I need a savior because I’m not capable of saving myself. My good deeds, my abstinence of any kind, my standards of living, or anything else one might think makes them acceptable to God, fall short. Both the Old Testament (Isaiah 64:6) and the New Testament (Romans 3:23) are clear on this point. All of us have fallen short of God’s standard. I need a savior! If Jesus is merely my example, I’m doomed forever. I’ll never be like him. He’s not a life guard standing on the shore making swimming motions saying “go like this.” I’m incapable of going like that! A life saver won’t even be good enough to save me because I have no strength to hold onto it in myself. I need someone to dive into the ocean of my sin and pick me up in his arms and carry me to safety. That’s exactly what Jesus does. He saves completely. Hebrews 7:25 says, “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.”

When Jesus saves us to the “uttermost” it means two things. The first is that it accomplishes everything that needs to be done. Thus he spoke from the cross before his death, “it is finished.” This meant he left nothing undone. He didn’t start the process of our salvation to which we add our dedication, effort, good works or anything else. He did all that needs to be done. His sacrifice is sufficient! There is nothing to add! Some theological camps today define eternal security as being God will never let go of us. Sin will not destroy our salvation as long as we continue to believe in him. It says God will never let go of you unless you let go of him. Thus our salvation is assured only if we persevere. Therefore, it’s what I do in the end that determines my eternal destiny, not what Jesus has done for me. There is no rest, assurance or security in the hope that I will stay faithful until death. The only security is that God will never let go of me no matter what I do, say or think. It is only this unconditional confidence that changes me from the inside. All the rest is trusting in the efforts of the flesh.

The second thing the writer suggests through the idea that Jesus saves us to the “uttermost,” has to do with the duration of that salvation.  Kistemaker put it this way, “We have the assurance that as he lives eternally before God so shall we live forever with him. Presently we come to God in prayer, but at the end of our earthly stay he will take us home to be with him eternally.”[1] Arguing in support of this two-fold aspect of salvation by Jesus to the “uttermost” Arthur Pink says, “Whatever hindrances and difficulties lie in the way of the salvation of believers, the Lord Jesus is fully competent, by virtue of the exercise of His priestly office, to carry out the work for them unto eternal perfection. No matter what oppositions may arise, He is more than sufficient to cope with and overcome them all. Combining the two meanings: a complete salvation is a never-ending one.”[2] Jesus is sufficient in time and eternity! We have complete rest now and forever only in Jesus!

[1] Simon J. Kistemaker and William Hendriksen, Exposition of Hebrews, vol. 15, New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953–2001), 204.

[2] Arthur Walkington Pink, An Exposition of Hebrews (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1954), 402.