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Spiritual Growth

What does it even mean to be “saved”?


If you were to poll 100 people with the one sole question, I know we can all agree that we would receive a very wide range of answers. Let’s say the question was, “What does it mean to be saved?”

Let’s flip it even, and you can ponder that question, as if someone were to have asked you, “What does it mean to be saved?”

*Not to have to go to hell.

*I get to go to heaven.

*My sins are forgiven.

*Means Jesus lives inside of me.

*Means you know God. <===This one was actually my 7 year old boy’s response.

I propose to you today that we have grossly underestimated what exactly it is that salvation entails.


Is salvation merely my “get out of hell free card”?

Is salvation merely God forgiving me for being a scum bag?

In order to get a better idea about this, I propose that we take a close look at the meaning of the original Greek word for salvation.

It’s my opinion that English is kind of a bland and not very descriptive language, in comparison to other foreign languages. I mean we say we “love” dessert, yet we use the same word, “LOVE” to describe how we feel about our spouse.

Yet the amount of devotion you have to my dessert, pales in comparison to the way I feel towards my husband. No doubt.

So to make this point, I want for us to take a peek at a few different scriptures.

“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).” Romans 10:9

“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).” Matthew 9:22

“And those who had seen it reported to them how the man who was demon-possessed had been made well (sozo).” Luke 8:36

Basically, I believe there’s a lot more to this salvation thing than is commonly preached across America.

If you went back throughout the Bible, and found each place where salvation or being saved was mentioned, you would find that the original Greek word that was used there was either sozo or soteria.


SOZO – the Greek word which means to heal, cure, to make well; to rescue from danger, to save; to cause something to change to an earlier, correct or appropriate state; to renew.

You see, here’s the kicker. When I was in HS, I wasn’t saved…. but I went to SYATP. I wasn’t saved…. but I went to the Christian Club meetings. I even led one of their meetings once! If anyone had asked me, I would have said I was a christian….. BUT WAS I SAVED????

Looking back I know how far I was from God.

Christian is a term that has all but lost it’s meaning in American culture. Calling myself a christian doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve had an encounter with the God of the universe.

God has so much more planned for you than simply helping you escape the fires of hell.

I decided long ago, that even if somehow hell wasn’t an option, or if somehow it disappeared, I would still serve Jesus, even up until my last dying breath.

The reason for this is that I’m not scared of hell….. but I’m madly in love with Jesus. I’m so captured by His gaze. I would follow Him anywhere.

Jesus didn’t die just so that you could get a cross tattooed on your arm.

He didn’t endure torture and death just so I could warm a pew and sing some songs.

The King of the universe, stepped out of the luxuries of heaven, and into this place, so that he could willfully be SPAT UPON and die the death of a filthy sinner. He took the sin of the world upon Him and died a brutal and violent death. Not so we could prance around in some hotel, making each other feel good.

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He has bigger plans for you than that. Your salvation is more than that. It’s more than words. It’s more than tears. It’s more than you’ve ever imagined. I’m not even sure I fully understand it.

Salvation is this marvelous mystery, where somehow every sin I’ve ever committed is erased.

Salvation is this moment in time where my name is suddenly written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Salvation wrecked me!

Salvation is is when the Creator of the universe takes a step inside of me and makes ME His dwelling place.

Salvation transformed me from a promiscuous peasant to His princess.

Salvation is where I put on His righteousness.
MY righteousness is as filthy rags, but God never intended for me to try to be holy on my own. He makes me holy.. He makes me righteous. He empowers me. He transformed me and is transforming me from glory to glory.

Salvation is when my knee got messed up, and instead of accepting a bum knee, I decided that I wouldn’t allow injury to trespass on God’s territory.

By faith I receive my salvation, which (according to the very definition) also heals me!

I refuse to allow a powerless gospel to deceive us! I refuse to let the devil fool you into thinking was that all Jesus did for you was save you from hell.
What satan doesn’t want you to know:

1. You are powerful!

2. You are free from the power of sin and death.

3. You are an ambassador for the Kingdom of heaven.

4. You are royalty.

5. You are destined for greatness.

God didn’t save you so that you could run around broke, busted and disgusted. You really think Jesus endured all that He did so that you could be a powerless pibsqueak?

Matthew 10:7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Jesus wants you to know that when you were born again…. when you received salvation… The Holy Spirit came and began to live inside of you.

He wants you to know that there is a great mandate on your life.

He wants you to know that at one point of time, you may have thought you were ordinary, but THAT IS FALSE.

Jesus wants you to know that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

Jesus wants you to know that you are an ambassador for heaven, called to help establish the Kingdom here on earth, as it is in heaven.

The devil doesn’t want me tellin you that. But I got news for him, cuz I ain’t scared.

YOU are God’s chosen one.

If you are hearing this today and you’re thinking that you wish you were saved, it’s as easy as calling upon the name of the Lord.

You don’t even need a pastor to lead you in a prayer. “Repent,” Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

In other words, “Change the way you have been thinking about this. The King and His Kingdom are way closer than you ever imagined.”

Philippians 2:12 says to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

The audio version of this sermon is available at www.streamsoflifechurch.tv

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My name is Amber Picota. I am a wife, pastor, published author, and mother of 3 amazing children. My husband and I moved to Virginia 3 years ago with a dream placed in our hearts by God to plant a life giving church. That church is Streams of Life Church in Winchester, Virginia. I married a crazy guy. And by crazy I mean ridiculously awesome and handsome. I see that he has stolen my heart taken me far out of my comfort zone, and shook me out of a life of complacency. Seriously, had I not met this wild man, I wonder if I wouldn't still just be living in a tiny little town, in my tiny little world, caring nothing for the big world out there, content to just not have anybody rock my boat. But then Rene came along... rocking my boat and such. I'm so glad he came along and shook things up. He awakened something within me, and now we're a dangerous combination of boat rockers. Together, through our authority in Christ, we are a force to be reckoned with: rocking boats, challenging the status quo, planting this church, and believing God for the miraculous. Together we bring heaven to Earth. My kids are awesome little world changers, and it's my pleasure to teach them and train them up in the Kingdom of God. I believe they are history makers, who were born for greatness, and I plan to train and disciple them accordingly. Who knows where God will take it from there, but I am passionate about training leaders to walk in power and authority. I have a desire to see the Body of Christ bring heaven to Earth. I have a desire to mobilize God's people into their dreams. There is a move of God inside of every believer, but most people have been stifled and silenced by dream killers. I want to stir those dreams back up because I believe those dreams are your move of God in the Earth.