Good morning, my name is Hayley King. I have been invited to speak to you about a very important and key aspect of the Christian belief called the doctrine of salvation.In this address, I will talk about the concept of salvation. I am going to first give a brief description of the term salvation and follow it up with a thorough and hopefully not humdrum presentation of the belief in salvation as portrayed by different religions and compare how they defer in terms of their realization of this state of salvation, or being saved as Christians rightly or wrongly put it.
The scientific study of religions has showed that one of the central, if not the most important, preoccupations of human beings in their limited and uncertain condition is the quest for salvation, and this quest in its most general aspect is seen as the quest for relief from human misery (Dhavamony, 2002, p. 85). So what is salvation? This is a question that has baffled the minds of many. There are too many preconceived ideas as to what salvation really is. Some say salvation is being with god, some say salvation is something that has to be searched out and found in the churches; some say salvation is a concern for the wellbeing and safety of mankind.
Christianity and Salvation
In Christianity, salvation means deliverance from the power of sin, that is,redemption. In the Old Testament, salvation referred to deliverance from a danger (Jeremiah 15:20), the deliverance of the vulnerable or defenseless from an oppressor (Psalms 35:9-10), the restoration of the sick (Is. 38:20), as well as the deliverance from blood guilt and its corollaries (psalms 51:14). However, the word salvation after the death of Christrefers to an eternal, spiritual deliverance. Salvationrealizes its profoundest significance in the spiritual realm. Biblical salvation refers to mans deliverance from the eternal result of sin and so, entails the forgiveness of sin. Man’s comprehensive desire for salvation is one of the most unblemished teachings of the bible(Mency, 2014, pp. 5-6).
The necessity for salvation reverts to man’s ejection from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Following the fall, mans lifehas beensmudged by strife and struggle. More and more, sleaze and viciousness subjugated the world (Genesis 6:11-13). When God obliterated the world through the use of floods, He as well did the first act of salvation by way of saving Noah and his family. This family formed the beginning of another chance for mankind. However, the doctrine of salvation attained its greatest fulfillment through the death of Christ on the behalf of mankind. Jesus’s purpose was to bring salvation to mankind and save them from sin and the ire of God. In the period of His ministry on earth, salvation was attained through His presence and by the power of faith (Luke 19:9-10). At the present, man’s salvation is established on His death and resurrection (Mark 10:25).Perhaps the bible verse that best describes salvation is one of the most quoted verse and a favorite for kids, John 3: 16. Salvation is a very important step in Christianity and it forms one of the key pillars of the Christian faith. This is because it is anchored on the belief that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross and on the third day He rose.
Islam and salvation
Despite salvation being apredominantlyChristianconcept, Muslims also do have a similar belief on salvation, but the Islamic view of salvation takes a decisively different form from the Christian view of this doctrine. Saleeb & Geisler (2002, p. 124) in their book “Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross”, state that the Islamfaith does not associate with the Christian faithpersuasion that man has to be redeemed. The Christian conviction in the redeeming and sacrificial death of Christ does not fit into the Islamic view that man has always been fundamentally good, and that God loves and forgives those who obey his will. They add that in Islam there is no such thing, in principle, as conversion, but restoration, a returning, and a remembering. However, according to Vertigans and Sutton (2005, p. 76), salvation in Islam has been interpreted in terms of the Jihad,or a holy war, with warriors promised salvation if they died in battle. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that in Islam, the religious fate of the individual in the next world was to be adequately secured by the individual’s belief in Allah and the prophets, so that no demonstration of salvation in the conduct of life was needed (Vertigans & Sutton, 2005, p. 78).
Hindu and salvation
In the Hindu faith, unlike in Islam where salvation has taken a completely different perception, one of the focus of the religion is reaching salvation (Mokasha). To Hinduism, the most important goal is to be one with God (Brahman). Thus pleasure, success, and the right conduct are not the ultimate goals in life; salvation is (Johansen, 2009, p. 151). According to Rovers and Meier (2010, p. 3) Mokasha is a level which is reached after a series of reincarnations that represent the passage from death to life, and the state in which one is reborn depends on one’s actions and their results, referred to as the law of karma. Although the focus of Hinduism is on self preservation in order to reach salvation, the Hindu is obligated to manifest the divinity within him or herself to others.
In conclusion, it is clear that salvation forms a very critical foundation of the christian faith and goes towards assuring an individual that the after-life is afterall worth looking forward to. Additionally, the Islam and Hindu faiths also have their own perception of salvation albeit very different from the christian perception and they all work hard towards achieving it through the sacrifice of some form of self pleasure.
Dhavamony, M. (2002). Hindu-Christian Dialogue: Theological Soundings and Perspectives. Rodopi.
Johansen, D. (2009). Religion and Spirituality in Psychotherapy: An Individual Psychology Perspective. Springer Publishing Company.
Mency, N. M. (2014). The Need of Salvation. WestBow Press.
Rovers, M., & Meier, A. (2010). The Helping Relationship: Healing and Change in Community Context. University of Ottawa Press.
Saleeb, A., & Geisler, N. L. (2002). Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross. Baker Books.
Vertigans, S., & Sutton, P. W. (2005). Resurgent Islam: A Sociological Approach. Polity Publishers.
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