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What About Hebrews 6?

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  • What About Hebrews 6?

    Hebrews 6 is one of the most difficult passages of Scripture to understand, mainly because we don’t know who wrote the book or the circumstances surrounding its writing. If we knew, for instance, that the author was writing to people who had fallen in among the Judaizers like those in Galatia, he would be making an argument against salvation by the law. For someone to turn again to the law would be to reject everything he had received under the Gospel. The grace he had received in the Spirit would have no meaning. And not only that, once he returned to the law, there would be no redemption left for him; what the Cross could not do for him, the law certainly could not do. This may be what the writer meant by saying such a person would crucify again for himself the Son of God and put Him to open shame. By turning to the law, he would make a sham of the Cross, and no redemption would be available under a works Gospel.

    This is a possible interpretation of the text. However, the writer also could be referring to apostates, to those who were members of the visible church but fell away from the faith and, thus, proved they never were part of the true church, as 1 John 2:19 says. If this is the right interpretation, we need to deal with the language of verses 4 and 5 in connection with an unbeliever. Let’s see if this can be done.

    First, the text describes these apostates as those who have understood the Gospel and believed it to be true, which is possible for an unbeliever. Second, they have tasted the heavenly gift. This could mean partaking of the Lord’s Supper, something else an unbeliever can do. Third, they have become partakers of the Holy Spirit. This could mean they have some experience with the gifts of the Spirit, which can occur in unbelievers, or they were simply part of the Christian community living in the Spirit’s presence. Fourth, they have witnessed the signs and wonders that accompanied the Gospel, another action that is possible for unbelievers. Last, it says that they could not be renewed to repentance, implying that they once had repented. We know from the case of Esau that a person can have false repentance. If Hebrews 6 is talking about an apostate, then he will become so hardened in his sin that he has no hope of salvation—a sober reminder to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith.

  • #2
    In Hebrews 6, we start with verses 1-3, which speak of introducing the principles of perfection, or completeness in our salvation, not how to leave our sinful ways and get saved, as the author already explained this in Hebrews. Verses 4-6 are often taken out of context to mean that if one fall away, he is doomed and cannot return unto the fold. Two things: Read the verses before and after these two to get the context and the other is to remember the parable of the prodigal son who not only fell away from his father, but came home and was gladly received by him. In order to believe in free will, one has to believe one can lose his salvation as well as choose it in the first place, but this whole doctrine is not taught in the Bible. God does all the choosing and causing of us to repent and He preserves us to persevere to the end. In verses 4-6, Jesus’ death on the cross is all that is needed to save all, and it is impossible that any other thing or work or repeat of His work on the cross will do any better. It is finished on the cross once and for all. God has given the very best there is to save man from sin and death, and this work was completed on the cross; it is impossible to go any further. In verses 7-8, the earth brings forth those of the blessing from God and those of the curses, which are saved or burned up, respectively. In verses 9-12, God speaks of the works we are to do and the perseverance to the end.

    In any case, it does not mean we can lose our salvation or this belief would be in contradiction with John 6:37-40 KJV.
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    • #3
      Actually it is pretty widely accepted that Luke wrote Hebrews but regardless, Heb 6:4-6 is clear;
      • [SIZE=10px]4 [/SIZE]It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit,
      • [SIZE=10px]5 [/SIZE]who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age
      • [SIZE=10px]6 [/SIZE]and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
      Enlightened is far more than salvation and communion is not a heavenly gift, it is an earthly institution. Also only saved people can receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit as in Acts 2:4

      Unsaved people cannot taste of the goodness of God or the powers of the coming age.

      Falling away is simply apostasy which the Bible does teach happens and will happen big time in the final time. 2 Thess 2:3. Apostasy is NOT losing salvation, it is walking away from it, which is why the end of v6 says what it says.

      It is NOT hard to understand unless you are trying to make it fit your RT doctrine, which is then eisegesis and NOT sound hermeneutics.
      Last edited by Stan; 04-09-2015, 09:26 PM.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Stan View Post
        Actually it is pretty widely accepted that Luke wrote Hebrews
        I've never heard that.

        The two main candidates I've heard of, apart from Paul, are Apollos and Barnabus.
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        • #5
          In the last line of the OP, sounds like Arminian doctrine, that a person hardens himself to the point of no return. Either he is chosen of God or he is not. Hebrews 6 is referring to the seed cast in the stony places with no chance to grow, or that is cast amidst the thistles where the doctrines of the world chokes the truth out of that man. In either case, he does not persevere to the end, which must be done to be saved. Those are the seed planted in the good ground and bear good fruit. It is God who causes us to persevere to the end, not man causing himself, for that would be impossible. God casts the seed, not man.

          Hebrews 6 deals with those who were never chosen, but are shown to be false believers who eventually fall away, never able to really have become believers in the first place. People who believe in being able to lose their salvation use these verses wrong, and if they were all correct in their interpretation, had better be perfect always. In which case, what did Jesus die for? He died for all our sins, and won't cast us out for any reason, but only for believers, not fake believers as is discussed in Hebrews 6.

          Too much garbage doctrine clouded the true meaning of those verses and that is why they seem confusing. Just remember Scripture does not contradict itself. Other Scripture such as those in John 6, et al, teach the opposite of the false teachers of what Hebrews 6 teaches. Apostates were never true believers, so let's get that straight. Otherwise, we think in terms of not only false free will but that we can lose our salvation, so these people never had it to lose; it was just a temporary appearance. This explains a lot of why there is such a large turnover in church attendance. Phonies come in to worship a bit, then leave. They partook of the good things of God and left, just as Hebrews 6 defines, and they were never true believes. See what I mean about how Arminian doctrine is insidious, like an octopus with tentacles everywhere? Man does not do the work of getting saved, God does it all and the glory is all His.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bede View Post
            I've never heard that.
            The two main candidates I've heard of, apart from Paul, are Apollos and Barnabus.
            The following link will give you the info about the book. It is very well put together.

            Lukan Authorship of Hebrews in Review | COVENANT OF LOVE

            Paul was widely discounted for years.
            Comment>
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