Three words tend to get translated “salvation”, though they are also used of other things too.
A Hebrew word: “to be free, in a wide or roomy space, carrying the sense of being freed from confinement, constriction and limitation”. The name “Yeshua”, the Hebrew name of Jesus, derives rom this word, meaning, “saviour”, that is “one who brings freedom”. This is reflected beautifully in John 10:10, where Jesus said He’d come to “that they might have life, and hav it to the full”.
“Sozo” and “Soteria”
Both get translated as save / salvation, meaning literally “to cure, remedy, to recover”. The words are translated as “heal” and “deliver” in the New Testament.
Acts 27, the believers were delivered from a storm at sea
Matthew 24 speaks of being delivered from tribulation.
Those that mocked Jesus, in Matthew 27, suggested he save (deliver / free) himself
Sozo means, “to restore health and wholeness” (Matthew 9:21-22, Mark 5:23, Luke 7:50).
Mark 16:16, “Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved (sozo)”.
Baptism doesnt gain us salvation of our soul – as sacramentalism teaches – non-sacramentalist churches view baptism as an outward witness to an inward change. It doesnt save us, so much as open the door to greater wholeness – the other angles of sozo. This suggests that baptism has an effect over and above the outward witness, over and above simply being a “rite of passage” in a believer’s life.
Sin is the gateway to corruption and sickness. Baptism binds us closer to the saving work of Christ: where our confession and saving faith opened the door to the risen Lord, baptism is akin to throwing the door open and handing Him the key to the entire house.
Romans 1:16 – “I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes”- salvation, “soteria”, used 24 times in the New Testament, 16 times of Jesus and 8 times in reference to God the Father. Soteria and Sozo go hand in hand all through the New Testament.
Jesus the Healer
Jesus came to “seek and save that which has gone missing” – Jesus the Saviour is one and the same as Jesus the Healer. The conservative viewpoint that looks at Him as saviour (Yasha, Sozo, Soteria) is embracing the whole work of Christ: to save us body, soul and mind. In praying for someone to be healed we are asking Jesus to minister in another angle the salvation He bought for us on the cross.
I am encouraged that the gospel, that power of God, is for the Sozo/Soteria/Yasha, of everyone who believes. The gospel message is integral to freedom and deliverence for those oppressed, healing for the sick, etc.