October 14, 2015

Hebrews 7:24-25 Because Jesus lives for ever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

All this discussion of priestly orders and the like seems quite arcane to most Gentiles, but it’s important to realize that God doesn’t neglect any detail. What is stated here is a glorious truth that should comfort and encourage every believer from whatever background. The whole concept of intercession is a foreign idea to many, but very simply put, it is one person pleading on behalf of another. We see it in the news when, for example, someone is kidnapped and a family member pleads with the kidnapper to release them. That analogy is pretty close to what Jesus does for us, because we get taken captive by sin and Jesus asks for our release, not on the basis of how good we are but on the basis of His own sacrifice on our behalf. That is complete salvation. The average person on the street thinks of being saved in strictly physical terms, as in being saved out of a flood or the like, but salvation in Christ is eternal. He does often get us out of fixes here on earth, but His salvation is far deeper and greater than that. There have been people who have recognized that from even long before Jesus walked this earth. Daniel’s three friends come to mind, when they told the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18) They knew that God’s salvation is eternal and complete, and we need to remember that too.

As a pastor I constantly deal with people who want to get out of their current fix but who have no concept whatsoever of eternal salvation. I try to deal with them gently, but sometimes it can really try my patience! I am to speak the truth in love, and love them in truth, and let the Holy Spirit use my words and actions to open their eyes. If I fail to live out my faith, then others will have less reason to believe that what I tell them is true. How I respond to situations, both good and bad, either validates or denies the Gospel I proclaim.

Father, thank You for this clear reminder. Thank You for the current situation we are experiencing, and for the many people who are watching us as we go through it. I pray that they would see Your hand in our lives and understand that You love them as much as You do us. May what we experience draw many to repentance and faith, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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