We say “Jesus Christ” easily, almost as if “Christ” were Jesus’ surname.  Yet this name is another way of expressing who we believe Jesus to be.  Christ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word Messiah which means God’s Anointed One. 
For years before Jesus’ time the Jews had been expecting a new king, a descendant of the revered King David, who would restore the nation of Israel to glory.  Like kings of old, this one would be anointed on the head with oil, signifying God’s election; hence the Chosen One = the Messiah = the Christ. 
The early Jewish Christians proclaimed that Jesus was, indeed, this Chosen One.  Thus, in calling him our Christ today, we affirm that he was and is the fulfillment of the ancient hope and God’s Chosen One to bring salvation to all peoples, for all time. 
What does it mean to be saved and to be assured of salvation?  It’s to know that after feeling lost and alone, we’ve been found by God.  It’s to know that after feeling worthless, we’ve been redeemed.  It’s to experience a reunion with God, others, the natural world, and our own best selves.  It’s a healing of the alienation- the estrangement- we’ve experienced.  In salvation we become whole.  Salvation happens to us both now and for the future.  It’s “eternal life”, that new quality of life in unity with God of which the Gospel of John speaks– a life that begins not at death, but in the present.