SOZO by Jacob Write

wp-1463332623722.jpgThe word translated “salvation/saved” is the Greek word “sozo” which means to be healed, made whole, and delivered from danger. This is an ontological concept and not a legal transaction concept.

The same word is actually used for when Jesus physically healed people. Jesus did not come into the world declaring his mission was to save us from some scary, eternal torture chamber in some obscure future afterlife, but to heal us of our sin, deliver us from oppression, and make us into wholly restored divine image-bearers.

“The sting of death is sin.” (1 Cor. 15:56) The sting of death is not God punishing us for sin, the sting of death is sin itself. Sin is our problem, not God. Sin is killing us, not God. We die because we have been stung by sin, we don’t die because God imposes the death penalty on us.

  • Notice the difference between an ontological problem and a forensically imposed legal problem. One sees sin in the sense of being the sting of a deadly scorpion resulting in death and the other sees sin in the sense of being a legal offense that God must kill us for.

One makes God out to be our Savior from sin and what it does to us and one makes God out to be our destroyer with an offer to pardon us from his condemnation.

The way to see Christ as Savior is as a doctor healing us from sin and its symptoms of corruption and death, freeing us from bondage and restoring us to life, not as a tyrant threatening to kill and torture us if we don’t accept a legal transaction and worship him.

In Jesus’ life, he demonstrated the role of doctor, healing people’s bodies and souls.


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