There is probably no other title which is given to the LORD JESUS CHRIST, which has any less meaning to the average person, calling themselves “Christian”, in the present day, than that of “SAVIOR.” Now I know it is quite common to hear men of all stripes, denominations, and sects of those who profess faith in HIM, speaking of HIM as the “SAVIOR”. Yet it is almost impossible to find more than a handful today, who believe that HE actually “saved” anybody, by HIS atoning work on Calvary’s cross.
There are multitudes who will tell us that HE made salvation possible, or that HE did all HE could do to save as many as HE could. Yet they stop short of declaring that HE actually procured salvation for those for whom HE died. Modern day “physicians of no value” tell us HE wants to save everyone but that HE does not completely save anyone, because HE has merely made an open ended gesture, which allows men to be saved, if they in turn will take advantage of it, by believing that HE died for them. If they do not “believe”, then they tell us that even though CHRIST died for them, they will still be lost. This is not “salvation” by any definition, and most certainly does not set forth CHRIST as a SAVIOR.
This is but a “cooperative salvation” whereby a man can procure everlasting life for himself by embracing the attempt of the LORD to take away the sin of all men. They tell us that “all men” are the objects of HIS “salvation” and that they can all be “saved” if they will but believe. This makes their decision to be “saved” more important than the work of the “SAVIOR”, since the success of HIS work depends upon their “free choice” to be “saved”. Some have even declared that “hell” is a testimony to the failure of CHRIST. This is damnable blasphemy and should be rejected by all who believe that HE is the SAVIOR who has obtained eternal redemption.
Such a cooperative salvation is fine for those who feel themselves to be needing some assistance, in their deliverance. Yet for those who know themselves to be lost and undone sinners deserving of destruction and possessing no good thing, the prospect of being saved by their own cooperation with that which CHRIST has hoped to provide, leaves them bewildered and hopeless.
Away with such drivel from the earth. The scripture declares a SAVIOR who is mighty and has accomplished exactly what HE set out to do even as Isaiah describes HIM. “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.” (Isa 63:1-5)
John tells us that CHRIST is “the SAVIOR of the world.” A savior is someone who “saves” or “delivers”. One who attempts to save someone yet fails, cannot be properly termed a savior. He might be noble, well intentioned, and even kind, but unless a “salvation” is completely performed by his actions, such a person cannot properly be described as a “savior”. A savior saves. A redeemer “redeems”. It is as simple as that.
So we have no doubt as to what the scripture means when it speaks of HIM as the SAVIOR. HE is that ONE who, “shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isa 53:11) In Hebrews we read of the completion of redemption, “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Heb 9:11-12)
Since this is true, then it follows that whatever “world” that HE is the SAVIOR of, then must of necessity be saved as pertains to HIS purpose and ordained will. If this “world” of which HE is the SAVIOR is to be defined as every man, woman, boy, and girl alive and dead; then by very definition, every person is indeed “saved” by the work of the SAVIOR and none shall perish. Yet we read in the scriptures that there are multitudes who shall perish having been appointed to this destruction. (see Rom 2:12; I Cor.1:18; II Cor.2:15; II Thess.2:10; Jude 1:4) So we either have to declare that HE is no SAVIOR or that the “world” spoken of here does not include every person.
There are basically three Greek words that are translated as “world” in the New Testament. One of them is “aion” which means “an age or period of time such as we see in I Corinthians.3:19 and Matthew.13:22. Another is “oikoumene” which means “the inhabited earth”, as we see in Matthew 24:14 and Romans 10:18.
The word “world” appears in the English KJV Bible, 244 times. The, third, Greek word which is translated as “world”, 186 of those times (including our text) is the word “kosmos” which literally means “an apt and harmonious arrangement or order of things; an ornament or adornment”. Interestingly, this exact word is translated as “adorning” in I Peter 3:3; and a very similar word (derived from the same root word) “kosmeo” is translated as “adorn” or “adorned” five out of the ten times that it appears.
Most notably this word “kosmeo” is found in Revelation 21:2; “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” It seems quite clear to me that a reasonable definition of the “world” of which the scripture speaks here as that of which HE is the SAVIOR, is the Bride of CHRIST, (i.e.; the church of GOD, the elect). For indeed she is an “ornament” of CHRIST, the apple of HIS eye, the sheep of HIS pasture. She is that “Shulamite” of whom HE speaks in the Song of Solomon, describing her there as “My dove, my undefiled.”(Song 6:9)
She is that one who is made the recipient of all of HIS blessings, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Rev 19:7-8)
May all glory be given to HIM who is “the SAVIOR of the world.” There is none other. “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. (Isa 43:10-11)
“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins.” (Isa 40:1-2) I can think of no other message which brings more comfort to the sons of GOD than this one.mam