A paper presented at The Salvation Army’s 4th International Theology and Ethics Symposium, Sunbury Court, 8-12 October 2014.

The IDC is grateful to each presenter for the content of this paper. The papers should be recognised as discussion papers and what is written is not necessarily the official view of The Salvation Army.


In the February 1920 Musical Salvationist these words by Charles Coller were published.

Joyful news to all mankind, Jesus is mighty to save!
All who seek shall surely find Jesus is mighty to save!
Sinners may relinquish wrong, Faltering hearts may now be strong;
Sound the tiding right along; Jesus is mighty to save!
Jesus is mighty to save!  Jesus is mighty to save!
From the uttermost, to the uttermost, Mighty to save!

This would seem to answers the question, ‘From what to what?’ but it doesn’t shed much light to help us understand what we are saved from and what we are saved to.  Many of the songwriters in our songbook; from Charles Wesley to Lawley to Pearson to Sidney Cox (to name a few), use the phrase ‘saved to the uttermost’ in describing the saving work of Jesus Christ in our lives.  This phrase attempts to define the depths from which and the heights to which Jesus has rescued and redeemed believers. ‘Uttermost’ is defined as ‘the most remote or farthest limit’ and the ‘greatest or highest degree or quantity’.  We simply run out of words to express the ‘from what to what’ of His saving work...

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