What does Hebrews 7:25 mean?
ESV: 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.
NIV: Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
NASB: Therefore He is also able to save forever those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
CSB: Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them.
NLT: Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.
KJV: 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.
NKJV: 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.
Verse Commentary:
This verse begins with the Greek word hothen, which literally means "therefore." The statement which comes next, then, is entirely dependent on what has just been said. In prior verses, the author has been explaining how the Old Testament system of priests is limited, and therefore ultimately useless for our salvation. Human priests can only serve until they die (Hebrews 7:23), and so they cannot intercede for us forever. No human priest could offer sacrifice for all sins, since he could never live long enough to do so. Jesus, on the other hand, lives forever (Hebrews 7:16), with a priesthood guaranteed forever by God (Hebrews 7:17, 7:21).

Therefore, Christ can save us in ways which the Old Covenant never could. The concept of Jesus saving "to the uttermost" is often taken to mean that God can save anyone, no matter how sinful they may be. That idea is true (1 Corinthians 6:9–11), but is not the point being made here. Instead, the author of Hebrews is echoing the same points made earlier: that Jesus is eternally available to intercede for us, and to offer us forgiveness, even right now (Hebrews 4:14–16). Where a human priest would fall short, Christ can save us entirely, since His priesthood is unending (Romans 8:34). What man's effort cannot achieve, Christ's finished work on the cross has already done (Matthew 19:26; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 11:6).

This is powerfully illustrated in the Greek phrase used for "to the uttermost," which is eis to panteles. This exact same phrase, using the exact same words, is used in Luke 13:11 to describe the plight of the crippled woman. She was suffering from a condition which prevented her from standing up "completely." She was bent over, and as much as she tried, she could not completely uncurl her back—she could not straighten her back eis to panteles. This same phrase is used here to show how Christ does, in fact, save us that very way: completely.

Later verses will expand on this by pointing out how Christ's sacrifice is also perfect, not limited like that of the Levitical priests (Hebrews 9:11–12). His life is sinless, unlike the flawed human nature of other priests (Hebrews 4:15). Human priesthood, left to itself, could only save us to a certain extent—not completely, and not eternally. Christ, on the other hand, saves us entirely and forever (Hebrews 9:24).
Verse Context:
Hebrews 7:11–28 expands on prior arguments related to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Here, the author shows how the priesthood of Jesus is superior to that of the Old Testament Law. This uses the figure of Melchizedek as a model. Christ's priesthood is sinless, perfect, unending, and decreed as such by God. The Levitical priesthood was temporary, flawed, imperfect, and could not last forever. This better promise, in Christ, is tied into the confidence we have as believers.
Chapter Summary:
When Abraham met with Melchizedek in the Old Testament, he honored him with tithes. This shows that Abraham recognized Melchizedek's superiority. Since the Old Covenant was flawed—based on limited priests and limited sacrifices—it is inferior to the priesthood of Melchizedek, which is unending. Jesus Christ fulfills God's promise to establish a priest ''forever'' in a way which perfectly meets our needs.
Chapter Context:
Chapters 5 and 6 detoured from the main theme in order to present a warning about faithlessness and apostasy. Chapter 7 returns to the topic of Melchizedek, who represents a mysterious but important moment in Old Testament history. Here, the author will show how Melchizedek was superior to Abraham, and that Melchizedek's priesthood is superior to the priesthood of Aaron. This leads into the next chapters, which show how Jesus Christ perfectly fulfills our salvation in ways which the Old Covenant cannot.
Book Summary:
The book of Hebrews is meant to challenge, encourage, and empower Christian believers. According to this letter, Jesus Christ is superior to all other prophets and all other claims to truth. Since God has given us Christ, we ought to listen to what He says and not move backwards. The consequences of ignoring God are dire. Hebrews is important for drawing on many portions of the Old Testament in making a case that Christ is the ultimate and perfect expression of God's plan for mankind. This book presents some tough ideas about the Christian faith, a fact the author makes specific note of.
Accessed 5/26/2024 6:11:04 PM
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