Salvation in Christianity

Salvation in Christianity, or deliverance, redemption is the "saving [of] human beings from death and separation from God" by Christ's death and resurrection,[1][note 1] and the justification following this salvation. Christians partake in this redemption by baptism, repentance, and participating in Jesus' death and resurrection.

While the idea of Jesus' death as an atonement for human sin was derived from the Hebrew writings, and was elaborated in Paul's epistles and in the Gospels, Paul saw the faithful redeemed by participation in Jesus' death and rising. Early Christians regarded themselves as partaking in a new covenant with God, open to both Jews and gentiles, due to the sacrificial death and subsequent exaltation of Jesus Christ.

Early Christian notions of the person and sacrificial role of Jesus in human salvation were further elaborated by the Church Fathers, medieval writers and modern scholars in various atonement theories, such as the ransom theory, Christus Victor theory, the recapitulation theory, the satisfaction theory, the penal substitution theory, and the moral influence theory.

Variant views on salvation are among the main fault lines dividing the various Christian denominations, including conflicting definitions of sin and depravity (the sinful nature of humankind), justification (God's means of removing the consequences of sin), and atonement (the forgiving or pardoning of sin through the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus).

Definition and scope

Salvation in Christianity, or deliverance or redemption, is the "saving [of] human beings from death and separation from God" by Christs death and resurrection.[1][2][note 1]

Christian salvation not only concerns the atonement itself, but also the question how one partakes of this salvation, by faith, baptism, or obedience; and the question of this salvation is individual[4][5] or collective.[4][6] It further involves questions regarding the afterlife, e.g. "heaven, hell, purgatory, soul sleep, and annihilation."[4] The fault lines between the various denominations include conflicting definitions of sin, justification, and atonement.