One of the titles given Jesus in the scriptures is “Saviour.” Robert Young defines the word that is translated “saviour” as: “A Saviour, preserver” (Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible). On the night of His birth, Luke informs us that the angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds abiding in the field with this announcement, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11). This is also in harmony with what the angel said to Joseph, “…fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:20-21). And this was His stated purpose in coming into this world: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). And John stated it this way, “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” (I John 4:14).
Do these scriptures teach that everyone will be saved? From comments often heard when someone dies, it seems that a great many people believe this to be true. But is it? Paul also wrote, “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe” (I Tim. 4:10). “This is not universalism. The key is in the words, ‘specially of them that believe’” (Ronald Ward, Commentary on 1,2 Timothy and Titus, p. 73). It is a fact, of course, that God is able and willing to save all men, and that all who are ever saved will be saved by Him; and it is in this sense that He is the Saviour of all men. And Jesus told us in His sermon on the mount, that most folks are going to be lost, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14). Note the contrast: many are on the road to destruction while few are on the road that leads to life. Matthew 23:37 shows us why so many are not saved. Then who will be saved?
Let’s let Paul explain it: “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body” (Eph. 5:23). Paul identifies the body as being the church in Ephesians 1:22-23 and Colossians 1:18. Thus Jesus will save ONLY those who are in His body, the church.
Now it becomes imperative that we know how we get into His body, the church. Again let Paul tell us: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27). And in Romans 6:3, Paul also wrote, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”
When we learn that the way into Christ is by being baptized into Him, then we know why EVERY example of conversion in the Book of Acts mentions the final step of getting into Him—baptism. Check these passages: Acts 2:38; 22:16; I Peter 3:21.
Have YOU been baptized into Christ? If not, He is NOT your Saviour. He desires to be; He died in order to be, but you and I must obey His commands, be baptized into His body and become a part of the “saved.” See Acts 2:47.
-Paul M. Wilmoth