What is salvation?
I used to wonder what salvation was about – being saved by what, from what, by whom? There were so many questions and so few answers. None of it made much sense to me as a child growing up in the Christian tradition and I came to reject religion and the need for any form of salvation out of hand. Later in life, I questioned my atheistic assertions, read widely in the wisdom traditions and searched high and low for answers to life’s ills. As such I have come to an understanding of salvation that for me is liberating, empowering, life-enhancing and which resonates as truth deeply within me.
Jesus saves…or does he?
A mainstream teaching of the Christianity that I grew up with is that Jesus Christ is the saviour of the world and that he died on the cross to save people from their sins, so they pass cleansed and free from sin into heaven. Many people across the globe fervently believe this to be true – that irrespective of their actions and behaviours in this world that if they profess to ‘believe in Jesus’ they will be saved from sin and their slate wiped clean. Whilst this is a common belief – to me it does not ring true and feels more like wishful thinking to have a ‘get out of jail free card’, devoid of any responsibility or accountability.
Are we sinners?
There are a number of things to unpick and examine further here regarding sin and salvation to see if these understandings stand up to scrutiny. The way that the word sin is used in Christian teachings, carries with it a sense of guilt or shame that we have sinned and are not worthy of God’s love – or so the teaching goes. There is a sense of never being good enough, never quite hitting the spot, being hopelessly flawed and in need of redemption and salvation by Jesus Christ. People are told by minsters and preachers across the world that they are sinners and that they are in need of forgiveness by God – even though God does not need to forgive as he never condemns or judges in the first place. Being told we are sinners, loads us with guilt, and an ever-pervading sense of not being good enough no matter what we do.
Who are we?
But what if these are flawed understandings regarding sin that bear no resemblance to the truth of who we are? Who we are, first and foremost is Love – we come from Love, we are love and we are here to express the love of God in all that we do. That we are love is not a belief or an opinion but it is an energetic fact that can be felt by all. Although we are love, we do not live in a way that is truly loving, and whether we like it or agree with it or not – that has consequences.
Missing the mark
The word sin comes from the Greek word hamartia – which means to ‘miss the mark’. It does not mean we are bad, unworthy people, it just means that in our daily lives we can ‘miss the mark’ and not always live and express in a way that is loving, that does not come from the love that we are. Let’s face it – we all make choices, movements, say and do things on a daily basis that are not always loving – and so we are ‘missing the mark’ when it comes to living in a way that reflects the truth of who we are. When we do so – these choices have consequences that can lead us to experience suffering of some kind.
However, ‘missing the mark’ in this way does not come with any sense of being less, or any need for guilt or shame; it is just accepting the human condition and endeavouring to the best of our ability to choose to make choices that we know are loving with no need for self-reproach or recrimination if we don’t. We learn, move on and choose love.
Choices have consequences
We live in a world of energy, where all of our choices have consequences. We experience this every day – for example, if we drink too much alcohol we will have a hangover, if we eat too much regularly we will become overweight, if we don’t get enough sleep we will become exhausted, and on and on I could go, giving examples of how the daily choices we make have consequences for our bodies. Because we live in a world of energy – there is no way out of this – there is no escape – everything we live and do with and to our body has a consequence for the body. In this way, we can say that the body is the marker of truth as it reveals all of our choices and in fact it never lies.
“The body is the marker of all truth.”
Serge Benhayon The Way of Initiation, p 602
How we live matters
The above examples are simple and obvious because they have an immediate effect on the body. But every choice we make has a consequence even if we do not feel it or see it at the time. If we are angry, manipulative, rude, controlling or dictatorial – all of these will have an effect on our lives. What we put out into the world, will sooner or later come back to us – and this is known in our everyday language as ‘what goes around, comes around’ and ‘we reap what we sow’. In other words, our choices matter, how we live matters – and because everything is energy and is interconnected – we affect not just our own bodies and lives but the whole Universe. What we are talking about here are the energetic laws of cause and effect – otherwise known as karma. This is not a punishment but a necessary re-balancing and rectification that is part of the grander plan to re-awaken us to the truth of who we are.
No-one else can save us
So given these energetic laws, it is clear that the quality of our day to day life will be significantly impacted by the quality of how we live and the choices we make – what we put out to the world. If this is understood, then it is clear that whilst we are on earth, no-one can save us from the consequences of our choices – except ourselves. It is only by us coming to make different choices that we can have different outcomes. We can save ourselves by learning how to make choices that are truly healthy and harmonious, learning how to live in a way that is natural and aligned with the true quality of energy we are – love. No-one else can do this for us.
Karma – responsibility…and power
But karma is not just restricted to this life – the quality of the life we have today is also affected by the quality of the lives we have lived before. How we live this life, will impact our next life and so forth. So again we see there is no escape from the energetic laws. But this is not a threat or a punishment, it is just the way it is and is actually a beautiful fulfilment of energetic law to reconnect us back to the truth of who we are. And it is in fact key to true salvation and liberation. What karma teaches us is responsibility – that we cannot get away with being reckless, irresponsible, hateful, murderous, corrupt, abusive, emotional and so forth, as ultimately the laws of life will come back to bite us on the bum in order to get us to dig deeper and realise we have far more power over our lives than we like to acknowledge. It is far easier for us to blame other people, God or the universe than to look within and take responsibility in full for our lives. Yet – taking responsibility is the key to true freedom – for if we do not like the life we have or the outcomes we are getting – we have the power to change it.
Being loving makes sense
When we know we are love, it makes sense to live in a way that is loving, and where we make choices that to the best of our ability are predominantly coming from, with and in love. In other words, being gentle, tender, nurturing and caring with our bodies, feeding them healthy food, having plenty of good quality sleep, staying centred and so forth. These healthy lifestyle choices impact how we feel about ourselves – the more deeply we care for ourselves, the better we feel and the quality of our lives improves. We can potentially save ourselves from the many lifestyle diseases that plague the Western world. But this is only part of salvation.
True salvation rests in knowing the truth of who we are. We are not sinners, we are not bad, we are not unworthy or unlovable or any of the other myriad beliefs that we may carry that are not true – we are glorious and divine Sons of God, we are Love – a love that cannot be harmed, hurt, tainted, damaged, destroyed or denigrated by anyone, any behaviour or anything at all – not even death. No matter what our past, what we have done or what has been done to us – this love remains pure, pristine and unsullied. The truth of who we are remains forever unchanged – it is ever-present, just waiting for us to reconnect to it. Knowing that we are love, and that this love is unaffected by any life experience, is the foundation of true salvation.
For it is upon that foundation that we know we are worthy of being deeply caring and loving with ourselves and our bodies, that calls us to look after ourselves and, to the best of our ability, to live from, with and in love in all that we think, say and do. It dissolves all sense of guilt and shame, it gives us new eyes to see ourselves, others and the world around us. We are able to be in the world but not get so affected by the world. We live life in full and give it our all – but we also know there is much more to this journey of life and to us – and so we tend to not get bogged down in the daily stresses and strains of life. We are more observant of life and less reactive and thus more free to truly respond in any given situation. The things that used to affect us – no longer do – we save ourselves from the daily ups and downs and develop a consistent quality and way of life that is predominantly harmonious.
We are here but not from here
With this expanded awareness and understanding of life and who we are, we know we are but visitors on this land, that we are here but not from here, that we are passing through on our return journey back to the love that we separated from. This is a DIY journey – no-one can do it for us, no-one can take us there, we can’t buy it or contract hire it and wishful thinking will not bring it forth. Even a belief in Jesus Christ will not suffice. We can learn from and be inspired by people like Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed etc who have walked this path before us, who have done it for themselves and have come back to show us the way. Many people down through the years have come to illuminate the way, to shine a light that others may come to know the truth of it for themselves and through their lived way and reflection, we can be inspired to choose the way of love for ourselves.
True salvation is an inside job
True salvation does not and cannot come from outside of ourselves – it is an inside job. For it is by knowing who we are and then living in a way that applies that knowing in our everyday choices that we can save ourselves and be truly liberated. The more responsibility we take for our lives, the more true freedom we experience. We no longer see or know ourselves as victims, no matter what the experience, but as the architects, designers and creators of all that occurs in our lives. And our relationship with all that occurs is transformed to know that all that occurs is part of our healing journey, is part of what is needed as a consequence of our choices to bring us back to living as the Sons of God we are; glorious, divine, beautiful and forever in service to the One that breathed us forth.
Serge Benhayon is someone who lives and reflects a consistent way of living that is loving and caring for all and he has inspired many to do the same. He presents the religion called The Way of The Livingness that offers in fine detail the way of true salvation. A way that knows on earth we are both human and divine and that we are to embrace both in full whilst we are here – but with the knowing that in-truth we are divine, heaven is our home and love is our only way.