Greek: hothen kai sozein (PAN) eis to panteles dunatai (3SPPI) tous proserchomenous (PMPMPA) di autou to theo pantote zon (PAPMSN) eis to entugchanein (PAN) huper auton
Amplified: Therefore He is able also 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. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
BBE: So that he is fully able to be the Saviour of all who come to God through him, because he is ever living to make prayer to God for them.
ESV: Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them (ESV)
KJV: Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
NLT: Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save everyone who comes to God through him. He lives forever to plead with God on their behalf. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: This means that he can save fully and completely those who approach God through him, for he is always living to intercede on their behalf. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Weymouth: Hence too He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, seeing that He ever lives to plead for them.
Wuest: for which reason also He is able to be saving completely and forever those who come to God through Him, being always alive for the purpose of continually making intercession for them (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: whence also he is able to save to the very end, those coming through him unto God--ever living to make intercession for them.
THE WORK OF
|He has appeared at the Cross for
|He now appears at the right hand of the throne for
|He shall appear a Second time for the elect's final
|He appeared for our
|He now appears for our
|He shall appear for our
|He has appeared in Humiliation||He does appear in Exaltation||He shall appear in Universal Manifestation|
|He has appeared for our Justification||He does appear for our Sanctification||He shall appear for our Glorification|
THEREFORE HE IS ABLE ALSO TO SAVE FOREVER THOSE WHO DRAW NEAR TO GOD THROUGH HIM: hothen kai sozein (PAN) eis to panteles dunatai (3SPPI) tous proserchomenous (PMPMPA) di autou to theo pantote zon (PAPMSN) eis to entugchanein (PAN) huper auton: (Heb 2:18; 5:7; Isaiah 45:22; 63:1; Daniel 3:15,17,29; 6:20; John 5:37, 38, 39, 40; 10:29; John 10:30; Ephesians 3:20; Philippians 3:21; 2Timothy 1:12; Jude 1:24) (Heb 7:19; 11:6; Job 22:17; 23:3; Psalms 68:31,32; Isaiah 45:24; Jeremiah 3:22) (Hebrews 13:15; John 14:6; Romans 5:2; Ephesians 2:18; 3:12; 1John 2:1,2)
HE IS ABLE
See Related Studies:
Therefore - term of conclusion
Able (1410) (dunamai is related to dunamis) means to have intrinsic or inherent ability to achieve. The present tense means that He is continually able to provide us with His unlimited strength. disposal. Through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, the believer can serve valiantly, endure patiently, suffer triumphantly, and, if need be, die gloriously.
Note that words derived from the stem duna— all have the basic meaning of “being able,” of “capacity” in virtue of an ability. Duna- is the root for English words like dynamic, dynamo, dynamite, etc.
Dunamai - 210x in NT - Matt. 3:9; 5:14, 36; 6:24, 27; 7:18; 8:2; 9:15, 28; 10:28; 12:29, 34; 16:3; 17:16, 19; 19:12, 25; 20:22; 22:46; 26:9, 42, 53, 61; 27:42; Mk. 1:40, 45; 2:4, 7, 19; 3:20, 23ff; 4:32f; 5:3; 6:5, 19; 7:15, 18, 24; 8:4; 9:3, 22f, 28f, 39; 10:26, 38f; 14:5, 7; 15:31; Lk. 1:20, 22; 3:8; 5:12, 21, 34; 6:39, 42; 8:19; 9:40; 11:7; 12:25f; 13:11; 14:20, 26f, 33; 16:2, 13, 26; 18:26; 19:3; 20:36; 21:15; Jn. 1:46; 3:2ff, 9, 27; 5:19, 30, 44; 6:44, 52, 60, 65; 7:7, 34, 36; 8:21f, 43; 9:4, 16, 33; 10:21, 29, 35; 11:37; 12:39; 13:33, 36f; 14:5, 17; 15:4f; 16:12; Acts 4:16, 20; 5:39; 8:31; 10:47; 13:38; 15:1; 17:19; 19:40; 20:32; 21:34; 24:8, 11, 13; 25:11; 26:32; 27:12, 15, 31, 39, 43; Rom. 8:7f, 39; 15:14; 16:25; 1 Co. 2:14; 3:1f, 11; 6:5; 7:21; 10:13, 21; 12:3, 21; 14:31; 15:50; 2 Co. 1:4; 3:7; 13:8; Gal. 3:21; Eph. 3:4, 20; 6:11, 13, 16; Phil. 3:21; 1 Thess. 2:7; 3:9; 1 Tim. 5:25; 6:7, 16; 2 Tim. 2:13; 3:7, 15; Heb. 2:18; 3:19; 4:15; 5:2, 7; 7:25; 9:9; 10:1, 11; Jas. 1:21; 2:14; 3:8, 12; 4:2, 12; 1 Jn. 3:9; 4:20; Jude 1:24; Rev. 2:2; 3:8; 5:3; 6:17; 7:9; 9:20; 13:4, 17; 14:3; 15:8.
The NAS renders dunamai able(50), am able(2), can(61), cannot (w/ negative)(58), could(24), has power(1), may(1), might(3),unable (with negative) (7).
Because He abides forever and holds His priesthood forever...that is why is able to continually intercede forever! Refers to what has just been said - namely, that Jesus’ priesthood is permanent, eternal. He can save forever because He exists and ministers forever. The basis of salvation is Jesus Christ’s divine eternality.
The old sacrifices partially and temporarily covered sin, but they did not even partially or temporarily remove sin. They did not to any degree or for any length of time bring deliverance from sin. But Jesus Christ is able, perfectly able.
Since faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ, "hear" the repetitive echo of "He is able..." (Suggestion: make a list of what God is able to do and then use it in a time of prayer)
and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father'; for I say to you, that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham (Mt 3:9, cf Lu 3:8)
"And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mt 10:28)
"And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (Acts 20:32)
And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again. (see note Romans 11:23)
Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand. (see note Romans 14:4)
Now to Him Who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past (see note Romans 16:25)
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed (2 Cor 9:8)
Now to Him Who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (see note Ephesians 3:20)
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (King James Version) (see notes Philippians 3:20; Philippians 3:21)
For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. (see note 2 Timothy 1:12)
For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. (see note Hebrews 2:18)
Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)
He considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead; from which he also received him back as a type. (see note Hebrews 11:19)
Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)
There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor? (James 4:12)
Now to Him Who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy (Jude 1:24)
Spurgeon on save forever (KJV = to save them to the uttermost) - By which we understand that the uttermost extent of guilt is not beyond the power of the Savior. Can anyone tell what is the uttermost amount to which a man might sin? But there is a limit to His purpose to save. If I read the Bible rightly, there is one sin that can never be forgiven. It is the sin against the Holy Ghost. Tremble, unpardoned sinners, lest you should commit that. If I may tell you what I think the sin against the Holy Ghost is, I must say that I believe it to be different in different people; but in many persons, the sin against the Holy Ghost consists in stifling their convictions.
To Save (4982) (sozo) in general means to save, preserve from harm, rescue. Sozo is sometimes used of physical deliverance from danger of perishing (see Mt 8:25; Mt 14:30; Lu 23:35; Acts 27:20 27:31), physical healing from sickness (Mt 9:21, 22; Mk 5:23, Acts 4:9), and deliverance from demonic possession (Lk 8:36). More often sozo refers to salvation in a spiritual sense as illustrated in the following passages: Matthew recorded the angel's conversation with Joseph declaring
She (Mary) will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save (sozo) His people from their sins. (Mt 1:21)
Here sozo is equated with deliverance from sins (guilt and power of) with Jesus' Name being a transliteration of Joshua meaning "Jehovah is salvation". Stated another way, this verse speaks of our present tense salvation or our sanctification (see the Three Tenses of Salvation), the daily, ongoing process by which we are set free experientially from the power of sin. This process of salvation is unto the uttermost, and will be completed when we experience our future tense salvation or our glorification, at which time we will be "utterly saved", saved from not only the presence of sin, but also the pleasure of sin! Hallelujah! Lord haste that glorious day!
The present tense emphasizes that He continually saves. This includes then the idea that He is able to daily keep us safe and sound and to rescue us from dangerous situations and to restore us to health (esp spiritually). The nature of salvation is bringing men near to God. By delivering from sin, it qualifies believers to come to God.
Sozo - 106x in NT - Matt. 1:21; 8:25; 9:21f; 10:22; 14:30; 16:25; 19:25; 24:13, 22; 27:40, 42, 49; Mk. 3:4; 5:23, 28, 34; 6:56; 8:35; 10:26, 52; 13:13, 20; 15:30f; 16:16; Lk. 6:9; 7:50; 8:12, 36, 48, 50; 9:24; 13:23; 17:19; 18:26, 42; 19:10; 23:35, 37, 39; Jn. 3:17; 5:34; 10:9; 11:12; 12:27, 47; Acts 2:21, 40, 47; 4:9, 12; 11:14; 14:9; 15:1, 11; 16:30f; 27:20, 31; Rom. 5:9f; 8:24; 9:27; 10:9, 13; 11:14, 26; 1 Co. 1:18, 21; 3:15; 5:5; 7:16; 9:22; 10:33; 15:2; 2 Co. 2:15; Eph. 2:5, 8; 1 Thess. 2:16; 2 Thess. 2:10; 1 Tim. 1:15; 2:4, 15; 4:16; 2Ti 1:9; 4:18; Tit. 3:5; Heb. 5:7; 7:25; Jas. 1:21; 2:14; 4:12; 5:15, 20; 1 Pet. 3:21; 4:18; Jude 1:5, 23.
NAS renders sozo bring safely(1), cured(1), get well(3), insure salvation(1), made well(11),preserved(1), recover(1), restore(1), save(36), saved(50), saves(1), saving(1).
Matthew Henry writes that...
this ever-living High Priest is able to save to the utmost—in all times, in all cases, in every juncture
Forever - more literally reads something like "into or unto the completion of all" Young's Literal has "to the very end" and the venerable King James has the great phrase to the uttermost. Note that He saves not from the uttermost but to the uttermost). The unchanging nature of Jesus’ priesthood means that the salvation He gives is also unchanging, permanent, and secure. He is able to save to the uttermost. Obviously He could save us from anything but the writer's point is that Jesus saves us to something to a complete, forever salvation. Because He is our High Priest forever, He can save forever.
New Bible Commentary - The idea of 'approaching', 'drawing near', or 'coming' to God is prominent in Hebrews (cf Heb 4:16; 7:19; 10:1, 22; 11:6; 12:18, 22). Fundamentally, it expresses the idea of a relationship with God. The OT priesthood and sacrificial system only imperfectly provided for such a relationship, but Jesus is able to save completely those who relate to God through him. The language of salvation here implies deliverance from the alternative, which is the judgment of God (cf Heb 2:1-4; Heb 9:27-28; Heb 10:26-31). In fact, Christians can look to Jesus for help at every stage in their earthly pilgrimage, because he always lives to intercede for them (cf. Ro 8:34; 1 Jn 2:1-2). The image of the Heavenly Intercessor is used to emphasize Christ's willingness and ability to go on applying to us the benefits of his once-for-all sacrifice (cf Heb 2:18; 4:14-16; 10:19-22). However, the image should not be pushed too far. Jesus sits at the right hand of God, claiming the fulfilment of the covenant promises for His children, not begging for their acceptance before the Father's throne!
From the Guttermost
To the Uttermost!
The evangelist Billy Sunday had a great sermon, where he talked about how God saved him from the gutter-most because he was a gutter-drunk when God saved him.
The emphasis is on the fact that Jesus saves completely, forever, all who put their faith in Him, because He is our High Priest forever.
The KJV “to the uttermost” is accurate and significant. Jesus’ priesthood is no halfway measure, as were the animal sacrifices that only symbolized removal of sin (see notes Hebrews 10:4, 10:11). The symbol was important for that covenant. It was God-given and God-required, but still was only a symbol. But Jesus Christ is able to save both eternally and completely.
Spurgeon comments on the uttermost asking...WHAT IS THE MEASURE OF THE SAVIOUR'S ABILITY? This is a question as important as if it were for life or death—a question as to the ability of Jesus Christ. How far can salvation go? What are its limits and its boundaries? Christ is a Saviour: how far is he able to save? He is a Physician: to what extent will his skill reach to heal diseases? What a noble answer the text gives! "He is able to save to the uttermost." Now, I will certainly affirm, and no one can deny it, that no one here knows how far the uttermost is. David said, if he took the wings of the morning, to fly to the uttermost parts of the sea, even there should God reach him. But who knoweth where the uttermost is? Borrow the angel's wing, and fly far, far beyond the most remote star: go where wing has never flapped before, and where the undisturbed ether is as serene and quiet as the breast of Deity itself; you still, beyond the bounds of creation, where space itself falls, and where chaos takes up its reign: you will not come to the uttermost. It is too far for mortal intellect to conceive of; it is beyond the range of reason or of thought. Now, our text tells us that Christ is "able to save to the uttermost."
1. Sinner, I shall address thee first; and saints of God, I shall address you afterwards. Sinner, Christ is "able to save to the uttermost;" by which we understand that the uttermost extent of guilt is not beyond the power of the Saviour. Can any one tell what is the uttermost amount to which a man might sin? Some of us conceive that Palmer has gone almost to the uttermost of human depravity; we fancy that no heart could be much more vile than that which conceived a murder so deliberate, and contemplated a crime so protracted; but I can conceive it possible that there might be even worse men than he, and that if his life were spared, and he were set at large, he might become even a worse man than he is now. Yea, supposing he were to commit another murder, and then another, and another, would he have gone to the uttermost? Could not a man be yet more guilty? As long as ever he lives, he may become more guilty than he was the day before. But yet my text says, Christ is "able to save to the uttermost." I may imagine a person has crept in here, who thinks himself to be the most loathsome of all beings, the most condemned of all creatures. "Surely," says he, "I have gone to the utmost extremity of sin; none could outstrip me in vice." My dear friend, suppose you had gone to the uttermost, remember that even then you would not have gone beyond the reach of divine mercy; for he is "able to save to the uttermost," and it is possible that you yourself might go a little further, and therefore you have not gone to the uttermost yet. However far you may have gone—if you have gone to the very artic regions of vice, where the sun of mercy seems to scatter but a few oblique rays, there can the light of salvation reach you. If I should see a sinner staggering on in his progress to hell, I would not give him up, even when he had advanced to the last stage of iniquity. Though his foot hung trembling over the very verge of perdition, I would not cease to pray for him; and though he should in his poor drunken wickedness go staggering on till one foot were over hell, and he were ready to perish, I would not despair of him. Till the pit had shut her mouth upon him I would believe it still possible that divine grace might save him. See here! he is just upon the edge of the pit, ready to fall; but ere he falls, free grace bids, "Arrest that man!" Down mercy comes, catches him on her broad wings, and he is saved, a trophy of redeeming love. If there be any such in this vast assembly—if there be any here of the outcast of society, the vilest of the vile, the scum, the draff of this poor world,—oh! ye chief of sinners! Christ is "able to save to the uttermost." Tell that everywhere, in every garret, in every cellar, in every haunt of vice, in every kennel of sin; tell it everywhere! "To the uttermost!" "He is able to save them to the uttermost."
2. Yet again: not only to the uttermost of crime, but to the uttermost of rejection. I must explain what I mean by this. There are many of you here who have heard the gospel from your youth up. I see some here, who like myself are children of pious parents. There are some of you upon whose infant forehead the pure heavenly drops of a mother's tears continually fell; there are many of you here who were trained up by one whose knee, whenever it was bent, was ever bent for you, her first-born son. Your mother has gone to heaven, it may be, and all the prayers she ever prayed for you are as yet unanswered. Sometimes you wept. You remember well how she grasped your hand, and said to you, "Ah! John, you will break my heart by this your sin, if you continue running on in those ways of iniquity: oh! if you did but melt, and you would fly to Christ." Do you not remember that time? The hot sweat stood upon your brow, and you said—for you could not break her heart—"Mother, I will think of it;" and you did think of it; but you met your companion outside, and it was all gone: your mother's expostulation was brushed away; like the thin cobwebs of the gossamer, blown by the swift north wind, not a trace of it was left. Since then you have often stepped in to hear the minister. Not long ago you heard a powerful sermon; the minister spoke as though he were a man just started from his grave, with as much earnestness as if he had been a sheeted ghost come back from the realms of despair, to tell you his own awful fate, and warn you of it. You remember how the tears rolled down your cheeks. while he told you of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come; you remember how he preached to you Jesus and salvation by the cross, and you rose up from your seat in that chapel, and you said, "Please God I am spared another day, I will turn to him with full purpose of heart." And there you are, still unchanged—perhaps worse than you were; and you have spent your Sunday afternoon the angel knows where: and your mother's spirit knows where you have spent it too, and could she weep, she would weep over you who have this day despised God's Sabbath, and trampled on his Holy Word. But doest thou feel in thine heart to-night the tender motions of the Holy Spirit? Dost thou feel something say, "Sinner! come to Christ now?" Dost thou hear conscience whispering to thee, telling thee of thy past transgression? And is there some sweet angel voice, saying, "Come to Jesus, come to Jesus; he will save you yet?" I tell you, sinner, you may have rejected Christ to the very uttermost; but he is still able to save you. There are a thousand prayers on which you have trampled, there are a hundred sermons all wasted on you, there are thousands of Sabbaths which you have thrown away; you have rejected Christ, you have despised his Spirit; but still he ceases not to cry, "Return, return!" He is "able to save thee to the uttermost," if thou comest unto God by him.
3. There is another case which demands my particular attention to-night. It is that of the man who has gone to the uttermost of despair. There are some poor creatures in the world, who from a course of crime have become hardened, and when at last aroused by remorse and the pricklings of conscience, there is an evil spirit which broods over them, telling them it is hopeless for such as they are to seek salvation. We have met with some who have gone so far that they have thought that even devils might be saved rather than they could. They have given themselves up for lost, and signed their own death-warrant, and in such a state of mind have positively taken the halter in their hand, to end their unhappy lives. Despair has brought many a man to a premature death; it hath sharpened many a knife, and mingled many a cup of poison. Have I a despairing person here? I know him by his sombre face and downcast looks. He wishes he were dead, for he thinks that hell itself could be scarce worse torment than to be here expecting it. Let me whisper to him words of consolation. Despairing soul! hope yet, for Christ is able to save to the uttermost;" and though thou art put in the lowest dungeon of the castle of despair, though key after key hath been turned upon thee, and the iron grating of thy window forbids all filing, and the height of thy prison-wall is so awful that thou couldst not expect to escape, yet let me tell thee, there is one at the gate who can break every bolt, and undo every lock; there is one who can lead thee out to God's free air and save thee yet, for though the worst may come to the worst, he "is able to save thee to the uttermost."
4. And now a word to the saint, to comfort him: for this text is his also. Beloved brother in the gospel! Christ is able to save thee to the uttermost. Art thou brought very low by distress? hast thou lost house and home, friend and property? Remember, thou hast not come "to the uttermost" yet, Badly off as thou art, thou mightest be worse. He is able to save thee; and suppose it should come to this, that thou hadst not a rag left, nor a crust, nor a drop of water, still he would be able to save thee, for "he is able to save to the uttermost." So with temptation. If thou shouldst have the sharpest temptation with which mortal was ever tried, he is able to save thee. If thou shouldst be brought into such a predicament that the foot of the devil should be upon thy neck, and the fiend should say, "Now I will make an end of thee," God would be able to save thee then. Ay, and in the uttermost infirmity shouldst thou live for many a year, till thou art leaning on thy staff, and tottering along thy weary life, if thou shouldst outlive Methusaleh, thou couldst not live beyond the uttermost, and he would save thee then. Yes, and when thy little bark is launched by death upon the unknown sea of eternity, he will be with thee; and though thick vapours of gloomy darkness gather round thee, and thou canst not see into the dim future, though thy thoughts tell thee that thou wilt be destroyed, yet God will be "able to save thee to the uttermost."
Then, my friends, if Christ is able to save a Christian to the uttermost, do you suppose he will ever let a Christian perish? Wherever I go, I hope always to bear my hearty protest against the most accursed doctrine of a saint's falling away and perishing. There are some ministers who preach that a man may be a child of God (now, angels! do not hear what I am about to say, listen to me, ye who are down below in hell, for it may suit you) that a man may be a child of God to-day, and a child of the devil to-morrow; that God may acquit a man, and yet condemn him—save him by grace, and then let him perish—suffer a man to be taken out of Christ's hands, though he has said such a thing shall never take place. How will you explain this? It certainly is no lack of power. You must accuse him of a want of love, and will you dare to do that? He is full of love; and since he has also the power, he will never suffer one of his people to perish. It is true, and ever shall be true, that he will save them to the very uttermost. (Salvation to the Uttermost)
The KJV Bible Commentary has an interesting note regarding the phrase save them to the uttermost "The possibilities for this Greek phrase are twofold, completely or forever. The context allows both ideas; and so the broader meaning, completely, seems the more appropriate usage. The one other occurrence of this Greek phrase also suggests completeness (Lk 13:11—of a woman completely stooped over). Christ has saved us to the uttermost; our salvation is complete in every respect. It is complete in regard to time; so it is secure to the end of time. It is complete in that it can perfect regeneration in any life. (Dobson, E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV Bible Commentary: Nelson)
Those - Spurgeon addresses who those are - "There is no limitation here of sect or denomination: it does not say, the Baptist, the Independent, or the Episcopalian that come unto God by Jesus Christ, but it simply says, "those," by which I understand men of all creeds, men of all ranks, men of all classes, who do but come to Jesus Christ. They shall be saved, whatever their apparent position before men, or whatever may be the denomination to which they have linked themselves. (Salvation to the Uttermost)
Draw near (4334) (proserchomai - word study from prós = facing + érchomai = come) means literally to come facing toward and so to approach or come near. To come to visit or associate with. It describes the approach to or entry into a deity’s presence. In the Septuagint (LXX) proserchomai was the verb used to describe the approach of the priests to Jehovah for worship and to perform of their priestly (Levitical) functions. But here in Hebrews, under the New covenant, all seven uses of proserchomai refer to believers possessing the privilege of access to God the Father through Christ the Great High Priest.
In Heb 7:25 proserchomai is in the present tense which emphasizes continual activity, but it also indicates that we have continual access to God through Jesus! O how I fear I fall so short of "taking advantage" of this "opportunity of a life time!" We see a parallel passage in Ro 5:1-2-note where those justified by faith have access ("introduction" - see study of prosagoge) to the Father through Jesus.
Drawing near is a common theme in the seven uses of proserchomai in Hebrews...
Hebrews 4:16 (note) Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need. (Comment: "Let us..." emphasizes that this privilege is always available to those under the New Covenant. Do we really comprehend and avail ourselves of the profundity of this privilege?)
Hebrews 7:25 (note) Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Hebrews 10:1 (note) For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near.
Hebrews 10:22 (note) let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 11:6 (note) And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes (drawn near) to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Hebrews 12:18 (note) For you have not come (drawn near) to a mountain that may be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind,
Hebrews 12:22 (note) But you have come (drawn near) to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,
Draw near unto God - Spurgeon writes...
They "come unto God." By coming to God we are not to understand the mere formality of devotion, since this may be but a solemn means of sinning.
What a splendid general confession is that in the Church of England Prayer Book: "We have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep; we have done those things which we ought not to have done, and we have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and there is no health in us." There is not to be found a finer confession in the English language. And yet how often, my dear friends, have the best of us mocked God by repeating such expressions verbally, and thinking we have done our duty! How many of you go to chapel, and must confess your own absence of mind while you have bowed your knee in prayer, or uttered a song of praise! My friends, it is one thing to go to church or chapel; it is quite another thing to go to God.
There are many people who can pray right eloquently, and who do so; who have learned a form of prayer by heart, or, perhaps, use an extemporary form of words of their own composing: but who, instead of going to God, are all the while going from God.
Let me persuade you all not to be content with mere formality. There will be many damned who never broke the Sabbath, as they thought, but who, all their lives were Sabbath-breakers. It is as much possible to break the Sabbath in a church as it is to break the Sabbath in the park; it is as easy to break it here in this solemn assembly as in your own houses. Every one of you virtually break the Sabbath when you merely go through a round of duties, having done which, you retire to your chambers, fully content with yourselves, and fancy that all is over—that you have done your day's work—whereas, you have never come to God at all, but have merely come to the outward ordinance and to the visible means, which is quite another thing from coming to God himself.
And let me tell you, again, that coming to God is not what some of you suppose—now and then sincerely performing an act of devotion, but giving to the world the greater part of your life.
You think that if sometimes you are sincere, if now and then you put up an earnest cry to heaven, God will accept you; and though your life may be still worldly, and your desires still carnal, you suppose that for the sake of this occasional devotion God will be pleased, in his infinite mercy, to blot out your sins. I tell you, sinners, there is no such thing as bringing half of yourselves to God, and leaving the other half away. If a man has come here, I suppose he has brought his whole self with him; and so if a man comes to God, he cannot come, half of him, and half of him stay away.
Our whole being must be surrendered to the service of our Maker. We must come to him with an entire dedication of ourselves, giving up all we are, and all we ever shall be, to be thoroughly devoted to his service, otherwise we have never come to God aright.
I am astonished to see how people in these days try to love the world and love Christ too; according to the old proverb, they "hold with the hare and run with the hounds." They are real good Christians sometimes, when they think they ought to be religious; but they are right bad fellows at other seasons, when they think that religion would be a little loss to them.
Let me warn you all. It is of no earthly use for you to pretend to be on two sides of the question.
"If God be God, serve him; If Baal be God, serve him."
I like an out-and-out man of any sort. Give me a man that is a sinner: I have some hope for him when I see him sincere in his vices, and open to acknowledging his own character; but if you give me a man who is half-hearted, who is not quite bold enough to be all for the devil, nor quite sincere enough to be all for Christ, I tell you, I despair of such a man as that. The man who wants to link the two together is in an extremely hopeless case.
Do you think, sinners, you will be able to serve two masters, when Christ has said you cannot? Do you fancy you can walk with God and walk with mammon too? Will you take God on one arm, and the devil on the other? Do you suppose you can be allowed to drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of Satan at the same time? I tell you, ye shall depart, as cursed and miserable hypocrites, if so you come to God.
God will have the whole of you come, or else you shall not come at all. The whole man must seek after the Lord; the whole soul must be poured out before him; otherwise it is no acceptable coming to God at all. Oh, halters between two opinions, remember this and tremble.
I think I hear one say, "Well, then, tell us what it is to come to God." I answer, coming to God implies, leaving something else. If a man comes to God, he must leave his sins; he must leave his righteousness; he must leave both his bad works and his good ones, and come to God, leaving them entirely.
Again, coming to God implies, there is no aversion towards him; for a man will not come to God while he hates God; he will be sure to keep away. Coming to God signifies having some love to God. Again: coming to God signifies desiring God, desiring to be near to him. And, above all, it signifies praying to God and putting faith in him. This is coming to God; and those that have come to God in that fashion are among the saved. The come to God: that is the place to which their eager spirits hasten. (Salvation to the Uttermost)
Through Him - What a great truth this is as shown in the following passages.
Spurgeon has the following thoughts on through Him "But notice, next, how they come. The "come unto God by Jesus Christ." We have known many persons who call themselves natural religionists. They worship the God of nature, and they think that they can approach God apart from Jesus Christ. There be some men we wot of who despise the mediation of the Saviour, and, who, if they were in an hour of peril, would put up their prayer at once to God, without faith in the Mediator. Do such of you fancy that you will be heard and saved by the great God your Creator, apart from the merits of his Son? Let me solemnly assure you, in God's most holy name, there never was a prayer answered for salvation, by God the Creator, since Adam fell, without Jesus Christ the Mediator. "No man can come unto God but by Jesus Christ;" and if any one of you deny the Divinity of Christ, and if any soul among you do not come to God through the merits of a Saviour, bold fidelity obliges me to pronounce you condemned persons; for however amiable you may be, you cannot be right in the rest, unless you think rightly of him. I tell you, ye may offer all the prayers that ever may be prayed, but ye shall be damned, unless ye put them up through Christ. It is all in vain for you to take your prayers and carry them yourself to the throne. "Get thee hence, sinner; get thee hence," says God; "I never knew thee. Why didst not thou put thy prayer into the hands of a Mediator? It would have been sure of an answer. But as thou presentest it thyself, see what I will do with it!" And he read your petition, and casts it to the four winds of heaven; and thou goest away unheard, unsaved. The Father will never save a man apart from Christ; there is not one soul now in heaven who was not saved by Jesus Christ; there is not one who ever came to God aright, who did not come through Jesus Christ. If you would be at peace with God, you must come to him through Christ, as the way, the truth, and the life, making mention of his righteousness, and of his only. (Salvation to the Uttermost)
Consider the following simple study - observe and record the wonderful truths that accrue through Him - this would make an edifying, easy to prepare Sunday School lesson - then take some time to give thanks for these great truths by offering up a sacrifice of praise...through Him.
Jn 1:3 [NIV reads "through Him"], Jn 1:7, John 1:10, Jn 3:17, Jn 14:6, Acts 2:22, 3:16, Acts 7:25, Acts 10:43, Acts 13:38, 39, Ro 5:9 [note], Ro 8:37 [note], Ro 11:36 [note]; 1Co 8:6, Ep 2:18 [note], Php 4:13 [note], Col 1:20 [note], Col 2:15 [note], Col 3:17 [note], Heb 7:25 [note], Heb 13:15 [note], 1Pe 1:21[note], 1John 4:9
Would you like more study on the wonderful topic of through Him? Study also the NT uses of the parallel phrase through Jesus (or similar phrases - "through Whom", "through our Lord", etc) - John 1:17, Acts 10:36, Ro 1:4, 5- note; Ro 1:8-note, Ro 2:16-note, Ro 5:1-note; Ro 5:2-note Ro 5:11-note, Ro 5:21-note, Ro 7:25-note, Ro 16:27-note, 1Cor 15:57, 2Cor 1:5, 3:4, 5:18, Gal 1:1, Eph 1:5-note, Php 1:11-note, 1Th 5:9-note; Titus 3:6-note, He 1:2-note; He 2:10-note, Heb 13:21-note, 1Pe 2:5-note, 1Pe 4:11-note, Jude 1:25)
All things are from Him, through Him and to Him. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
SINCE HE ALWAYS LIVES TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR THEM: di autou to theo pantote zon (PAPMSN) eis to entugchanein (PAN) huper auton: (Heb 7:8,16,24) (Heb 9:24; Isaiah 53:12; 59:16; Daniel 9:16; John 14:13,16; 16:23,24; 17:9-26; Romans 8:34; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 John 2:1,2; Revelation 8:3,4)
Lives (zao) means to live and is sometimes used literally of physical life, of return from the dead or of recovery from sickness (Jn 4:50). Here it conveys more the sense of Christ's supernatural, eternal, resurrection life (although of course He lived before the resurrection for He is the eternal God). Note the first NT use below which is especially relevant to believers.
Zao - 140x in the NT - Matt. 4:4; 9:18; 16:16; 22:32; 26:63; 27:63; Mk. 5:23; 12:27; 16:11; Lk. 2:36; 4:4; 10:28; 15:13, 32; 20:38; 24:5, 23; Jn. 4:10f, 50f, 53; 5:25; 6:51, 57f; 7:38; 11:25f; 14:19; Acts 1:3; 7:38; 9:41; 10:42; 14:15; 17:28; 20:12; 22:22; 25:19, 24; 26:5; 28:4; Rom. 1:17; 6:2, 10f, 13; 7:1ff, 9; 8:12f; 9:26; 10:5; 12:1; 14:7ff, 11; 1 Co. 7:39; 9:14; 15:45; 2 Co. 1:8; 3:3; 4:11; 5:15; 6:9, 16; 13:4; Gal. 2:14, 19f; 3:11f; 5:25; Phil. 1:21f; Col. 2:20; 3:7; 1 Thess. 1:9; 3:8; 4:15, 17; 5:10; 1 Tim. 3:15; 4:10; 5:6; 2 Tim. 3:12; 4:1; Tit. 2:12; Heb. 2:15; 3:12; 4:12; 7:8, 25; 9:14, 17; 10:20, 31, 38; 12:9, 22; Jas. 4:15; 1 Pet. 1:3, 23; 2:4f, 24; 4:5f; 1 Jn. 4:9; Rev. 1:18; 2:8; 3:1; 4:9f; 7:2; 10:6; 13:14; 15:7; 19:20; 20:4f
In Isaiah we read a passage that speaks ultimately of the Messiah...
And He saw that there was no man, and was astonished that there was no one to intercede; Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, and His righteousness upheld Him (Isaiah 59:16)
In Hebrews 9 we read that...
For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us (see note Hebrews 9:24)
Paul reminds us that...
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (1 Ti 2:5))
In Romans Paul asks...
John adds this encouraging note regarding our High Priest's present ministry...
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. (1 John 2:1-2)
To make intercession (1793) (entugchano [word study] from en = in + tugcháno = get, obtain) means to meet, to approach, to appeal, to make petition, to entreat, to make intercession. It can convey the idea of to ask for something with urgency and intensity (plead, beg, appeal to, petition). Don't misunderstand what he is not implying here. He is not saying that God the Father is continually angry with us and thus God the Son must constantly appeal to Him not to judge us!
Entugchano - 5x in the NT - Acts 25:24; Rom. 8:27, 34; 11:2; Heb. 7:25
Entugchano was sometimes used of bringing a petition before a king on behalf of another.
Vincent writes that the verb entugchano...
means to light upon or fall in with; to go to meet for consultation, conversation, or supplication.
The idea of entugchano is first to meet up with or to encounter, then to meet with for the purposes of conversation or an interview, and then to approach someone with a petition. Entugchano thus means to make an earnest request through contact with the one approached. To entreat (in favor or against), to make intercession, to bring a petition to a king on behalf of someone, to ask for something with urgency and intensity, to plead, beg, appeal to or to petition.
Our Great High Priest speaks to His Father on our behalf and He is engaged in this gracious work continually (present tense) He is continuously interceding on behalf of His brethren.
Wiersbe - It has well been said that Christ’s life in heaven is His prayer for us. It is what He is that determines what He does. In reviewing the reasoning found in this long section (Heb 7:11-25), we are impressed with the logic of the writer. Jesus Christ’s priesthood after the order of Melchizedek is superior to that of Aaron and has replaced it. Both the historical argument and the doctrinal argument are sound. But the writer adds a third argument. (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)
In classic Greek entugchano was used to refer to bringing a petition before a king on behalf of another person, a perfect picture of what our great High Priest daily does for us. No act in the ritual of the Day of Atonement prefigured this. The Aaronic high priest offered no prayer of intercession while in the holy of holies.
Jameison writes that...
There was but the one offering on earth once for all. But the intercession for us in the heavens is ever continuing, whence the result follows, that we can never be separated from the love of God in Christ. He intercedes only for those who come unto God through Him, not for the unbelieving world (Jn 17:9). As samples of His intercession, compare the prophetical descriptions in the Old Testament.
“By an humble omnipotency (for it was by His humiliation that He obtained all power), or omnipotent humility, appearing in the presence, and presenting His postulations at the throne of God” [Bishop Pearson].
He was not only the offering, but the priest who offered it. Therefore, He has become not only a sacrifice, but an intercessor; His intercession being founded on His voluntary offering of Himself without spot to God. We are not only then in virtue of His sacrifice forgiven, but in virtue of the intercession admitted to favor and grace [Archbishop Magee]. (Hebrews 7)
Wuest writes that Messiah's current intercession "includes every form of Messiah’s identifying Himself with humanity, and includes the idea of intercession. The writer speaks here of the present intercession of Messiah on behalf of believers, which is based upon and follows His once-for-all offering of Himself as the sacrifice for sin. (Hebrews Commentary online)
Vincent feels that here in Hebrews 7:25 that the idea of entugchano "is not intercession, but intervention. It includes every form of Christ’s identifying Himself with human interests. The attempt has been made to trace this idea to Philo, who alludes to the suppliant Logos, and the the advocate-Logos. But the Logos is not treated by Philo as a divine-human personality intervening for men, but as a poetical personification allegorically considered (Ed note: Just another fact that should cause the judicious reader to be wary when reading men like Philo and instead to stick very close to the pure milk of the Word!). (Comment: Moffatt wrote that "His intercession has red blood in it, unlike Philo’s conception”)
Spurgeon - That Man who once died on the cross is alive; that Jesus who was buried in the tomb is alive. Jesus resembles Melchizedek in being both king and priest, in having no predecessor or successor in office, and in being greater than the Levitical priesthood. He is a priest forever by the oath of God, and we who trust in Him have this sweet consolation that our Great High Priest ever lives, is always in power, is always accessible, and always ready to perform His office on our behalf. The Lord Jesus Christ in His perpetual priesthood lives on purpose to be the Advocate, Defender, Patron, Mediator, and Interposer for His people. You who come to God by Him will highly esteem this constant service rendered to you by your Lord. Whereas Christ by His death provided all that was necessary for your salvation, He, by His life, applies the provision that He made in His death. He lives on purpose to see brought home to you, and enjoyed by you, all those blessed boons and privileges that He purchased upon the tree, when He died in your room and stead.
Dr John Walvoord notes that the verb entugchano is used twice to refer to Christ's intercession and adds that there are...
two other instances where a noun form enteuxis is used, (1Ti 2:1, 1Ti 4:5), in which instances the word is translated intercession and prayer respectively, being used for the prayers of men to God. It is significant that the same word, which is used of Christ’s intercession in its verb form (entugchano), is used of the prayer of men in its noun form. This would imply a close resemblance and would justify the conclusion that the intercession of Christ in some sense is similar to that of human prayer and, therefore, more than mere presence in heaven.
This conclusion is confirmed by the reference in the Scriptures to the intercession of the Holy Spirit in Romans 8:26; 8:27 (note). The intercession of the Spirit is prompted by the fact that believers do not know how to pray as they should and the Holy Spirit therefore presents their petitions. If it may be concluded from this that the Holy Spirit is engaged in real intercession, it would imply that the intercession of Christ is equally real...
Accordingly, it may be concluded that while intercession may not necessarily take the form of words and may not carry out all the forms of human expression used on earth, the fact that similar words for intercession are used both for the intercession of Christ and the prayers of men implies that the reality of intercession is more than the presence of Christ in heaven.
Intercession, therefore, may be considered an act not merely an inevitability due to the nature of His person and circumstances, but an active presentation in some form of the needs of believers on earth. While the nature of communication between two glorified omniscient beings, such as the Father and the Son, is beyond human powers to understand, the fact that this is inscrutable and beyond our comprehension is not necessarily an argument against its reality.
The conclusion therefore is that the intercession of Christ is (1) real; (2) more than mere presence of the life of the glorified Man; (3) may be vocal, but not necessarily; (4) involves active communication between the Son and the Father.
The results of the intercession of Christ. For those prepared to enter into its wonderful truth, the fact that Christ intercedes for His own in heaven is another guarantee of the security of the believer. While the hope of the believer for eternal salvation rests essentially on his possession of eternal life and the finished character of the death of Christ, it is undoubtedly strengthened by the fact of the intercession of Christ. In His intercession in heaven Christ sustains the believer and keeps him from many of the spiritual dangers of life. Such intercession pleads the fact that the believer is in Christ and a partaker of His righteousness. The work of Christ in intercession also pledges the ultimate sanctification of the believer and all that is necessary to effect this end. The doctrine of intercession taken as a whole makes clear that salvation is progressive. While the ultimate purpose of God is sure from the beginning in all of its time factors, salvation is a work of God for man through Christ which once begun is carried on triumphantly to its conclusion in eternity.
The intercession of Christ is also most significant as providing the secret for keeping the believer from the sin of the world. The nature of Christ’s intercession is indicated in His prayer in John 17:11, 15 in which He prays that believers might be kept from evil. Undoubtedly many a spiritual triumph and many a godly life are explainable not by human factors, but by the faithfulness of the Son of God as He intercedes for His own.
The intercession of Christ is also vitally related to the matter of the believer’s fellowship with God. By preventing sin, a basis for continued fellowship is provided. When a believer does sin, Christ in His advocacy provides a way for restoration. On the divine side, adjustment is always made immediately when the believers sin. God is never out of adjustment in His part of His relationship to the believer. On the experiential side, however, that is, the human side, fellowship is conditioned on the believer’s response to the pleadings of God, his confession of his sin, and his resulting restoration through the sanctifying blood of Christ. Accordingly, the continued fellowship of the believer according to 1John 1:5 - 1John 2:2 is based on the blood of Christ and conditioned on confession of known sin.
The doctrine of intercession emphasizes the great truth that Christ never ceases to intercede for His own. While human prayers on earth are limited in both extent and power, the intercession of Christ knows no limits within the will of God. As an infinite person Christ is able to concentrate His intercession wholly on each individual believer without any diminution or detraction from the needs of any other. In effect, the believer is assured of the intercession of Christ in such a manner as would be true if Christ centered all His love and all His intercession on that one believer. Whatever may be the limitation of human prayers, the believer is assured that there is One who never ceases to pray to him and his needs and that this Intercessor has all power and favor with the Father and, accordingly, “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ep 3:20 -see note Ep 3:20). (Bibliotheca Sacra: Volume 122, page 105)
Ray Stedman notes that in his commentary (The Epistle to the Hebrews. The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans) F F Bruce
...suggests we have a sample of that intercession in our Lord’s prayer for Peter (Lk 22:32) and in his high priestly prayer of John 17. In answer to those prayers, all believers are being shaped and polished by the Spirit into the likeness of Christ (2 Cor 3:18). That perfect likeness is gradually growing within us, along with the daily manifestations of imperfection and evil which come from the “old man” still resident in our fleshly bodies. But at the resurrection all that old life ends forever and only the perfection of Christ remains, formed in us by the Spirit. We are saved completely by the work and prayers of Jesus. (Hebrews 7:1-28 Our Melchizedek)
Wiersbe writes that...
It has well been said that Christ’s life in heaven is His prayer for us. It is what He is that determines what He does. In reviewing the reasoning found in this long section (Heb. 7:11-25), we are impressed with the logic of the writer. Jesus Christ’s priesthood after the order of Melchizedek is superior to that of Aaron and has replaced it. Both the historical argument and the doctrinal argument are sound. But the writer adds a third argument. (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor or Logos)
In classic Greek entugchano was used to refer to bringing a petition before a king on behalf of another person, a perfect picture of what our great High Priest daily does for us. No act in the ritual of the Day of Atonement prefigured this. The Aaronic high priest offered no prayer of intercession while in the holy of holies.
Our Great High Priest speaks to His Father on our behalf and He is engaged in this gracious work continually (present tense)
He is continuously interceding on behalf of His beloved brethren.
Jon Courson writes that...
When most people think of intercession, here’s what they picture: I sinned again. And Jesus, my Intercessor pleads my case before the Father.
“Okay, I hear Your presentation, Son,” the Father says. “So because You are the Intercessor, the charges against Jon are dropped.”
But wait. That’s not what happens. In chapter 1, we saw that after He purged our sins, Jesus went to the right hand of the throne of God and sat down. Therefore, although Romans 8 declares He’s at the right hand of the Father making intercession, He’s doing so not with His words, but with His wounds.
Both Johnnie Cochran and Marcia Clark stood when they made their cases in the O. J. Simpson trial because they were trying to persuade a jury. Neither side felt their case was secure enough to sit. On the other hand, if you walked into the home of another football legend, Jim Plunkett, and heard him say, “I was a great quarterback,” there would be no discussion, no debate, no argument. The Heismann trophy on his mantel would be absolute evidence of the fact that Jim Plunkett was a great football player.
So, too, Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, and the wounds in His hands and feet, the scars on His brow, the hole in His side settle the issue. Jesus isn’t talking the Father into being merciful to me. He’s not asking the Father to be lenient with me. His scars alone are sufficient. That’s why when Thomas finally saw Jesus, Jesus didn’t say to him, “Let’s talk doctrine. He said, “Touch My wounds” (see John 20:27). (Courson, J: Jon Courson's Application Commentary: NT. Nelson. 2004 or Logos)
Jameison writes that...
There was but the one offering on earth once for all. But the intercession for us in the heavens (Heb 7:26) is ever continuing, whence the result follows, that we can never be separated from the love of God in Christ. He intercedes only for those who come unto God through Him, not for the unbelieving world (Jn 17:9). As samples of His intercession, compare the prophetical descriptions in the Old Testament. “By an humble omnipotency (for it was by His humiliation that He obtained all power), or omnipotent humility, appearing in the presence, and presenting His postulations at the throne of God” [Bishop Pearson]. He was not only the offering, but the priest who offered it. Therefore, He has become not only a sacrifice, but an intercessor; His intercession being founded on His voluntary offering of Himself without spot to God. We are not only then in virtue of His sacrifice forgiven, but in virtue of the intercession admitted to favor and grace [Archbishop Magee]. (Hebrews 7)
Wuest writes that Messiah's current intercession "includes every form of Messiah’s identifying Himself with humanity, and includes the idea of intercession. The writer speaks here of the present intercession of Messiah on behalf of believers, which is based upon and follows His once-for-all offering of Himself as the sacrifice for sin. (Hebrews Commentary online)
Vincent has this comment on entugchano noting that...
The idea is not intercession, but intervention. It includes every form of Christ’s identifying himself with human interests. The attempt has been made to trace this idea to Philo, who alludes to the suppliant Logos, and the the advocate-Logos. But the Logos is not treated by Philo as a divine-human personality intervening for men, but as a poetical personification allegorically considered (Ed note: Just another fact that should cause the judicious reader to be wary when reading men like Philo and instead to stick very close to the pure milk of the Word!). (Comment: Moffatt wrote that "His intercession has red blood in it, unlike Philo’s conception”)
WHY IS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS "ABLE TO SAVE TO THE UTTERMOST?" The answer is, that he "ever liveth to make intercession for them." This implies that he died, which is indeed the great source of his saving power. Oh! how sweet it is to reflect upon the great and wonderous works which Christ hath done, whereby he hath become "the high priest of our profession," able to save us! It is pleasant to look back to Calvary's hill, and to behold that bleeding form expiring on the tree; it is sweet, amazingly sweet, to pry with eyes of love between those thick olives, and hear the groanings of the Man who sweat great drops of blood. Sinner, if thou askest me how Christ can save thee, I tell thee this—he can save thee, because he did not save himself; he can save thee, because he took thy guilt and endured thy punishment. There is no way of salvation apart from the satisfaction of divine justice. Either the sinner must die, or else some one must die for him. Sinner, Christ can save thee, because, if thou comest to God by him, then he died for thee. God has a debt against us, and he never remits that debt; he will have it paid. Christ pays it, and then the poor sinner goes free.
And we are told another reason why he is able to save: not only because he died, but because he lives to make intercession for us. That Man who once died on the cross is alive; that Jesus who was buried in the tomb is alive. If you ask me what he is doing; I bid you listen. Listen, if you have ears! Did you not hear him, poor penitent sinner? Did you not hear his voice, sweeter than harpers playing on their harps? Did you not hear a charming voice? Listen! what did it say? "O my Father! forgive—!" Why, he mentioned your own name! "O my Father, forgive him; he knew not what he did. It is true he sinned against light, and knowledge, and warnings; sinned wilfully and woefully; but, Father, forgive him!" Penitent, if thou canst listen, thou wilt hear him praying for thee. And that is why he is able to save.
A warning and a question, and I have done. First, a warning. Remember, there is a limit to God's mercy. I have told you from the Scriptures, that "he is able to save to the uttermost;" but there is a limit to his purpose to save. If I read the Bible rightly, there is one sin which can never be forgiven. It is the sin against the Holy Ghost. Tremble, unpardoned sinners, lest ye should commit that. If I may tell you what I think the sin against the Holy Ghost is, I must say that I believe it to be different in different people; but in many persons, the sin against the Holy Ghost consists in stifling their convictions. Tremble, my hearers, lest to-night's sermon should be the last you hear. Go away and scorn the preacher, if you like; but do not neglect his warning. Perhaps the very next time thou laughest over a sermon, or mockest at a prayer, or despisest a text, the very next oath thou swearest, God may say, "He is given to idols, let him alone; my Spirit shall no more strive with that man; I will never speak to him again." That is the warning.
And now, lastly, the question. Christ has done so much for you: what have you ever done for him? Ah! poor sinner, if thou knewest that Christ died for thee—and I know that he did, if thou repentest—if thou knewest that one day thou wilt be his, wouldst thou spit upon him now? wouldst thou scoff at God's day, if thou knewest that one day it will be thy day? wouldst thou despise Christ, if thou knewest that he loves thee now, and will display that love by-and-bye? Oh! there are some of you that will loathe yourselves when you know Christ because you did not treat him better. He will come to you one of these bright mornings, and he will say, "Poor sinner, I forgive you;" and you will look up in his face, and say. "What! Lord, forgive me? I used to curse thee, I laughed at thy people, I despised everything that had to do with religion. Forgive me?" "Yes," says Christ, "give me thy hand; I loved thee when thou hatedst me: come here!" And sure there is nothing will break a heart half so much as thinking of the way in which you sinned against one who loved you so much.
Oh! beloved, hear again the text,—"He is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by him." I am no orator, I have no eloquence; but if I were the one, and had the other, I would preach to you with all my soul. As it is, I only talk right on, and tell you what I do know; I can only say again,
"He is able;
He is willing: doubt no more.
Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome,
God's free bounty glorify:
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings us nigh—
Come to Jesus Christ, and buy."
For he is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by him." O Lord! make sinners come! Spirit of God! make them come! Compel them to come to Christ by sweet constraint, and let not our words be in vain, or our labour lost; for Jesus Christ's sake! Amen. (Salvation to the Uttermost)
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Our Daily Bread - OUR FULLTIME INTERCESSOR - It was dawn, and I was painfully aware of being only a few weeks into widowhood. After another restless night, I felt too weary to pray for myself. "Lord," I sighed, "I need someone to pray for me right now."
Almost instantly God's Spirit comforted my distraught mind with the words of today's text, reminding me that Jesus was praying for me that very moment. With a wave of relief, I acknowledged Him as my lifelong intercessor. I will never forget how that bleak morning became gold-tinged with hope. Since then, I have drawn courage and strength countless times from my faithful High Priest.
Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843), pioneer missionary to America, testified, "If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me!"
We too can draw courage and strength from Jesus. He is our priestly representative before God the Father.
Are difficult circumstances creating fear in your heart? By all means, ask others to pray for you. But don't forget to count on the prayers of Jesus Himself. By faith, hear Him praying around the clock for you, as if He were in the next room. - Joanie E. Yoder (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
I have an Advocate above,
And though I cannot see
His face, I know His heart is love
And that He pleads for me.-- Tydeman
“If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me!”
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An illustration from Progress Magazine (December, 1992) emphasizes the incredible privilege believers have to the throne of God because of their "go between" the Great High Priest, Jesus Christ: "During the Civil War, there was a young Union soldier who had lost his father and older brother in the war. He went to Washington, D.C., to see if he could get an exemption from military service so that he could go back home and help his mother and sister with the spring planting. When he approached the White House and asked to see the president, he was turned away. Totally disheartened, the soldier sat down on a park bench nearby. A little boy approached him and said, “You look unhappy, soldier. What’s wrong?” After the soldier shared his story, the little boy took him by the hand. He led him through the back door of the White House, past the guards, and into the president’s office itself. President Lincoln looked up and asked, “What can I do for you, Tad?” Tad said, “Daddy, this soldier needs to talk to you”—and the soldier was not turned away. When Jesus completed the work of salvation, He opened up the way so that we could have access to God. Those who have placed their trust in Christ may come directly to the Heavenly Father with their petitions. And the Son sits on the Father’s right hand and says, “Daddy, this is someone who needs to talk to You.” He is the only intercessor we need. Hallelujah, what a Savior!"
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Our Daily Bread - Christ's Unfinished Work
We often hear of the salvation Christ provided at Calvary when He died for our sins. But little is said of His continuing ministry of prayer for our spiritual growth. Just as Jesus prayed for Peter in a time of severe temptation (Luke 22:31-32), so also He intercedes before the Father's throne on our behalf. This vital work of the Savior will go on as long as we are in need of His help, comfort, and blessing.
Robert Murray McCheyne, the beloved Scottish minister of the 19th century, wrote, "If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet the distance makes no difference. He is praying for me!"
During a deep personal crisis, I realized the truth of Hebrews 7 in a new and wonderful way. Satan seemed to be attacking me on every side. So I asked the Lord to plead for me. The next day the problem was solved, and I knew it was the Lord's special intervention. Never before had I been so conscious of the Savior's high-priestly ministry (Heb 8:1).
If you are having great difficulty, tell Jesus about it. He will present your needs to the Father. Through His intercessory work, you'll experience the remarkable results that only His prayers can accomplish.—Henry G. Bosch (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
In the hour of trial, Jesus, plead for me,
Lest, by base denial, I depart from Thee;
When Thou seest me waver, with a look recall;
Nor for fear or favor suffer me to fall. —Montgomery
Satan is powerless against the power of Christ's prayer
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F B Meyer in Our Daily Walk - UTTERMOST SALVATION
THE ATTRACTION of the Divine Nature. We draw near because we are drawn. As the sun is ever exerting a drawing power on each planet and each particle of stardust in the solar system, so God is ever attracting us to Himself. To all eternity we shall be ever drawing nearer to Him, though there will be ever an infinite distance to traverse. When Jesus was lifted up on the Cross He began to draw all men unto Himself, and that magnetic attraction has continued through the centuries.
There is no reason for us to be afraid of God. He is Love! He is a consuming fire to our sin, but His Nature is essentially lovely. Moses exceedingly feared when he ascended Sinai, amid the trembling of the mountain and the heavy clouds that enclosed the Divine Light. But, as we learn from the 12th chapter of this Epistle, when we approxiMattte to God, we encounter three circles. The innumerable Hosts of Angels, including the Cherubim and SeraPhillm, with their burning love and purity! The Church of the First-born, the purest and noblest of elect spirits! The Spirits of the Just made perfect, inclusive of our own beloved ones that have passed over. Surely where these are, we may venture without fear. The God in whom they live and move and have their being cannot be other than infinitely beautiful to know and love. Lord, Thou hast been the dwelling-place of all generations, and Thy secret place shall be our home for ever. "Draw us, and we will run after Thee!"
Our fears are met by the Risen and Living Saviour. First, He will ever live to make intercession for us; but next He will go on sanctifying us lower down, even to the uttermost. To the depths of our nature, He will carry His gracious work. Salvation has three stages. It begins with deliverance from the penalty of the past. Our sins are blotted out. The penalty is remitted or turned to benediction. Then we are saved lower down. The process of purification goes deeper and deeper into our nature. Finally, our body is renewed through the resurrection-grace of Christ. And surely there is a sense in which the grace of Christ will ever sink deeper, giving us a profounder realisation and participation in the things that will open before us in the eternal progress. Here we see in a glass darkly, there face to face. Here we know in part, there we shall develop in the knowledge and love of God. Salvation to the uttermost!
PRAYER - I draw near to Thee, Almighty and Ever-living God, in the Name of Jesus Christ, my High Priest and Mediator, who hath passed into the heavens, where He ever liveth to make intercession for sinners. Forgive and accept me for His sake. AMEN. (F B Meyer. Our Daily Walk)
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Alexander Maclaren has the following discussion of Hebrews 7:25...
THIS chapter needs to be read under a deep sense of sin, to be properly understood and appreciated. It is the conscious sinner who needs the Priest. We can do very well with Christ as Teacher, Philanthropist, Ideal Man, until we see ourselves as we are in the sight of God; but when that vision is given to us, our hearts cry out with an exceeding great and bitter cry for the Priest, who can stand for us with God, and for God with us.
There is urgent need for a fresh consciousness and conviction of our sinnership, both amongst unbelievers and professing Christians. Light views of sin give slight views of the sacrifice of Calvary, of the need for propitiation, and of the dread future penalty on willful wrong-doing. Did men really understand what sin is, they would not talk so glibly of their complete deliverance from it; confounding as they do the few sins of which they are cognizant with the mass of evil that lies still in their nature, like the mud at the bottom of a pellucid lake, only needing to be stirred to show itself. And if men really felt their sins, there would be a unanimous rush to the precious Blood and to the only priest for absolution and pardon.
It is hardly likely that these poor words can affect the set of the current; yet, if it were possible to reach the great mass of the preachers of the present day, one would urge them to lay aside their literary essays, their arguments with evolutionists, their poetry and rhetoric, and to bring the trenchant teaching of God's Word to bear on human consciences and lives. Let them attack sin as sin. Let them deal with the sins of their congregations specifically, as the Boer marks his man for his bullet. Let them show what God thinks of the sins which we treat so lightly. And as soon as we get back to the old fashioned style of preaching, we shall see a revival of old fashioned conversions. It is of no use complaining, when we are ourselves to blame. Human nature is unaltered. The law of God is unchanged. The cry of the conscience is stifled, not silenced. Again shall we hear of multitudes pierced to the heart, and crying for mercy. And then the Priesthood of Christ, as described here, will acquire a new preciousness.
HE IS A GREAT HIGH-PRIEST (He 7:4-see note He 7:4).
How great, appears from the episode here referred to. Flushed with victory, bringing with him all the captives and goods which Chedorlaomer had swept away from Sodom, the patriarch Abraham had nearly reached his own camp. But as he drew nigh to Salem, where peace and righteousness dwelt beneath the rule of Melchizedek, he was met by this saintly figure, bearing in his hands the sacred emblems of bread and wine: meet type of him who often accosts us on the road of life, when weary with conflict, or when entering into subtle temptation, and refreshes us with the bread of his flesh, and the wine of his blood. And Abraham knelt to receive a blessing at his hand, and gave him tithes of all (Gen. 14:19, 20).
Does not this prove the greatness of Melchizedek? The Levites and priests were indeed permitted to take tithes of their brethren; but this glorious priest feels no compunction to take tithes of one of another race. He rose above the narrow boundaries of race or blood, and was prepared to do his office with equal care for an alien as for his own. This unsectarian, cosmopolitan, large-hearted view of his obligations to man as man is a true mark of greatness. And in this he manifests a trait of the greatness of our dear Lord, whose Priesthood overleaps the limits which might be set by nationality or birth, and deals with man as man; with thee, reader, and me, if only we will come to him.
Besides this, since the greater must bless the less, it is obvious that Abraham, great and good though he was, the friend of God, and the recipient of the promises, must have felt that Melchizedek was his superior, or he would never have treated him with such marked respect (see notes Hebrews 7:6; Hebrews 7:7). Surely, then, this holy man was a fit representative of our blessed Lord, to whom all the noblest in heaven and earth bow the knee; confessing that he is Lord; and consecrating to him, not a tenth only, but the whole of what they have and are.
HE IS A GREATER HIGH-PRIEST THAN AARON OR HIS SONS.
When Abraham knelt beneath that royal and priestly hand, he did not do so for himself alone, but as a representative man. First and head of his race, his descendants were identified with him in his deed. Levi, therefore, who receiveth tithes paid tithes in the patriarch; and, in doing so, forevermore took up the second place as inferior, and second best.
"Stop," cries an objector; "if you affirm this inferiority of the Jewish priesthood to that of Melchizedek, you are making an assertion so far-reaching in its results as to need some further corroboration. Are you quite sure that this is as you say?"
"Certainly," is the reply; "else, why should there be so emphatic an announcement made in David's Psalms of the coming of another Priest long after the Jewish priesthood had been in operation? 'If perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, what further need was there that another Priest should arise after the order of Melchizedek and not be called after the order of Aaron?'"
"But stay," again interposes the objector; "if you are going to supersede the Levitical priesthood, you are of necessity making a change in all that ceremonial law which rested on the priesthood as an arch upon its keystone. Are you prepared to sweep away a system so venerable, so religiously maintained, the bulwark of religion, the institution of God?"
"I am prepared for this," is the reply; "the previous commandments that relate to sacrifices and rites and ceremonies will have to go. They were temporary and imperfect. Types, not realities; molds, not the real vessels; shadows, not the substance. They made nothing perfect. Their office was to bring in a better hope; but, now that this is come, they may be annulled and laid aside."
It seems a light thing to us; but it was of the gravest import to those who were here addressed. To them the Jewish priesthood and ceremonial were more than a state religion; they were religion itself. Tradition, custom, ancestral veneration, personal admiration, and adherence, all these ties had to be rudely snapped, as they were compelled to admit the cogency of this inspired and irresistible argument. If Jesus were indeed the Priest spoken of by David in Psalm 110.- and of this there seemed no doubt because it was so often applied to him (Matt. 22:44; Acts 2:34)- then there could be no doubt that his Priesthood was better than Aaron's; and that the whole system of which the Levitical priesthood was the essential characteristic must pass away before that system which gathers around the person and work of the Lord Jesus.
We must distinguish between the moral and the ceremonial law: the latter is transient, and was fulfilled in Jesus Christ; the former, of course, is of permanent and eternal force, written on the conscience of man and the government of the world.
We can only stay for a moment here to show how absurd it is for either the Roman or the Anglican priest to base his pretensions on the example of the Old Testament. To do so is to confess their inferiority to the only Priesthood which is recognized in the present age. They are in evil case. Press them for their warrant of existence. If they quote Rev 1:6 (see note Revelation 1:6), then we all have an equal right to wear their dress and fulfill their office. If they quote Leviticus, then are they hopelessly undone; for that priesthood has been superseded. The time is coming when all his people will have to disavow connection with those men whose pretensions are baseless, or worse, delusive; and an unwarrantable intrusion into the sacred offices of Christ. Alas I poor souls, deluded and fleeced by them!
HE IS THE GREATEST OF HIGH-PRIESTS.
Because he was made priest by the oath of God (He 7:20, 21-see notes Hebrews 7:20; 7:21). Ordinary priests had no such sanction to their appointment; but he by an oath. Jehovah sware, and will not change his mind. His appointment is final, absolute, immutable. It never can be superseded, as that of Aaron has been. Heaven and earth may pass away, but it will not pass away.
Because he continueth ever. His is the Priesthood in which throbs the power of an endless life (He 7:16-see note He 7:16). It is witnessed of him, that he liveth. "Behold," said he, "I am alive forevermore." What a contrast to all human priests, on whose graves this epitaph may ever be inscribed, "Not suffered to continue by reason of death." One by one they grow old and die: the eye, often filmed with tears, is closed; the heart stands still; the hands, often raised in absolution, crossed meekly on the breast, as if asking for pardon. But he ever liveth. And of this perpetual life there are two blessed results. On the one hand, he has an untransferable Priesthood (He 7:24-see note He 7:24); on the other hand, he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him (see note Hebrews 7:25). There is no limit to his salvation, no barrier beyond which he may not pass. Uttermost in time, and in character, and in desperation, you may be at one of the ends of the earth; yet you shall be lifted to the uttermost degree of glory. To the uttermost-from sins of thought as well as of word and deed; to the uttermost, in cleansing the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Because of his blameless character. Holy toward God; harmless toward man; undefiled in heart; separate from sinners in life. Not needing to offer up sacrifice for himself, as the priests did always before offering for the congregation; not requiring to make a daily or yearly repetition of that perfect sacrifice and oblation which was once made on the cross (He 7;26, 27-see notes He 7:26; 27).
Because of the dignity of his Person (He 7:28-see note He 7:28). The office of mediation is no longer intrusted to a man, or set of men, encompassed by infirmities. See! through the shining ranks of being there advances the Son, Light of Light, Fellow of Jehovah, Co-equal with God, One with Father and Spirit in the ever-blessed Trinity. He is solemnly consecrated to this task of reconciling and saving sinners. All heaven hears and ratifies the oath. And surely we may well ponder what must be our worth in the thought of God, and what our destiny, when our case is undertaken, amid such solemnities, by One so August, so glorious, so divine, as the High-Priest, who now awaits the appeal of the humblest penitent of the human race. "Such a High-Priest became us."
"To THE UTTERMOST."
Eyes may light on these words, weary with weeping, of those who have been reduced well-nigh to despair through the greatness and virulence of their sins. Not only does the record of the past seem too black to be forgiven, but old habits are perpetually reasserting themselves; ridiculing the most steadfast resolutions, and smiting the inner life of the soul down to the ground. At such times we are disposed to envy the vegetable and animal creation, which are not capable of sin; or the myriads of sweet children who have been taken home to God before the time of conscious rebellion and war could rend their infant hearts. But the greatness of our sin is always less than the greatness of God's grace. Where the one abounds, the other much more abounds. If we go down to the bottoms of the mountains and touch the heart of the deep, deeper than all is the redeeming mercy of God. The love and grace and power of Jesus are more than our unutterable necessities. Only trust him, he is "able to save unto the uttermost"; and he is as willing as able.
There are many in these days filled with questionings about the clean heart, the extent to which we may be delivered from sin, and such like speculations. To these we say:
Cease to think of cleansing, and consider the Cleanser;
forbear to speculate on the deliverance, and deal with the Deliverer;
be not so eager as to the nature of the salvation, but let the Saviour into your heart;
and be sure that so long as he is in possession, he will exert so salutary an effect, that sin, however mighty, shall instantly lose its power over the tempest-driven soul that comes through him to God, the source of holiness.