The Christian message of salvation is simple enough for everyone to understand, but deep enough to entail a lifetime of study. Salvation is very much interconnected to other aspects of theology such as the meaning of Christ’s Atonement, the human condition, God’s attributes such as His justice and holiness, our eternal destiny and more. “Jesus is Lord” is a simple statement of faith, but in relation to salvation it’s important to know who Jesus is, who He claimed to be and what it means to believe and follow Him.
The Apostle Paul summarized the message of salvation – the Gospel – in 1 Corinthians 15, where he wrote, under divine inspiration: “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve” (1 Corinthians 15:1-5 NIV).
In this passage Paul stresses the literal death and resurrection of Christ, “for our sins,” the biblical foundations for this (acknowledging the authority of the Bible), and the proof provided by Christ’s many post-resurrection appearances.