Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
There are two potential problems with this passage. The first one concerns Jesus learning obedience. Hopefully, yesterday’s thought clarified that problem.
But there’s another difficulty. The New Testament emphasises that our ”eternal salvation” comes by faith, not works. So why does the author say that it is given to those who ”obey” Jesus? Tom Hale answers this well:
‘Jesus is the source of salvation for all who obey him – that is, for all who believe in Him. Faith comes first; without faith, we cannot obey Christ. At the same time, without obedience there cannot be true faith (see James 2:14-17…). Both faith and obedience together are necessary for our salvation.’ (‘Applied New Testament Commentary’, p. 857).
In a footnote on the same page he writes: ‘We must understand here that the first and most basic form of obedience is faith itself (see Hebrews 4:6…). Then, once there is true faith, that faith will always be manifested by obedience in all matters. It is impossible to separate faith and obedience; they are like two blades of a scissors. Thus, to say that we are saved through obedience to Christ (that is, the obedience of faith) is the same as saying that we are saved through faith in Christ; both are equally true statements…we are saved by faith expressing itself in obedience (see Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 2:8-10; James 2:14, 17, 20-24…). Furthermore, faith itself is a gift of God, a gift of God’s grace. Our salvation from first to last is a work of God’s grace.’
To change the picture, maybe we can say the salvation bird takes flight with two wings: ‘faith’ and ‘works’. Both wings are absolutely necessary.
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