Saturday, January 12, 2013

To the Uttermost or the "Guttermost?"

“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.” (Hebrews 7:25)

         I was privileged to grow up under the sound of Holy Spirit anointed Bible preaching. I used to hear some of these men of God expound on this text and assure their hearers that God was able to save to “guttermost,” as well as the uttermost. I agree with this elaboration on the term “uttermost,” and have been witness to the reality of it down through the years. But, if I might, I’d like to use it as an instrument of assurance for the future of God’s saints. I think I can legitimately do this, using the text itself and by comparing the word in other places in Scripture.

         Starting with the second, in the Bible, the word (uttermost), indicates the farthest point: distance, not depth. You’ll find the uttermost side or edge of something, or the uttermost part or parts of a camp, cities, the earth, sea, or heaven, etc. It’s not as low as you can go, it’s as far as you can go. To me, the text is saying that God is not only able to save the worst sinner (however you want to judge that), but all sinners, young, old, sin-dreading or sin-devoured, and save them forever, to the uttermost, to the farthest distance of time and eternity. This would be a good place to say, “Amen!”

         In addition, the second phrase in this verse tells us the reason God is able to make this unfathomable promise of longevity. The price for our redemption was the death of His Son, but the condition for its perpetuity was His Resurrection. We like to say that the Blood of Christ shed on Calvary paid for our sins, past, present, and future. But it would seem to me from this verse that the ongoing assurance of sins forgiven is based on the intercessory work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. The verse says He lives to do! And — wait for it! — He “ever liveth.” He will never die again; and as long as He lives, so will we. He told the Father that He wants us to be where His is (Jno. 17:24); and He will not be denied. He paid the price for it. This is why you and I can confidently pull back the curtain of the future and know that our place in Heaven is secure. Our salvation will go the distance; we’re saved “to the uttermost.” Rejoice and never doubt it!

For All Who Come to God by Him – A.M. Toplady

Awake, sweet gratitude and sing the ascended Savior’s love;
Sing how He lives to carry on His people’s cause above.

For all who come to God by Him, salvation He demands;
Points to their names upon His breast, and spreads His wounded hands.

His sweet, atoning sacrifice gives sanction to His claim;
“Father, I will that all my saints be with me where I am.”

Eternal life, at His request, to every saint is given;
Safety on earth, and after death, the plentitude of heaven.

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