, but He became mature or complete because of what He went through. He suffered with mankind therefore He was a part of mankind because of what He had gone through. Because of this completion He could become the source of all eternal salvation. As a Man, He is One of us.


"obey" = "hupakouousin" = This word which is translated obey is Greek, however, it is a word reflecting the Jewish author's mentality which encompasses not just obedience in deed but also obedience of faith. Some say that salvation requires one to obey in deeds due to a verse like this with the word "obey" in it. But in the Jewish mind if you trust or believe then you thereby obey. The Ten Commandments, for example, prohibit a number of mental attitude sins, such as coveteousness. To disobey one of these mental attitude commandments is to have that mental attitude of coveteousness - no actual deeds required! If one believed that coveteousness was a sin and did not practice such a mental attitude, then one was obeying that commandment within ones mind, and without any actions. Therefore, faith in Christ as Savior is indeed obeying the Gospel of salvation by simply exercising a mental assent - a simple trust in Christ.

In the Gospel of John, our Lord explicitly states that the work that one must do for eternal life is exclusively a matter of faith. So to obey the Lord unto eternal salvation must necessarily be to obey His command to trust alone in Him alone for eternal life, no deeds required:

i) [Jn 6:27-29]:

(v. 27) "[Jesus answered] Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On Him God the Father has placed His seal of approval.

(v. 28) Then they asked Him, 'What must we do to do the works God requires?'

(v. 29) Jesus answered, 'The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.' "

Our Lord picks up on the word 'work' which the disciples used but not in a literal sense and provided the answer which is no work at all: but to simply to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior.

Just as a father can answer his precocious young son's question using drive in a non literal fashion as follows: 'Which car can I drive to class, Dad?' with: 'I'll tell you which car you can drive. You can drive the school bus to class;" so our Lord uses the work in a non literal fashion also.

ii) [Compare 1 Pet 1:17-23]:

(v. 17) "Since you [believers, v. 18] call on a Father Who judges each man's work impartially, [relative to rewards, 1 Cor 3:11-15] live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.

(v. 18) For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers.

[Notice the word "redeemed". The subject is salvation. Peter is reminding Jewish believers that they were saved not by things nor by their "empty way of life", i.e., by trying to be saved by the deeds of the Law handed down by their forefathers but they were saved by the blood of Jesus Christ]:

(v. 18 cont.) For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers.

(v. 19) but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

(v. 20) He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

[And the basis upon which the blood of Christ saved you, Peter says to fellow believers, is faith, i.e., belief in the gospel of salvation]:

(v. 21) Through Him you believe in God, Who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God [relative to salvation unto eternal life]

(v. 22) Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart."

"Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth" = Now that you have received perfect righteousness, i.e., purification unto eternal life by "obeying the truth" = by believing in the gospel of salvation, (cp v. 21).

(v. 23) For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God."

So obeying the truth according to Scripture is believing in it. Verse 21 states that believing in God, in what He did relative to His Son: His Son's death, burial, resurrection and glorifiication (the Gospel of salvation) will result in purification, i.e., eternal life. And verse 22 describes this action of believing in the gospel of salvation as "obeying the truth." Then verse 23 confirms that the subject is being born again, i.e., salvation.

iii) [1 Pet 2:6-8]:

(v. 6) "For in Scripture it says: 'See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.'

[The one who trusts in Christ, the Cornerstone, (cp 2:4; Eph 2:20; Gen 49:24) "will never be put to shame" i.e., will never suffer eternal condemnation, (cp Ps 78:66), therefore will be saved unto eternal life]

(v. 7) Now to you who believe, this Stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,' and,

(v. 8) 'A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.' They stumble because they disobey the message - which is also what they were destined for."

["...they disobey the message" = "But to those who do not believe," (v. 7). So to disobey is to disbelieve. therefore, to obey is to believe]

Compare Jn 3:36 which contains the Greek word "apeithon" = "disobedient" = refusing to believe in the Son:

iv) [Jn 3:36]:

"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever "apeithon" = refuses to believe and obey, i.e., rejects the Son [as his Savior] will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."

11) [Heb 2:5-18]:

(v. 5) '''It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking.

(v. 6) But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

(v. 7) You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor

(v. 8) and put everything under his feet." In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to Him.

(v. 9) But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because He suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

(v. 10) In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.

(v. 11) Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.'''

(v. 12) He says, "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises."

(v. 13) And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again he says, "Here am I, and the children God has given me."

(v. 14) Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil--

(v. 15) and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

(v. 16) For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants.

(v. 17) For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

(v. 18) Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.'''

[Dillow, cont.]:

"It is commonly recognized that the warnings of Hebrews are parentheses in his argument. From 1:4 to 2:18 he is presenting the superiority of Christ to the angels. It is not to angels that the rulership over God's works has been commissioned but to God's King Son and His companions (1:9; 2:10)."

12) [Heb 1:9]:

"You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy."

13) [Heb 2:10]:

"In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for Whom and through Whom everything exists, should make the Author of their salvation perfect through suffering."

[Dillow, cont.]:

"In the middle of the argument he inserts a warning, Heb 2:1-4, in which he exhorts them not to neglect this great future, this great soteria. Then in Heb 2:5 he picks up the argument he momentarily departed from at the end of Heb 1:14. The 'for' (gar) refers back to 1:14:

14) [Heb 2:5]:

"For [gar] it is not to angels that He has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking."

The subjection of the world to come is the soteria 'of which we are speaking. He then gives an exposition of Ps 8:1-9 which is in turn David's exposition of the final destiny of man, set forth in Gen 1:26-28. To 'inherit' that salvation is simply to have a share with Christ in ruling in that kingdom. this contextually is the 'great salvation' which they are not to neglect.

15) [Heb 2:3]:

"How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him."

[Dillow, op. cit., p. 131]:

"The neglected salvation is not our final deliverance from hell, that is not the salvation 'about which we are speaking,' Rather, it is the opportunity to enter into the final destiny of man, to reign with Christ over the works of God's hands (Heb 2:8-9). There is something conditional about entering into this salvation. It is the salvation he has just mentioned in 1:14. he tells us there is a danger from which we cannot escape if we neglect it. For the writer of the epistle the danger to which he refers is not loss of justificatioin, 'because b one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy' (Heb 10:14). Our eternal destiny is secure. What is contingent is whether or not we will be 'richly rewarded' and 'receive what He has promised' (Heb 10:36) which is achieved only 'through faith and patience' (Heb 6:12).

The writer says that the Lord announced this salvation. While one could think of the Lord's teaching to Nicodemus regarding salvation from hell, the context of Heb. 2:5-10 suggests another salvation:"

i) [Lk 12:31-32]:

(v. 31) "But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

(v. 32) Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom."

ii) [Lk 22:29-30]:

(v. 29) "And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me,

(v. 30) so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

iii) [Mt 19:28]:

'''Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.'''

iv) [Mt. 4:17]:

'''From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." '''

[Dillow, cont.]:

"The coming kingdom of heaven announced here by Jesus is none other than the predicted kingdom-salvation of the Old Testament. It is the time of the restoration of the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6). The miracles which confirmed it (Heb 2:4) are powers of the coming age (Heb 6:5).

v) [Acts 1:6]:

'''So when they met together, they asked Him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" '''

16) [Heb 2:1-4]:

(v. 1) "We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.

(v. 2) For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment,

(v. 3) how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.

(v. 4) God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will."

17) [Heb 6:4-5]:

(v. 4) "It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit,

(v. 5) who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age"

[Dillow, cont.]:

"Such a salvation, joint participation with Christ in the coming kingdom rule, is contingent upon our faithful perseverance and obedience. That is why he says:"

i) [Isa 45:17]:

(v. 14) '''This is what the LORD says: "The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush, and those tall Sabeans-- they will come over to you and will be yours; they will trudge behind you, coming over to you in chains. They will bow down before you and plead with you, saying, 'Surely God is with you, and there is no other; there is no other god.'

(v. 15) Truly you are a God who hides himself, O God and Savior of Israel.

(v. 16) All the makers of idols will be put to shame and disgraced; they will go off into disgrace together.

(v. 17) But Israel will be saved by the LORD with an everlasting salvation; you will never be put to shame or disgraced, to ages everlasting.'''

[Dillow, cont.]:

"Of this salvation Christ becomes the 'source' (Gk aitia, 'the cause, Author'). In what sense is He the 'cause' of the great future? It seems that His death and resurrection made it possible, and His priestly ministry of comfort and intercession makes it available.. to those who obey Him. It is Christ as priestly helper, and not offerer of sacrifice, that is in the forefront in this section of the epistle (5:2, but especially 4:14-16; 2:17-18).

18) [Heb 4:14-5:2]:

(v. 14) "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.

(v. 15) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.

(v. 16) Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

(v. 5:1) Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.

(v. 5:2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness."

19) [Heb 2:14-18]:

(v. 14) "Since the children have flesh and blood, He [Christ] too shared in their humanity so that by his death He might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil--

(v. 15) and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

(v. 16) For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants.

(v. 17) For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

(v. 18) Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted."

[Dillow, cont.]:

"That kind of priestly ministry is necessary to assist the heirs of salvation along the path which their captain has gone (2:10).

20) [Heb 2:10]:

"In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering."

[Dillow, cont.]:

"The priestly ministry of sacrifice for sins does not come into focus until the next major section of the epistle, where he demonstrates that Jesus is superior to Aaron (7:1-10:39).

The final reference to soteria in Hebrews is found in Heb 6:9:"

21) [Heb 6:9-12]:

(v. 9) "Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case--things that accompany salvation.

(v. 10) God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

(v. 11) We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure.

(v. 12) We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised."

[Dillow, cont., pp. 132-3]:

"The things to which he refers are defined in the following verses (6:10-12): work and love, diligence to the end, and faith and patience. Salvation is the victorious participation with Christ in the coming kingdom as it is in Heb 1:14, which only those who persevere as companions of the King will inherit. The writer obviously expects that his readers will persevere to the end, enter into rest, and obtain these blessings.


Salvation is a broad term. However, only with difficulty can the common meaning of 'deliver from hell' be made to fit into numerous passages. It commonly means 'to make whole,' 'to sanctify', 'to endure victoriously,' or 'to be delieverd from some general trouble or difficulty.' Without question, the common 'knee-jerk' reaction which assumes that 'salvation' always has eternal deliverance in view, has serioiusly compromised the ability of many to objectively discern what the New Testament writers intended to teach. As a result, Experimental Predestinarian views [those that maintain that ones salvation must be tested by experiment, i.e., ones life experience] have gained wider acceptance than they should have."