DM asks two great questions: “Is there a difference between salvation and born again? Can salvation and born again be used interchangeably?”
In my book, The Ten Most Misunderstood Words in the Bible, I have a chapter on the words save and salvation. I show that in the Bible those words typically refer to deliverance from difficulties in this life. Only rarely do they refer to being born again and having everlasting life.
If you are familiar with a Venn diagram, you get the idea. Imagine two circles that overlap slightly. The small area of overlap is true of save and everlasting life.
Look at John 3:16-17:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Everlasting life in verse 16 means the same thing as saved in verse 17. (And perish is parallel to condemnation.)
But that is actually a rare use of the word save.
Here are NT examples where save means delivered from difficulties in this life:
“…who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water” (1 Pet 3:20).
“But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land…” (Acts 27:43).
“…and saying, ‘You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross’” (Matt 27:40).
“And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven” (Jas 5:15).
Dr. Earl Radmacher used to joke that he was sometimes saved three times before dinner. He meant that God saved him from various difficulties: car accidents, financial loss, shame, illness, etc.
Saved people need saving all the time. That is, people with everlasting life still need God to save them from the many difficulties they face in this life.
Great questions, DM.