One of the hallmarks of evangelical Christianspeak is a term upon which our patron saint, Billy Graham, has built his career - it's the word "saved". You might recognize its usage in popular phrases such as, "Are ya SAVED tonight?", "When did you get saved?" and (my favorite) "That guy needs to get saved". It is, in fact, such a ubiquitous stand-in for describing evangelical Christians that a satirical movie by Brian Dannelly could lampoon us (rather successfully) under that simple monosyllabic banner. To be a Christian is to have been "saved". The more doctrinally fastidious would be quick to point out all of the corresponding components to that past event, to be sure - namely, present sanctification and future glorification; but generally salvation should be regarded as a past-tense fact. Sanctification is a term that belongs to the outworking of that past fact, and glorification is a term that belongs to the consummation of it.
It might strike you as strange, then, that in comparison with today's evangelical terminology that the word "saved" is in considerably modest circulation within the pages of the New Testament. Not only is this the case, but to the chagrin of the more dogmatically inclined, the salvation terminology of the Bible doesn't comport with the rigidly chronological categorization everyone is so familiar with (justification, sanctification, glorification). In fact, the Biblical word "salvation" speaks primarily not of a past event, but a (certain and secure) future hope (cf. Mt. 10:22, Ro. 13:11, 2 Tim. 2:10, Heb. 9:28, 1 Pet. 1:9). The lesson here is that theologians, even very good theologians, use Biblical words differently than the Bible uses that same terminology. This isn't because they're doing something evil or underhanded, but because they are trying to draw together all of the diverse strands of Scripture into one discernible whole - and that can be very helpful. But if people don't understand that the Biblical writers themselves didn't mean exactly the same thing these theologians mean by these words, it can result in confusion - and even more often that that, contention.
Before listing some passages to prove that point, though, it's important to notice that the Biblical passages which contain those words most familiar to systematic theology - words like justification, sanctification, adoption, regeneration, etc. - are not the only passages in the Bible which speak to those theological topics. Justification, for instance, deals with concepts of judgment, wrath, righteousness, law and covenant. Studying about justification, then, means more than just looking up every time the word shows up in the Bible. It means rooting out the concepts attached to that word. But more to the point, once you do find all the occurrences of these words, you need to know that they aren't even used the same way in every passage. The word "sanctification", for example, doesn't mean the same thing in 1 Co. 6:11 as it does in 1 Co. 7:14. That's an incredibly important point. It means that not only do theological words (like justification, sanctification and glorification) not mean the same thing in the Bible as they do in systematic theology - but they don't always mean the same thing even in the Bible itself.
With those caveats out of the way, and getting back to the issue at hand, once you begin looking up words like "salvation", "justification" and even "glorification", the time line mentioned above unravels. In fact, every term used by systematic theologians to describe our salvation - all of them - have an “already—not yet” pattern. Whatever saving activity is being described, it is generally (and variously) presented as beginning at a point in time, carried through the present and brought to final fulfillment or realization at the end. Numerous passages could be listed, but I'll list just a few - notice in the passages selected how the word differs both from usage in other passages listed and from common theological currency among Christians.
Salvation is past (Eph. 2:8), present (1 Co. 1:18) and future (Mat. 10:22).
Redemption is past (1 Pet. 1:18), present (Col. 1:14) and future (Eph. 4:30).
Regeneration is past (Titus 3:5) and future (Mat. 19:28, Rev. 21:5).
Forgiveness is past (Jn. 20:23), present (1 Jn. 1:9) and future (Mt. 18:34-35).
Adoption is past (Eph. 1:5) and future (Ro. 8:23).
Justification is past (Ro. 5:11), present (Ro. 6:7 - "freed"= lit. justified) and future (Mt. 12:37).
Sanctification is past (1 Co. 6:11), present (Ro. 6:22) and future (1 Thess 5:23 - see also 2 Thess. 2:13).
Glorification is past (Ro. 8:30, i.e. proleptically), present (1 Pet. 1:8) and future (2 Thess. 1:10-12).
Much carnage has resulted among Christians because of the fundamental failure to ask what someone means by the words they're using. So the next time the theologically meticulous and doctrinaire among us (yeah, I'm included) are tempted to take someone to task for their theological imprecision, we can ask ourselves whether it's wise to indict the New Testament writers along with them.