This weekend, I read in Karl Keating’s Catholicism and Fundamentalism – in the chapter on salvation – that Protestants often confuse the terms redemption and salvation. He stated that we are all “redeemed,” but we are not all “saved.” Could you explain the difference between the two for me?
Basically, redemption is collective and salvation is individual. By his passion, death, and resurrection, Christ redeemed humanity collectively from slavery to sin and from the debt of punishment mankind – as a whole – owed due to sin. Each and every person, Christian or non-Christian, is redeemed because he is a member of the human race.
Salvation is the application of redemption to individuals. Although a member of redeemed humanity, and therefore himself redeemed, a person can freely choose to deliberately reject the graces won for him by Christ and go to hell.