Mentally accepting and "personally embracing" Christ Jesus as Both the God-sent Savior/Redeemer and the God ordained King/Lord of the universe is what is referred to as Salvation.
If you have not been raised with a religious background, the following might help you to understand Salvation. Also, if you can get hold of a Bible, reading the book of Romans in the New Testament might also help.
- God exists, and out of his desire to share His love with others, created you as His child who would reflect His character/image. He gave you a conscience, which is your inner compass that enables you to discern good from evil.
- Unfortunately, like the first humans, Adam and Eve, you have chosen not to trust God and have instead listened to and ultimately become oppressed by God's enemy, Satan. Your soul is now diseased, your body is decaying, and you are powerless to change your inner self.
- Because of His goodness and mercy, God found a way to ransom you back from Satan. He spoke to people centuries ahead and told them that a "Redeemer" was coming. (A redeemer is someone who pays a ransom for a slave.) God also told the people what to look for in the redeemer so that they wouldn't be fooled by frauds. God was very specific. God was going to send a part of himself.... and extension of himself ... his only begotten Son. The word begotten means that this Son was not created. He was part of God himself! God's Son, the redeemer, would sacrifice his life to free us from the prison sentence that Satan help over our head.
- Jesus Christ, God's Son, chose to come to earth, live as a man, and experience the pain and trials that we go through.
- Jesus left his palace in the heavenly realms and limited himself to become an infant, born humbly in a stable in Bethlehem to a 14 year old virgin named Mary. She was miraculously impregnated by the Holy Spirit (from God). She was pure hearted and righteous in God's sight. Got trusted her to listen to Him. God chose Joseph to be her husband and to help her raise Jesus as a Jew. After delivering Jesus, Mary later on had many other children and Jesus knew what it was like to live amongst sisters and brothers in a household.
- As early as 12 years old, Jesus knew that God was His Father and Jesus sought to spend time with God in the Temple at Jerusalem. It was obvious to all that Jesus was knowledgeable about God and the Holy Scriptures beyond anyone of his age!
- Jesus was loved and taught by Joseph, Mary's husband. Joseph taught him to be a carpenter. In those days, carpenters had to actually cut down the trees from which they gathered the wood for their projects. Jesus was very strong and muscular. He probably had very brown skin and dark hair, similar to most Middle-Eastern people.
- Jesus stayed in his home until he was 30 years old, at which time God called him to begin his ministry. Jesus began his ministry by letting God reveal Jesus' true identity. This happened at the Jordan River when John, Jesus' cousin (a prophet called by God) baptized him. As Jesus was rising up from the water, God made it clear to John that Jesus was the awaited for Redeemer/Messiah. You see, the Jewish people had been waiting for this Redeemer for centuries.
- Jesus made claims that no other great man or prophet has ever made. He also validated his claims with numerous miracles. He claimed to be the ONE and ONLY Begotten Son of God; he claimed to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life; he claimed that no one could have direct access to a relationship with the Father except through him; he claimed to be the bread of life, the light of the world, and many other things. Uniquely, he claimed that he would be killed, buried, and on the third day resurrect from the dead!
- As a man, Jesus experienced all the misery as well as all the temptations we face.Most of our temptations stem from our arrogance at wanting to be "independent" from God and our ignorance at choosing to listen to Satan's lies about God. Jesus faced these struggles and was victorious. Because he knows what it feel like to struggle with temptation, He has empathy for us and desires to free us.
- He showed us HOW to live, He taught us how to talk to and listen to God (daily), and then he laid down his life to take the blame for all of our sins (past, present and future). He was buried in the grave and on the third day, was resurrected to a new life, just like he had predicted!!!!! He appeared to many witnesses and proved His authority to His claims of truth by this resurrection from the dead.
- This resurrection is now possible for you. GOD (through Jesus and their Holy Spirit) is calling you out of the "darkness" of this world's empty ways and into the "light" of His kingdom. He is calling you to follow Jesus as Jesus' disciple. A disciple is a learner. He's not angry with you. He wants to help you identify the lies you have been told and he wants you to be freed from Satan's oppression. God wants you to have an abundant life: abundant with deep meaningful relationships, especially a relationship with God. God wants you to shine and reflect His goodness and glory and truth to others who are still in the darkness.
- If you will honestly acknowledge your own guilt and your own need for healing before GOD, embrace His love for you and Jesus' sacrifice for you, and surrender your will to GOD (asking Him to give you a new heart and a new spirit.....telling Him He now has control over your inner being...) He will send the Holy Spirit (which is the spirit of both God and Christ) into your inner self to empower you to battle the lies of Satan.
- As a response to being given a new heart and a new spirit, God calls you to publicly testify to the transformation He has brought about in your life. The Bible teaches that people who have come to faith in Christ have "confessed Him as Lord" , have "died with Christ" and "been raised as a new creation with Christ's Spirit". You visually illustrate and get to sensually experience your rebirth at your water baptism It is where you publicly proclaim that Jesus has become your Lord. Then you submit to letting another believer in Christ lower you into a body of water and raise you out of this body of water. You are baptized in the Name/Essence of the Father, the Son (Christ Jesus) and the Holy Spirit. Water baptism is not a ritual with magic words that is performed on someone to gain salvation for them. Rather, it is the way that Jesus told all disciples (followers of Him) to testify and give glory to Him. At your water baptism, God also testifies to the world (including all the forces of evil) that you have now become His Child. Water baptism is something that every true Christian desires to experience. This desire is put there by the Holy Spirit. (See Baptism study for more information.)