In Christianity, salvation (also called deliverance or redemption) is the “saving [of] human beings from sin and its consequences, which include death and separation from God” by Christ’s death and resurrection,[a] and the justification following this salvation.
While the idea of Jesus’ death as an atonement for human sin was derived from the Christian Bible, 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, through 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, recapitulation theory, satisfaction theory, penal substitution theory and moral influence theory.
Variant views on salvation (soteriology) are among the main fault lines dividing the various Christian denominations, including conflicting definitions of sin and depravity (the sinful nature of mankind), 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).