A Salvation to the Uttermost
Hebrews 7:25 speaks of a “salvation to the uttermost.” Billy Sunday, that great baseball player turned evangelist of the late 1800s, once spoke in a sermon of how God saved him from the “guttermost” to the “uttermost” because he was gutter-drunk when God saved Him. Which reminds me of the Psalmist’s experience of having been saved from “mire” to the “choir” (Psalm 40:1-3). If you are a believer in Christ, you are the recipient of so great a salvation!
What’s this salvation to the uttermost all about? The term translated “uttermost” means either “forever” or “completely” (the Greek term used can mean both). The context tends towards the “forever” interpretation of the term, but the “complete” aspect of His salvation is both implied here and spoken of elsewhere. The salvation provisioned by God through Christ to the believer is no half-hearted salvation! In every respect salvation has to do primarily with salvation from sin. It includes three tenses—justification (past), sanctification (present), and glorification (future). There is justification (freedom from the penalty of sin). The repeated sacrifices of the former priests were of limited value. But by His “once for all” sacrifice, Christ has worked to secure an internal and eternal cleansing from sin (Hebrews 9:12-14). Then there is sanctification (freedom from the practice of sin). By His sacrifice the believer is cleansed of conscience “from dead works to serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:14). Finally, there is the glorification (freedom from the presence of sin), in which our humble bodies are transformed to be like Jesus’ glorious one (Philippians 3:21). The work of salvation is a miraculous thing. Something that man could never hope to devise or accomplish. We all need a Savior, and in Jesus we have One who is preeminently qualified and able!
That’s looking at the matter of salvation primarily from one angle–what we are saved from. But what are we saved to? Ephesians chapters 1-3 have a lot to say about that. By grace we who were dead in our trespasses and sins, have been made alive and seated in the heavenlies with Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-6). We’ve been chosen, adopted, redeemed, forgiven, enlightened, enriched, and sealed by the Spirit (Ephesians 1:3-14). Ephesians 3:20-21 summarizes the matter by stating that what God is doing in us is beyond what we could possibly imagine or even have the wherewithal to ask for. Indeed, it is His plan to fill us up with the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19)! A salvation to the uttermost indeed!
Heavenly Father, how thankful we are for saving us, and not just from the depths of sin and despair of our previous estate, but in saving us to heights that even now transcend our ability to comprehend. We praise You, for it is entirely by Your amazing grace that we’ve experienced so great a salvation! May we be ever mindful not only of that which we’ve been saved from, but by the Spirit may our eyes be opened to the glory of that which we’ve been saved to–that we might walk in a manner worthy of the high calling we have received!
He Lifted Me
In loving kindness Jesus came
My soul in mercy to reclaim,
And from the depths of sin and shame
Through grace He lifted me.
From sinking sand He lifted me,
With tender hand He lifted me,
From shades of night to plains of light,
O praise His name, He lifted me!
He called me long before I heard,
Before my sinful heart was stirred,
But when I took Him at His word,
Forgiven He lifted me. [Refrain]
His brow was pierced with many a thorn,
His hands by cruel nails were torn,
When from my guilt and grief, forlorn,
In love He lifted me. [Refrain]
Now on a higher plane I dwell,
And with my soul I know ’tis well;
Yet how or why, I cannot tell,
He should have lifted me. [Refrain]