- Christ is able to save forever – a great promise.
There is two sides of this coin I want to look at: -
1) The idea that we are saved forever, because Christ continually intercedes on our behalf means that there is something eternal that we must be being saved from. We ofcourse know in part that this is our continual obedience to our sinful nature, while we are in the process of continual sanctification. Remember no one is sinless except Jesus
For we have as high priest, not one who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tested in all respects like ourselves, but without sinHebrews 4:15
And also in part that we need saving from God. The reason for this is that the consequence of sin is death, and the Father says Vengeance is mine. This is not to say that the image we have of God is a Hateful being whom we are to fear like we might fear a drunk father who beats and abuses his children, but rather he is a just and Holy Father, who by his very nature is unable to look upon sin and therefore sinners lest we be consumed by his glory. Remember the priests of the Hebrew Scriptures would tie rope around their ankle when they entered the holy of holies, in case they were killed by Gods presence, and so the body could be pulled out. It is important to keep in mind while reading through the book of Hebrews that the baby Jesus, the great high priest, the salvation plan, the end game, was all conceived and brought to bear by God the Father, and not Jesus, Jesus was the faithful son who stood up and accepted the challenge, firstly when he left heaven and entered our world, and again in the garden as he earnestly prayed to his Father “not my will but yours”.
2) Since the ever living Christ intercedes for believers we can have great confidence that we will never perish, and in fact can know that all things in our lives will work together for good (Rom 8:28) for God the Father will always answer the prayers of his Son.
- He always lives to make intercession for us
Taking this thought further, we expand on the idea that our salvation rests on a single moment in time when we performed some act, or made some decision or commitment way back when and now we are saved. Nor does it mean that our salvation rests on the past work of Christ. While Jesus was on the cross he said “It is finished” a statement of truth that the old covenant had passed and the new covenant built on His sacrifice and the outpouring of his blood had come. But that was not the end of the story in our relationship with Jesus as our saviour, where we are being co-opted into the kingdom as co-heirs of the Fathers grace, nor the end of the story for our relationship with the Father. We are in a process of continual sanctification, because of the work of Christ on the Cross which is now worked out in heaven by his continual prayers of intercession for those who believe in His name
34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for usRomans 8:34 (ESV)
2 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.1 John 2:1 (ESV)
Which leads me onto the 3rd and final main point at stake here: -
- This eternal intercession and eternal salvation are for those who draw near to God through Christ.
Hebrews is continually reminding us that our salvation is both assured by the work of Christ, but also an on-going relationship between us and Jesus, and Jesus and the Father, and should we neglect our relationship with Jesus our great High priest who intercedes to the Father on our behalf, we do so at our own peril.
We have had this idea perpetuated over and over again throughout the book of Hebrews
2:1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.
3:6 But Christ is faithful over God's house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.
3:12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.
3:14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.
4:11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so (I)that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.
4:14 Since then we have (Q)a great high priest (R)who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, (S)let us hold fast our confession.
5:9 And (R)being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest (S)after the order of Melchizedek.
6:11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance (U)of hope until the end.
And now we have this here is verse 27 of Chapter 7
He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through him.Hebrews7:27
It is this continual relationship of us drawing near to the Father as we have our sins forgiven through Christ’s sacrifice AND his continual interceding on our behalf.
John piper illustrates this with the way it looked when our High Priest was on the earth.
In Luke 22:31-32 Jesus says to Peter: "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." So already Jesus was interceding for his own when he was on the earth. And what he was praying was for our faith—that our faith not fail. (See his high priestly prayer in John 17:11,15, etc.)John Piper DesiringGod.org
One of the beauties of what Jesus prays for on our behalf can be found in at the end of this book, Hebrews 13:20 -21
20 Now may the God of peace ewho brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
What a beautiful benediction to end on. After all the warnings of falling away, after all the pleading to strive for solid food and not milk, after all the scary apocalyptic ideas of the judgement of the Father.. Here we end on Jesus praying for us that the Father would equip us with all that we will need to do his will, that we might become pleasing in his sight, not by what we have done, but because of what Jesus did when he bore our sins on the Cross, and now stands between us and the Father that the Righteous, Just and Holy God sees not our disobedience, but rather looks upon the faithfulness and perfectness of His Son and our brother Jesus Christ to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.