He is Able

And therefore 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

What is translated with the word “forever” in the above verse, (or translated, “to the uttermost” in some other versions) communicates two distinct aspects of the saving work of Christ. First is the quality of Christ’s saving work (that it is complete and perfect); second is the duration of it (that it is effective forever). Christ did not accomplish only part of our salvation and leave the rest up to us; He saves completely and perfectly, to the uttermost.  And it is not a salvation that is here today but may vanish when difficulties arise or when our own sinfulness leaves us ashamed. No, the salvation that He accomplished for us is everlasting.

Notice, too, those words, “He is able.”  In the verses leading up to this one, the author of Hebrews has been laboring to show that Christ’s priesthood far surpasses those who had held that office under the Old Covenant. And with these words, “He is able,” the author effectively sets Christ apart from every other priest of Israel. It could not be said of them that they were able to save any. Salvation is of the Lord. “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The salvation that He is able to accomplish is not just our final glorification, either, but it is a present salvation, brought out in our continual and gradual sanctification. In the face of our sin and many failures and immaturity we may easily become disheartened, but let us be encouraged by these words, “He is able” – He is able to sanctify you, He is able to conform you ever more to His image, He is able to bring to completion that work which He began in you. He is able.