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The God Who Saves

The God who saves

The very title instills peace, gratitude and joy throughout my whole being. When we think about God, about our Savior Jesus Christ, do we think about Him as the God who saves us? The God who saves us in ALL areas of our life?

For a long time, I thought of God just as the saver of my soul. I didn't think of Him as being Lord in every area, and that meant that He saves in all areas.

In order to see Jesus as God truly meant us to see Him, we have to have a perspective shift in our minds. We have to truly read the scriptures and understand them the way that God meant them.

One of the things that completely changed my perspective of Jesus and His ministry, was when I finally realized that the New Testament should begin at the cross, at the point of His death.

Our modern Bible has the New Testament beginning at the birth of Jesus, but the true New Testament begins at the death of our Lord. Because in His death, he fulfilled every single law of the Old Testament (Matthew 5:17). It was in the this fulfilling of the Law of the Prophets of Moses that a new era was ushered in, the era of grace.

I know there are a lot of people that preach that we need the law and grace. They preach that law mixed with grace is our salvation. But this is simply not true! The purpose of the law was to show us our need for a Savior. Because when God gave the 10 commandments, He didn't just mean that we shouldn't murder, He meant that any murderous or hateful thoughts within us are a sin. So this one law, encompasses not only us not murdering someone we dislike, but also not having any hateful or unlikeable thoughts toward someone!

Jesus came to show us that we can't keep the law. We are not perfect people, and we are simply unable to keep any of them with any ability in ourselves.

Jesus came to say to us, "I know you can't keep the law. And that's why I'm here. My death will bring life, true life, life more abundant for you."

Because when Jesus died, He gave us the opportunity to accept Him and receive His salvation as the gift that it is. Not something that we can earn through keeping any of God's commandments, because we can't.

The law shows us our shortcomings, so that in our shortcomings, we will admit our need for Jesus.

And when we can finally admit that and believe correctly that we can't save ourselves, but that we also can't earn our way out of lust, anger, depression, anxiety, or whatever our struggle is, then we will see Jesus as Our God Who Saves. And then, we will be saved.

The All Encompassing Word: Saved

Romans 10:9

"That if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you shall be saved (sozo)."

Sozo is the Greek word for saved, and it is used 110 times in the New Testament. In the Greek, the word Sozo in a nutshell means salvation, deliverance and healing.

If we break that word down even a little bit further, it means to rescue from danger or destruction AND to save one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, and restore to health.

In essence, the word Greek word for sozo is an all encompassing word to save you mind, body and spirit.

It's no accident that the Greek language is considered the most exact language in our world, and that Jesus "happened" to come during the time when the Romans were in power in Israel.

Greek was the native tongue for Jesus and His disciples. God happened to place His Son in the world during an era where the most precise language was being taught. So when we study the Bible and His Word, we have to look at the original Greek and study the meaning behind the words as God meant them to be used.

Sozo = Healing

Matthew 9:22

"But Jesus turning and seeing her said 'Daughter take courage your faith has made you well (sozo)' and at once the woman was made well (sozo)."

Mark 10:52

"Then Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well (sozo)." And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.

James 5:13-15

"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save (sozo) the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven."

There are so many examples of how salvation is our healing, how the very death of Christ on the cross, is our healing. When Jesus died, he bought the right for us to be healed.

Isaiah 53:5

"But He was wounded for our transgressions,

He was bruised for our iniquities;

The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,

And by His stripes we are healed."

But how does our healing come? It comes through faith. And if we look at how our faith grows, it doesn't grow when we look at ourselves. When we search our hearts and try to find it, we will always find ourselves lacking.

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17). And later in that verse, Paul says how will they hear without a preacher?

So find preachers that increase your faith and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. We can't save ourselves. We can't heal ourselves. But Jesus can, and he does. Not only that, but He is willing! (Matthew 8:3)

The devil wants us focused on ourselves and our circumstances, because in doing that we are defeated. We lose sight of our salvation, and then we lose the sozo, the healing of our Savior.

Keep your eyes and mind focused on Christ. Listen to sermons day in and day out. If you are afflicted and it affects you all day every day, then focus on Jesus all day, every day. That is how our faith grows. And by faith, we are healed.

Something I feel led to say though, is that God also works through modern medicine and doctors as well. So if there is something serious happening, then pray for discernment that God would provide you with the right answers for your healing.

I heard the testimony of a woman who was being called to be a doctor by the Lord. She was wrestling with this conundrum, that if God is the ultimate healer, than what was her role and why did He give her a desire to be a doctor? Why be a doctor, when we have God?

And God spoke to her heart, and said that all good things are from above, and medicine is a good thing. Doctors are saving lives and extending the lives of those who might otherwise die.

So God said to her, I am also in medicine. I am in the advancement of technology. I want to use your hands to heal others. She said after that, she looked at herself not as the healer, but as the physician's assistant, and God as her boss. And the Lord has blessed her work, and she uses it as her ministry.

If God leads you to see a doctor, to heal you with medicine which He has also created, then let's celebrate that this is the way He has chosen to heal us!

Most importantly though, be in the Word, listening to sermons, and let the Holy Spirit lead you to the answer. Rest in the Lord, and He will guide your path.

Isaiah 53:5

Sozo = Deliverance

"And those who had seen it reported to them how the man who was demon possessed had been made well (sozo)."

2 Timothy 4:17

"And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me (sozo) unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

Deliverance, from the word to deliver, means to carry and turn over, to give into another's possession or keeping; surrender. It means to bring to the support of a candidate or a cause, to utter or pronounce, to set free or liberate, to release or save, to disburden oneself of thoughts, opinions...and there's quite a few more definitions.

In Matthew 14 we see Peter walk on the water toward Jesus. As he kept his eyes on the Lord, he was able to walk on the water, in the midst of the storm.

It didn't matter how much the wind howled, or the seas rocked. While Peter's eyes were fixed on Jesus, he was able to walk on the water and not sink below the waves.

The minute Peter looked around him, he started sinking. "But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” The word save here is sozo.

In the next verse Jesus stretches out His hand and caught Peter. Jesus delivered Peter from death, He protected him, He preserved his life.

That's what Jesus does for you and me today. He protects us from the enemy and preserves us. But we have to keep our eyes fixed on Him.

When we take our eyes off of Him, we'll notice how boisterous the wind is, and then we'll become afraid like Peter did. When he acted out in faith, he walked on water. He was above waves, and walked into the storm, unafraid. He did something brave, and something no one else has ever done except for Jesus! Ever!

That's the way I want to live. I want to live knowing my God protects me and preserves me while I walk with Him.

Sozo also means to set free or liberate, to release or save, to disburden oneself of thoughts, opinions. That's where God has mostly shown me His saving power. I have yet to walk on water (here's to hoping 😉), but I have seen Him deliver me over and over again.

Shortly after I fully surrendered my life to Christ, He started working in my heart to change me and transform me unto Him. At the time I was so depressed and heartbroken. My depression and sadness was so great that sometimes I wondered if it would be better to not live at all - in fact I was probably borderline suicidal. During my worst days and nights, I would scream at God, tormented by the demons that had haunted me for years.

The problem was, I hadn't realized they were haunting me because in college, I had embraced a sinful life.

But when the light of God flooded my heart, the dark corners didn't appreciate being lit up. I was tormented by the darkness day in and day out for a long, long time.

During this time, I stayed faithful to the Lord. Not always very well, and not without fighting and wrestling with Him, but I came back day after day.

One day I woke up and was no longer bothered by evil spirits, because the battles I had been fighting with God by my side defeated the darkness. We had won this war. Together. My Jesus saves.

I have so many examples of the saving grace of Jesus. The only way I have ever won a battle against anxiety, depression, sickness, defeat, is by looking at Jesus. Pick up the Bible, read God's Word. Pray, scream, yell, but invite Jesus into the place that needs saving.

Watch as His grace sozo's your mind and your heart. It's not without a lot of discipline and hard work on your part, but "He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6)

Be patient, even in affliction, for it will produce perseverance. I used to be afraid of perseverance because I didn't like that it would mean suffering in the meantime. Now however, when the storms of life come, my faith isn't impacted while the world becomes fearful.

Look to Jesus, He will save you.

Woman reading her Bible holding a coffee cup

Sozo = Salvation

The most obvious form of the word is salvation. When we call out to Jesus, confess with our mouth that He is Lord and believe in our hearts that He was raised from the dead, then we will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

God saves our souls. There's a hole in our hearts that only He can fill. We can search for meaning and purpose in every single thing this world has to offer: career, family, friends, health, wealth, chasing dreams and climbing mountains, but nothing will ever replace the love of Jesus when we invite Him in.

It doesn't matter what we chase, it won't fill us, redeem us, or give us fullness.

When we submit our lives to Christ, we die to ourselves. It sounds not fun, I get it. I was pretty happy to live my sin-filled life in college.

I enjoyed the partying and I listened to the lies that Satan told me that a life with Jesus would be boring (Believing The Right Thing: Replacing Satan's Lies With God's Truth). Oh how wrong I was! My life has been way more exciting and joyful than one day of partying ever was.

Yes, there is pain in walking with God. But there's no less pain when we're not, it's just that we numb it with vices like drinking, drugs, sex and adventures.

We hop from relationship to relationship, and seek out careers that will bring us fortune and fame.

We chase life experiences that keep our adrenaline going while avoiding the crash by lining up the next adventure before the current one is even finished.

What's hard about receiving Christ is that when we slow down, he opens up the cracks in our heart and shows us the ugliness that's been there all along.

Old traumas are brought to the service, and the pain of our past is brought to the forefront. He opens up the wounds that never healed, and instead festered below the surface. He asks that we give our hurts over to Him for safe keeping, that we surrender them.

When we do that, He does a new work and transforms us into the image of Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:18) The cracks and wounds are filled with His healing power, and we are made complete and perfect.

It doesn't matter what you chase or what your god is in this life, it won't save you and it won't fill you. Only Jesus can do that.

My Jesus Saves

I am a firsthand witness of the power of Jesus Christ. I have been healed of anxiety, depression, guilt, a painful past, and broken and failed relationships.

Childhood traumas and events that used to keep me in a prison of self-doubt and fear are gone. The chains of bondage have been broken. I have mourned severe loss and come out on the other side stronger than I was before. (Mourn The Loss)

The only constant through every battle I have faced was and is, Jesus. He has sozo'd every single area of my life and continues to work new life and salvation in my heart.

Turn to Him. Look unto Him. Don't take your eyes off of Him and you will one day wake up and find that the old you has gone, and the new you has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Writing to you with joy, Jessica


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