LORD, save me!
December 18, 2016
The word “save” in Jam 2:14
Sozo is an “all-purpose” Greek verb.
The Lord is at work in us on a daily basis to meet a very high standard of quality and completeness.
And that involves saving or delivering us from a host of dangers along the way to making us whole.
And the Greek word for “will bring me safely” in 2Ti 4:18 is sozo.
So we are going to learn all we can about this amazing word – sozo - that is so central to who we are as Christians.
First, we turn to our lexicons to discover all of the meanings that this word can have in the New Testament.
After that, we are going to visit many of the places in the New Testament where this Greek word is used.
Particularly how sozo is used in the gospel of Matthew, as well as in the letter of James itself.
James echoes the words of His half-brother and Lord, Jesus Christ, as they are recorded in Matthew’s gospel. atthew.
James wrote his letter to the twelve tribes: early Jewish Christian communities.
Matthew wrote his gospel to the Jews to convince them that Jesus is their promised Messiah.
So if we want to find out what James meant when he used the Greek word sozo, …
…we need to see how that same word was used in the gospel of Matthew.
A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature. (BDAG)
The BDAG lexicon organizes the many different New Testament meanings for sozo into two broad categories.
#1: To preserve or rescue from natural dangers or afflictions; keep from harm.
#2 To save or preserve from transcendent danger or destruction; save/preserve from eternal death, …
from judgment, and from all that might lead to such death, ie, sin.
It is also used in a positive sense to mean bring Messianic salvation , bring to salvation.
We are going to look at each and every place sozo appears in the Gospel of Matthew.
The meaning of sozo in Mat 1:21 falls under the second category, the Jews being saved from their sins.
Here sozo means being rescued from natural danger (cat 1), in this case a boat being covered with waves.
Here sozo is used for a woman being healed, made well again. She had been suffering from a hemorrhage.
This is deliverance from persecution, not from the Lake of fire.
Peter was crying out to the Lord to save him from drowning!
Those Jewish disciples who followed Jesus could look forward to entering the kingdom - where their life would be a paradise.
This may be a reference to eternal salvation, because right before this Jesus speaks about the eternal fire and hell.
The context strongly suggests that this is speaking of eternal salvation.
This is another case where sozo does refer to eternal salvation.
This passage speaks about human lives being saved from natural death.
When these unbelievers spoke of someone being saved, they meant saved from natural death.
There are 16 occurrences of sozo in the Gospel of Matthew.
A good case can be made that four of them refer to eternal salvation –category 2.
The other 12 fall under category 1: to preserve or rescue from natural dangers or afflictions.
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