Saving to the Uttermost


I’m sometimes amazed at how people wrestle with the word of God, performing lexical gymnastics. They ignore the express provisions of the word of God and isolate verses of scripture out of context. All to prove that God is unable to save his loved ones to the uttermost – from here till eternity. What can be clearer than Hebrews 7:25 (AMP): “Therefore he (Jesus) is able to save to the uttermost, completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity those who come to God through Him, since he is always living to make petition to God and intercede with him and intervene for them.”

The Book of Hebrews says Jesus is our Great High Priest. He is unlike the Old Testament priests. The Old Testament priests had to sacrifice for themselves before sacrificing for the sins of the people. But this Jesus was himself the sacrifice. When he rose from the dead he became our living sacrifice. His sacrifice can never be obliterated. His priesthood is after the Order of Melchizedek not the Levitical order. His ascension into priesthood marked a change in the line of priesthood. Our Lord is from the tribe of Judah.

A change in the order of priesthood means there must be concomitant alteration of the law of priesthood (Hebrews 7:12). Unlike the Old Testament priests who died, Jesus is a “Priest FOREVER after the Order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 7:17). God swore to this: “The Lord has sworn and will not regret or change his mind. You are a priest forever according to the Order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 7:21, Psalm 110:4). And so Jesus became the Guarantee of a stronger agreement and more advantageous covenant with God (Hebrews 7:22). That is why the provisions of the New Testament supercede the provisions of the Ten Commandments (The Law) (Hebrews 7:22).

Because he cannot die, the priesthood of Jesus is perpetual. It cannot be abrogated, it cannot be changed (Hebrews 7:24). It is for this reason that he is able to save to the end of eternity and for all time those who believe in him. This our high priest Jesus, is seated at the right hand of God the Majesty (Psalm 110:1). He is “Otunba”. His priesthood is in heaven not on earth. The Levitical priesthood subsists on earth (Hebrews 8:4). Because the temple on earth is merely a copy of that which is in Heaven, the priesthood of Jesus is thus superior (Hebrews 8:5).

His ministry is superior because it rests on a superior covenant. The New Testament is more superior than the Old Testament (Hebrews 8:6-9). Unlike the Old Testament laws which were engraved on stone, the New Covenant laws are engraved on hearts: “I will imprint my laws upon their minds, even upon the innermost thoughts and understanding, and engrave them upon their hearts; and I will be their God and they will be my people” (Hebrews 8:10). It is for this reason that the operative principle of the New Testament is not the observance of laws and commands. The operative principle of the New Testament is Dynamic Responsiveness to the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 8:11, Philippians 2:12-13 MSG).

Listen to God’s promise to you: “For I will be merciful and gracious towards their sins, and I will remember their deeds of unrighteousness no more” (Hebrews 8:12, Jeremiah 31: 31-34). If you sin, you have a faithful High Priest in heaven who lives forever to make intercession to God on your behalf. Stop living in condemnation and fear. Don’t let anyone put the yoke of bondage upon you. Jesus is your High Priest. He is a living sacrifice for your sins. He cannot die. He’s always praying for you (Romans 8:34).

You are forgiven not because God overlooks sin but because the sacrifice of Jesus avails for you. Whatever debt you owe to God Jesus paid. This is referred to as “Satisfaction Theory of the Atonement” in theology. And Jesus paid for your sins before you were born. Your sins were in the future when Jesus died. He died for your sins – past, present and future. There is no other atonement for sins. He died for everyone (I John 2:2).

Those who insist Jesus cannot save to the uttermost often quote Hebrews 6: 4-6: “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away to renew them unto repentance;  seeing they crucify to themselves the son of God afresh and put him to an open shame.”

But quoting verses of scripture out of context is nothing but scriptural murder. You can’t just lift a phrase out of context from a book or a letter, and bandy it around. It is mischief. Hebrews 6:1-3, which of course comes before Hebrews 6:4-6 says the doctrine of eternal salvation is so fundamental it’s nursery school stuff. That we should move beyond it. In fact Hebrews 6:1-6 suggests if you’re still arguing on eternal salvation you’re immature in Christ. Says grow up! Hebrews 6:1-3 (MSG): “Let’s leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. THE BASIC FOUNDATIONAL TRUTHS ARE IN PLACE: TURNING YOUR BACK ON “SALVATION BY SELF-HELP” and turning IN TRUST TOWARDS GOD.” Clearly these verses are saying salvation is by grace.

The verses go on to say that the doctrine of eternal salvation is as fundamental as the doctrine of baptism. Hebrews 6:4-6 is a metaphorical reinforcement of the fact of eternal salvation. It’s reinforcing Hebrews 6:1-3. It is saying in essence that you cannot be born again, again! To imagine so you’ll need to crucify Christ anew! And that is an impossibility. The Christ can only be struck once! Christ is not struck twice. It’s why God was upset with Moses in the wilderness when he struck the rock twice in unbelief. (Exodus 17:6, Numbers 20:8-12)

1 Corinthians 10:4 tells us that the Rock that followed the Israelites was the Christ. You MUST read Hebrews 6:1-6 as a whole. You can’t isolate verses 4-6. Indeed you must read Hebrews 6:1-12 together.

Moreover, you can’t isolate 3 verses from the general thrust of the Book of Hebrews, which we find in chapters 7 & 8. The thrust of Hebrews 7 & 8 is that Jesus by his priesthood is going to save those who believe in him to the uttermost. How can Hebrews 6:4-6 preach against eternal salvation and Hebrews 7 & 8 preach eternal salvation?! How can we pit three verses of scripture against the entire book and against the subject of the book? If the book says the eternal priesthood of Jesus is what guarantees us eternal salvation, three verses can’t contradict that. And Hebrews 6:9 already told us that the writer was merely laying forth a syllogism to further his earlier point. The point being eternal salvation is fundamental.

And so the terrible prognosis is inapplicable to the correspondents: “Dear friends, even though we’re talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you’re meant for better things. Things that come with salvation” (Hebrews 6:9). We must stop quoting scriptures out of context.

Let no one put fear of damnation in you. If you’ve given your life to Christ you ARE already saved! If you’re born again Jesus has ALREADY given you eternal life. He’s not going to give you eternal life. It’s why Paul said, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

If you’ll like to give your life to Christ, please pray this prayer: Father I acknowledge that I am a sinner, that Jesus died for me, that God raised him from the dead. I confess with my mouth that Jesus Christ is my Lord. Amen.

© Leke Alder |