Social Psychologist & Personal Advisor
Jesus Christ: Savior and Redeemer
Christ is called both Savior and Redeemer. As they are used in the scriptures, these two divine roles are closely related — their meanings are often thought of as synonymous. However each title expresses blessings uniquely different for the saved versus the redeemed.
There are two primary ways that Jesus Christ saves, from our sins and from the grave, but there are other ways the Son of God saves:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matt. 11:28-29).
Christ saves us from every affliction and sorrow: there is no hardship or heartache that His tender mercies cannot cure. Isaiah said this of our Savior’s solace: “the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces” (Isaiah 25:8).
John the Revelator echoes the words of Isaiah in this Bible passage:
Before His birth, the mission of Jesus Christ was foreordained by the Father: The Apostle Matthew said this of Mary’s firstborn child:
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21)
Being saved “from their sins” as opposed to being saved “in their sins” is a key doctrinal distinction; this is where the significance of Christ as Redeemer appears. Through faith in Jesus Christ, every repentant soul is not only saved from sin, but is blessed with a redeeming miracle, a profound change in nature:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
This redeeming transformation is precisely the same phenomenon as being “born again.” In Old Testament times, Ezekiel refers to this redemption and rebirth as receiving a “new heart.”
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, . . . And I will put my spirit within you” (Ezekiel 26:26).
The redemption of Christ brings about a profound change from the core, and those who become “new creatures,” and thus “born again,” can be clearly discerned — they stand out in a crowd because of their kindness. They walk in the Savior’s way because Christ has put in them a “new spirit.” Following the foot steps of Jesus is natural for those with a “new heart.”
Consider the similarities and differences between dictionary definitions of being Saved
Save — etymology derived from Latin salvus = safe.
to make safe from distress, danger, hurt, or loss;
Redeem — etymology from Latin redimere; re or red = again + emere = to buy.
to buy back, repurchase, pay off, make up for;
to free from captivity by payment of ransom;
to exchange for something of value;
King Benjamin gave this account of the Lord’s redeeming miracle:
“And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2).
The scriptures speak of the miracle of redemptive change:
“And now I ask of you, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you?” (Alma 5:14-15).
Another way to perceive people who are born again, a way to recognize those with new hearts, is by observing their very countenance — it will shine with His light. The redeemed do not walk in darkness, but walk in His Light:
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).
This illuminating change of countenance has been a blessing of redemption from the beginning:
“The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).
A shining countenance that reflects His Light naturally comes with conversion, a complete turning from old ways:
“Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved” (Psalm 80:19).
Because Christ is omnipotent, His redeeming miracle is complete and perfect: He possesses the power to not only make us clean, but also make us new:
“For I am able to make you holy, and your sins are forgiven you” (D&C 60:7).
There are two distinct blessings that come with sincere repentance and faith in Lord Jesus Christ; one blessing comes from Christ the Savior and the other is caused by Christ the Redeemer:
1) The Savior saves you from your sins and makes you clean; and
2) The Redeemer makes you better than before;
This transforming miracle is impossible to achieve through mortal might and shear will power; it only happens through faith in the Savior and hope in His redeeming grace.
For some people, being “saved” refers to a particular time when Jesus is openly acknowledged as “Savior.” But this moment of heartfelt conviction is just the beginning of what Christ the Redeemer has in store for His faithful followers. The prophet Malachi speaks of the Redeemer’s transforming refinement, making true believers into a valuable treasure:
“Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels” (Malachi 3:16-18).
Again, being “saved” is only the start of what Christ will do for His faithful followers. He desires to make you and I one His "jewels" — He wants to both Save and Redeem us.
For those who believe in Christ and follow in His footsteps, the Redeemer graciously gives a new heart and a new disposition; further, there is a radiant shine that comes with being born again. The words that honor that Silent Night when Christ was born, speak to the birth of our Savior and Redeemer:
Silent night! Holy night!
Glory streams from heaven afar,
Silent night! Holy night!
Lord Jesus will save, redeem, and refine the faithful; our Precious Savior and Dear Redeemer will rescue us from danger and despair, and He will cause His true believers to become “new” and “holy,” a “peculiar treasure” — “jewels” worthy to sparkle in the crown of the King of Kings.
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