BDAG give two basic meanings for the verb σῴζω which are only the same meaning in different situations:
- to preserve or rescue from natural dangers and afflictions, save, keep from harm, rescue. Within this meaning, BDAG goes on to provide several sub-meanings/examples:
. (a) save from death, eg, Matt 14:30, 27:40, etc.
. (b) bring out safely, eg, Jude 5, Heb 5:7, etc
. (c) save/free from disease [this form is often translated "heal"], eg, Matt 9:22, Mark 5:34, etc.
. (d) keep, preserve
- to save or preserve from transcendental danger or destruction, save/preserve from eternal death, eg, 1 Cor 1:21, 2 Tim 1:9, etc.
BDAG also notes that some passages belong under both meanings such as Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24.
Note that in Rom 10:9, the verb form is σωθήσῃ which is passive (and future). As such, BDAG defines this under meaning #2 above, ie, to be saved or attain salvation.
Consider the following scenario where a drowning person is about to lose hope when they see a rescue boat approaching. The crew then attaches a life-vest and begins dragging the person towards the shore line. The person being rescued might then say:
- when they see the boat approaching, "I am saved"
- when the life vest is being attached, "I am being saved"
- when being towed toward the shore, "I will be saved".
Thus, Rom 10:9 is a simple statement of the following facts:
(A) The passive voice says that the person did not save themselves but salvation/rescue from eternal death was provided from outside the person, namely Jesus
(B) The future tense means that at the resurrection, the person will be raised to be with Jesus rather than condemned as an eternal, unforgiven sinner.