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Salvation

In Christianity salvation is arguably the most important spiritual concept, second only to the divinity of Jesus Christ.

For many Christians, the primary goal of religion is to attain salvation. (Others maintain that the primary goal of Christians is to do the will of God, or that the two are equivalent.) In many traditions, attaining salvation is synonymous with going to heaven after death, while some traditions place a stronger emphasis on the belief that salvation represents a changed life while on Earth. Many elements of Christian theology explain why salvation is needed and how to attain it.

The existence of salvation is contingent upon there being some sort of unsaved state from which the individual (or mankind) is to be redeemed. To most Protestant and Catholic Christians, this is the state of original sin, inherited from the Fall of Adam and Eve. The Orthodox churches do not accept original sin, viewing salvation as a ladder of spiritual improvement. A common viewpoint is that God intended from the beginning of time to provide a savior to redeem people from sin, and that Jesus was (and is) this savior.

Within Gnosticism, salvation was acheived through gnosis, inner knowledge. Many non-Christian traditions have some parallel to salvation, some redeemed spiritual state that it is desirable that the believer or mankind attain. Examples include the Buddhist goal of Nirvana, the Hindu aim Moksha and the Kabbalist tikkun olam[?].

See: sin, born again



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