In most cases the New Testament uses the words “save” and “salvation” to refer to deliverance from sin (Matthew 1:21; Mark 16:16; Luke 19:10; Ephesians 2:8; 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Peter 3:21).
But we also find a number of uses of the same words in reference to deliverance from physical calamities.
Rescue from danger
Today we speak of someone being saved from a fire, from drowning, etc. Note these biblical uses:
The panicking disciples woke Jesus during the storm they thought was about to sink their boat: “Save us, Lord; we are perishing” (Matthew 8:25).
Luke records that during another storm on another sea, “all hope of our being saved was gradually abandoned” (Acts 27:20; see verse 31). But by God’s mercy, everyone made it safely to shore.
Cure from a bodily affliction
“Whenever He [Jesus] entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured” (Mark 6:56). The word translated “cured” is the same usually translated “saved.”
What this teaches us
These two non-religious uses of “saved“ help us understand that when Christ saves us from our sins, we are being rescued from a danger far worse than the threat of bodily death. We are also healed of a soul sickness that unless treated would result in our spiritual death forever in hell.
“Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound! /That saved a wretch like me! /I once was lost, but now I’m found /Was blind, but now I see” (John Newton).
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/
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