Words: Oswald Jeffrey Smith (b. Nov. 8, 1889; d. Jan. 25, 1986)
Music: Roger M. Hickman (b. Nov. 28, 1888; d. Feb. 25, 1968)
Note: This uplifting gospel song has the dual distinction of having a one-word title (a relatively rare thing), and a refrain that is longer than the stanzas. On one occasion, it was a special encouragement to its struggling young author. To learn how, read the story on the Wordwise Hymns link.
Saved! It’s a word that Dr. Smith repeats over thirty times (counting the refrains), but it bears repeating. Various forms of the word (save, saved, saving, salvation) are found over 135 times in the New Testament. Another two dozen instances can be added when the word “Saviour” is included, so there is no doubt it is a major theme.
Though there are a few times when the word relates to a physical deliverance (as when Paul pledges that all on board ship will be “saved” from a storm, Acts 27:31), by far the vast majority have to do with spiritual and eternal salvation. So, what does it mean to be a saved individual in the biblical sense?
A definition. To be saved includes the thoughts of being rescued and delivered, made whole, and kept safe eternally.
That this salvation was provided for through Christ is attested to again and again. That He would be the Saviour was promised before He was even born (Matt. 1:21; cf. Lk. 2:11),“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (I Tim. 1:15). Not only that, but His saving, keeping work continues forever with His heavenly intercession (Heb. 7:25).
CH-1) Saved! saved! saved! my sins are all forgiv’n;
Christ is mine! I’m on my way to heav’n;
Once a guilty sinner, lost, undone,
Now a child of God, saved through His Son.
Saved! I’m saved through Christ, my all in all;
Saved! I’m saved, whatever may befall;
He died upon the cross for me,
He bore the awful penalty;
And now I’m saved eternally–
I’m saved! saved! saved!
Further, Christ is declared to be the only means of salvation (Jn. 3:36; 14:6; Acts 4:12). No good works or other means can ever save a lost sinner. When John writes about the new birth, he rules out any option other than being born of God, through faith in Christ (Jn. 1:12-13). The children of God are those born “not of blood [i.e a person’s blood-lines, what family they belong to], nor of the flesh [as a result of their physical birth], nor of the will of man [that is, man in an official position, such as through the rituals of a church].”
Salvation is by grace, meaning it is God’s free gift, accepted through faith in Christ (Jn. 3:16; Eph. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:5). The Apostle Paul declares, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16). “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation” (Heb. 2:3).
“We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Saviour of the world” (I Jn. 4:14). “For so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 1:11).
CH-2) Saved! saved! saved! by grace and grace alone;
Oh, what wondrous love to me was shown,
In my stead Christ Jesus bled and died,
Bore my sins, for me was crucified.
1) How would you explain in a simple way why each of us needs God’s salvation, and how to receive it?
2) In your view, what are the best hymns and gospel songs on the theme of God’s salvation?