This afternoon I was thinking about these words in Hebrews 5.9: “He [the Lord Jesus] became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.”
The Scriptures clearly teach that salvation is by grace through faith (Ephesians 2.8-9). Faith is not a work or a gift. It is the reception of God’s gift in Jesus Christ, the author of eternal salvation. Yet Hebrews 5.9 states that Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. This is because only those who have first trusted in Christ are able to obey Him.
Our faith and obedience is the only “work of God” that will be accepted by God (John 6.29). It is a work of God in that our belief and obedience are only possible because God alone has made it possible through the work of Jesus Christ, His Son.
As the Word of God spread, the number of disciples multiplied in the early church. These disciples were obedient to the faith (Acts 6.7). However, not all have obeyed the Gospel (Romans 10.16). And yet we have purified our souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love (1 Peter 1.22).
But what is the writer of Hebrews getting at in this particular verse? Hebrews 1.14 says that we shall inherit eternal salvation. We receive the promise of an eternal inheritance in Hebrews 9.15. Jesus is the author of this eternal salvation. Does he mean that our salvation is so much more than deliverance from Hell? I think so. Our deepening trust and obedience through suffering is possible only because of Jesus. And yet as we trust and obey, we find a greater reward when we see Him at the end of our lives. This is truly the grace and mercy of God on display for those who trust and obey.