"Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them."                               Hebrews 7:25

      The word "saved" seems to be an unknown word to many people who profess to be Christians. I became aware of this in the conservative state of Indiana. While conducting an evangelistic meeting in a rural area I was knocking on doors, witnessing to people and inviting them to the services. At a prosperous farm home I asked the farmer if he was saved. Even though he was apparently intelligent and successful he was clearly baffled. Rather haltingly he said, "Well, I’m a member of the Masonic Lodge." He looked at me with a question mark written all over his face wondering if his answer satisfied my question. 

      Over many years of ministry I have talked with hundreds of people who did not have the faintest idea what the Biblical meaning of the word "saved" was, even though they were Baptist, Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Catholics etc.


          It is important to understand that "saved" is an often used Bible word. In all, the word "saved" appears 57 times in our New Testament. In a general sense the word "saved" means to be delivered from any kind of evil, but when "saved" is used in regard to God’s salvation it’s core meaning is deliverance and preservation from all the consequences of sin. In this sense "saved" means to be delivered and preserved from (1) the penalty of sin, (2) the power of sin, (3) the pitfalls of sin, and (4) the presence of sin.

 Saved From The Penalty of Sin

      The Penalty of sin is death. The prophet Ezekiel said, "The soul who sins shall die…" Ezekiel 18:20 The Apostle Paul wrote, "The wages of sin is death…" Romans 6:23. A study of the Bible reveals there is physical death, spiritual death, and eternal death. The idea of separation is present in all three aspects of death. With physical death, there is the separation of the soul and spirit from the body. With spiritual death, there is the separation of body, soul, and spirit from the life of God. This is what Adam and Eve first experienced in the Garden of Eden and it is the spiritual condition they passed on to all their descendants. (See Ephesians 2:1 and I John 5:12). Eternal death is the hopeless separation from God in eternal torment. (See Revelation 20:14,15)

.       To be saved from the penalty of sin means to be delivered from the condemnation of God’s perfect law, We are forgiven of all our sins; given a spiritual birth by God’s Holy Spirit in which our spirit is made alive to God and brought into a relationship with God.  He is truly our Father and we are His child. Included are blessings indescribable and innumerable.   (Ephesians 2:4-7)

 Saved From The Power of Sin

      The angel of the Lord told Joseph, "…And you shall call His name JESUS: for He will save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)   Notice the spelling is SINS. Jesus not only saves from the penalty of SIN but He saves us from the particular SINS that hold us in their bondage. Oh yes, we strongly protest that we are free, in control and not in bondage to anyone or anything, but think on what Jesus said, "… whoever commits sin is a slave of sin." John 8:34 

       I drove by three young boys who were walking down the side of the road. I noticed one who appeared to be about eight or nine years old smoking a cigarette with gestures like a tough thirty year old truck driver. He was giving out the image he was free and in charge. However, the chances are strong that in a few years he’ll be looking at one of those cigarettes gripped between his fingers and with a hoarse voice that may well signal cancer say, "I wish I could quit". 

     Instead of cigarettes, put in selfishness, pride, anger, greed, lust, alcohol, drugs, etc. We start out thinking we’re the master. We wind up realizing we are the slave.

      Jesus went on to say, "Therefore If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." John 8:36. When Jesus saves, He breaks the power of sin, Satan, and demons. The saved sinner now has the power to say "no" to the things they should not do and "yes" to the things they should. Jesus saves from the power of sin.

 Saved From The Pitfalls of Sin

      I was just a young boy the first time I walked through Carlsbad Caverns. I remember the ranger strongly cautioning everyone to stay on the path. He emphasized that many times there would only be a thin limestone crust beside the path. He explained that this was formed on the top of the water and then the water receded. He said that we could break through the crust and maybe fall only a foot or maybe 100 feet. I had that in mind when we stopped at one spot and they turned all the lights out. I could not even see my hand touching my nose. Over the years I have thought of how much that is like the journey of life. In our unsaved condition we are spiritually blind. (II Corinthians 4:3,4) and we walk through a world system that is controlled by the rulers of the darkness of this world…" (Ephesians 6:12) There are countless pitfalls along our path…spiritual, moral, and intellectual pitfalls. Solomon was referring to this when he wrote, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." Proverbs 14:12 

      Jesus is the one Shepherd Guide Who can lead us safely through the pitfalls of life. He said, "…I am the light of the world: He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." John 8:12 

      David spent most of his early years as a shepherd who led, fed, and protected his flock of sheep. In the 23rd Psalm he stated he needed a Shepherd to lead and feed him. "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…" Jesus is that Shepherd Who saves His flock from the pitfalls of sin.

 Saved From the Presence of Sin

      Sin is very present with us now. We live in a world permeated with the corruption of sin. Jesus said that Christians are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. When that light grows dim and that salt loses its savor it is alarming how the corruption of the world blatantly asserts itself. America has experienced just such an assertion of corruption since the 1960’s. It seems the attitude has been, "Let’s get as wicked as we can as fast as we can."

      In addition, the believer lives in a body that still has a fallen nature that strongly desires to assert itself. Paul referred to this nature when he wrote, "For I know that in me (that is in my flesh) nothing good dwells." Romans 7:18. He went on to point out how every believer has a deep yearning to be set free from this sin nature. "…we ourselves groan (or agonize) within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body." Romans 8:23.  Scripture certainly teaches that every believer will be delivered from the presence of sin:

 By the transformation of their bodies.

      "…In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality".  1st Corinthians 15:52,53. " Who will transform our lowly body, that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things unto himself."   Philippians 3:21

  By being caught up out of this world of sin. 

      "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ will rise first: Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 1st  Thessalonians 4:16, 17

 By living forever in the new creation where there will be no more sin.  

      "But there shall by no means enter it any thing that defiles, or causes an abomination, or a lie: but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life."   Revelation 21:27


      "Therefore He is also able to save them to the uttermost those who come to God through Him"  Hebrews 7:25.  Please note that Jesus is identified as the One Who is able to save. Jesus stated clearly on the night before His crucifixion, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father, except through Me." John 14:6.   Peter echoed that truth when he said, "Nor is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12. We cannot save ourselves. No other man can save us. No religion can save us. Only Jesus can save.

 Because He Is The Great High Priest 

      This may sound strange to those who are untaught in the person of Christ and how He accomplished our salvation. Briefly, Jesus Christ was prophesied to be 1. Prophet - accomplished in His earthly ministry. 2. Priest - accomplished in His sacrificial death on the cross and His intercessory work in Heaven and,  3. King - to be accomplished in His future reign. 

     The high priesthood of Jesus Christ is the principle theme of the book of Hebrews.  Chapter 7: 17 & 21 quote the oath of God the Father in Psalms 110:4 "The LORD hath sworn, and will not relent, You are a priest forever according the order of Melchizadek."  As the Great High Priest Jesus is able to save lost souls from the curse of the law and bring them into the family of God.

 Because He Offered Himself As A Sacrifice For Our Sin

      We have only to read through the first three verses of Hebrews to hear of this priestly sacrifice: "…when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high."   In Hebrews 2:9 we read the reason for His coming: "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God might taste death for everyone."   Peter referred to this sacrifice in I Peter 2:24 when he wrote, "Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree" And again, "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God…"  I Peter 3:18.

 Because He Rose Again From The Dead 

 Who was delivered up because of our offences, and was raised because of our justification."   Romans 4:25.  (See also 1st Corinthians 15:l7) This is a reference to the Day of Atonement in Israel. The high priest would sacrifice a goat and catch its blood in a container. He would go through the veil into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle that blood on the mercy seat. If God didn’t accept it for any reason the high priest died. If God accepted the blood of sacrifice the high priest would come forth from the Holy of Holies to the great delight of the people.

       When Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sin His body was laid in a grave. When He came forth the third day this was the divine authentication that God the Father had accepted His sacrifice. Each one of us can be sure that Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our sin has satisfied the Father.

 Because Jesus Is The Intercessor Between God and Man

     "…Since He always lives to make intercession for them."  Hebrews 7:35

     Let the following verses give us understanding as to what this intercession means: "Who is he who condemns? It is Christ Who died, and furthermore is also risen, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also makes intercession for us."   Romans 8:34

      "My little children, these things I write to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous: and He Himself is the propitiation (sacrifice) for our sins…" 1st John 2: 1,:2a.

       "…the accuser of our brethren, who accuses them before our God day and night have been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony and they did not love their lives to the death." Revelation 12:10b, 11.

      Jesus saves to the uttermost. That means that in every area where we need saving He saves us completely. Jesus saves those who come to God by Him…but only those who come. He personally exhorted men and women to come to Him. (Matthew 11:28-30; John 6:37). Some of the very last words of God’s revelation are "And the Spirit and the bride (the church) say, 'Come'. And let him who hears say, 'Come'. And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely." Revelation 22:17.

     Jesus saves, but He saves only if we come to Him and sincerely trust Him to save us.

 Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scriptures quoted are from NKJV unless otherwise noted


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