1. Standard memberRemoved
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    04 Aug '15 22:521 edit
    These verses have troubled many Christians, so I thought it was time to put them to rest....

    What exactly DOES Hebrews 6:4-6 mean, anyway?

    When dialoging with Arminians and others who teach that a person can be “lost” after they have been truly born again, one of their pet passages is Hebrews 6:4-6—4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

    Now, at face value, it does sound like the writer of Hebrews (hereafter referred to as “The Writer” is saying that a person can be saved and then fall away to the point that they cannot be saved again. But is that really what Writer is saying? No, it isn’t, and we will see why.

    The first thing we must do in order to study this passage properly is to get rid of the chapter and verse divisions and any paragraph formatting. While these tools help us to find where certain passages are located, they were not in the original manuscripts and can, more often than not, interfere with our understanding of Scripture. What happens, many times, is our mind sees the numbers, separates Scripture from Scripture, and we put up mental walls around the texts and chop them up into separate thoughts, rather then seeing the constant, continuous flow of thought the writer intended. We also tend to chop paragraphs apart from each other, instead of seeing that the author was writing one long paragraph (for example, Ephesians chapter 1 is actually one long paragraph, rather than a bunch of smaller ones).

    That said, in order to understand what The Writer is saying in Hebrews 6:4-6, we actually need to go back and start at chapter 5, verse 12 and read through chapter 6, verse 8. So, here is Hebrews 5:12-6:8, with no breaks–

    For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.

    continued
  2. Standard memberRemoved
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    04 Aug '15 22:52
    What is the idea that The Writer is trying to get across to the reader? Well, he starts off by saying For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. These people had been taught, over and over again, the first principles of Christ. By now, they should have had a better handle on the truth than what they actually had. But, for some reason, they were not growing in their knowledge, so the writer had to go back over it again. This is the state that many in the church find themselves today. They walk into a fancy building on Sunday morning, they sit in a nice, comfy chair, and a glorified pop-psychologist feeds them some regurgitated, ground-up mush that he calls a “sermon”–while neglecting his duty to take the people deeper into God’s word.

    The Writer, however makes it clear that those who do not go deeper into God’s word will not grasp what true holiness is. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. How is a person going to know how to spot the heresies if they don’t have a full knowledge of the truth? Ephesians 6:14—Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness. Notice how Paul links truth with righteousness?

    He puts the two side-by-side because they are linked arm-in-arm. Think about it: when Johnny Pewsitter gets a knock on his door, and a couple of finely-dressed young men present him with “the gospel that was restored by the prophet Joseph Smith”, and Johnny doesn’t know how to respond to their claims because he hasn’t been taught anything more than “Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life”–when Johnny hears this new “plan”, he’s gonna get sucked in and dragged away into error. It’s like Spurgeon said–“Discernment is not so much knowing the difference between right and wrong. It’s knowing the difference between right and almost right.”

    continued
  3. Standard memberRemoved
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    04 Aug '15 22:531 edit
    But The Writer isn’t going to go back over those things that the Hebrews should have already learned. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. In other words, “Look, if you haven’t understood the most basic things, you aren’t gonna understand the deeper things of God; go back and learn them and get back to me. Repentance, the uselessness of works, the resurrection–you know these things. And if you don’t, you should. But I’m moving on.”

    And now, we get to the heart of the discussion. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. What is the first word in this section? “FOR.” What does the word “For” signify? Well, it means that Writer is using the previous thought as a springboard into his next thought. And if we read this in its full context, this is what we get: Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. So, what is The Writer saying?

    What he’s saying is this: if a person has heard the most basic principles of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, if they have been taught that we are not saved by works or by baptism or by anything else but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ–and after having heard and been taught all those things, if they “fall away” or “turn away” from these things (literally, “fall beside, slip aside, deviate from the right path, turn aside, wander, fall away from the true faith” and if they deny these things–then it is impossible for that person who has once learned these things, and has rejected them, to awaken themselves to their need for repentance.

    This is a person who has given final, definite proof that he will not accept the truth. The phrase translated “once enlightened” is the Greek άπαξ φωτισθέντας (hapax photisthentas, and literally means “once for all enlightened.” They have heard the truth more than once, and in fact they have heard it for the last time that God will let them hear it. They have been adamantly stiff-necked toward God, and should they hear the truth 1000 more times, it will make no impression on their heart.

    cont...
  4. Standard memberRemoved
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    04 Aug '15 22:53
    The Writer is not talking about a person who has been saved–he is talking about a person who was never saved to begin with. He is not talking about a person who at one time accepted these truths and is now rejecting them–he is talking about the person who never accepted the most basic truths of salvation in the first place. The one who is “falling away” heard the truth of Christ but never accepted that truth. They took in the truth of the Living Water, and it produced nothing but a barren tree, which is why he goes on to say, For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned. Here he compares the one who accepts the truth with a tree that bears good herbs that are fit for use in the kingdom of God. But the one who rejects the most basic truths of the gospel is a tree that doesn’t produce anything but thorns and briers, and is only good for kindling.

    “But,” the Arminian will say, “what does Writer mean when he talks about those who have become partakers of the Holy Spirit? Doesn’t that refer to someone who is saved?” The answer to that question is “No.” For there are many who may have claimed to have been saved, but were only fooling themselves and others. Those are the ones that the apostle John says went out from us but…were not of us. For if they were of us, they would have continued with us (1st John 2:19). There were many who went out, who even performed miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit of God, yet who were not truly regenerate. Or what else would our Lord be speaking of when he warns us that “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness'”? (Matthew 7:22-23). Or why does Paul tell us that you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him (Romans 8:9). Many there are who have had truths revealed to them by the Spirit of God, but who were never truly indwelt by Him and quickened by Him. Thus, they were ‘partakers’ of the Holy Spirit, but never children of God.

    Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God…For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened…to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated…but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.

    I hope this has enlightened (no pun intended) those who think that we can lose what God has given us. Because we did nothing to save ourselves, and we can do nothing to keep ourselves saved, how could we ever do anything to lose what we have been given? John 10:27-29—“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

    http://defendingcontending.com/2010/07/23/what-exactly-does-hebrews-64-6-mean-anyway/
  5. Donationrwingett
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    05 Aug '15 00:53
    I guess it was a rhetorical question.
  6. Standard memberRajk999
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    05 Aug '15 01:15
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    These verses have troubled many Christians, so I thought it was time to put them to rest....

    What exactly DOES Hebrews 6:4-6 mean, anyway?

    When dialoging with Arminians and others who teach that a person can be “lost” after they have been truly born again, one of their pet passages is Hebrews 6:4-6—4 For it is impossible for those who were once enl ...[text shortened]... rns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.

    continued
    There are about a dozen or so passages that speak of the fatal consequence of sin for Christians who have accepted Christ and have fallen away. Are you going to post explanations of all of them separately like you are doing for Heb 6? Or are you going to ignore the rest.
  7. Standard memberRemoved
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    05 Aug '15 01:27
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    There are about a dozen or so passages that speak of the fatal consequence of sin for Christians who have accepted Christ and have fallen away. Are you going to post explanations of all of them separately like you are doing for Heb 6? Or are you going to ignore the rest.
    Bring it on...🙂
  8. Standard memberRJHinds
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    05 Aug '15 05:331 edit
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    The Writer is not talking about a person who has been saved–he is talking about a person who was never saved to begin with. He is not talking about a person who at one time accepted these truths and is now rejecting them–he is talking about the person who never accepted the most basic truths of salvation in the first place. The one who is “falling away” ...[text shortened]... hand.”

    http://defendingcontending.com/2010/07/23/what-exactly-does-hebrews-64-6-mean-anyway/
    I suspect that might be correct. I know of many people in the Baptist Church who believed once they were baptized and members of the church they were automatically saved. When I was baptized I never had that feeling from the Holy Spirit telling me I was saved right then and there and there was no possibility that I could not become an unbeliever again. For why would Paul say that they must work out their salvation with fear and trembling and Jesus say that the ones that overcome and endure to the end will be saved?
  9. Standard memberRJHinds
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    05 Aug '15 05:51
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    There are about a dozen or so passages that speak of the fatal consequence of sin for Christians who have accepted Christ and have fallen away. Are you going to post explanations of all of them separately like you are doing for Heb 6? Or are you going to ignore the rest.
    It may be that the consequences may be the same for all that continue in the major sins, like Satan and his demons that know who Jesus is, whether they consider themselves saved believers or not, if they do not overcome. I am not of the opinion that Jesus would give us a license to continue in all our sins just because we are water baptized into a church group and claim we are believers and are saved.
  10. SubscriberSuzianne
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    05 Aug '15 08:38
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    That said, in order to understand what The Writer is saying in Hebrews 6:4-6, we actually need to go back and start at chapter 5, verse 12 and read through chapter 6, verse 8. So, here is Hebrews 5:12-6:8, with no breaks–
    "It's like deja vu all over again." -- Yogi Berra

    Thanks for fleshing out Hebrews 5:12-14 a bit more than I did, and making the needed connection between this and the verses that some like to throw out at every opportunity, namely Hebrews 6:4-6. My use of Hebrews 5:12-14 was for another reason entirely, though, but thanks for explaining this passage for those who might not understand just what Hebrews 6:4-6 is saying, but who use it anyways.
  11. SubscriberSuzianne
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    05 Aug '15 08:56
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    There are about a dozen or so passages that speak of the fatal consequence of sin for Christians who have accepted Christ and have fallen away. Are you going to post explanations of all of them separately like you are doing for Heb 6? Or are you going to ignore the rest.
    Thanks for totally ignoring his point that Hebrews 5 is far more important to the typical Christian than Hebrews 6. And by 'typical Christian', I mean what most would consider a 'typical Christian' and not your own derogatory views of what YOU consider a 'typical Christian'. Contrary to what you think about Christians all being terminally sinful and all having fallen away, most Christians are true to their faith. But to see this for yourself, you'd have to actually go to church once in a while. I'm really, really, really tired of you using the word 'Christian' as an invective epithet of some kind. It's people like you, who bad-mouth your Christian brothers, that I find far more repulsive and farther from God than those whom you constantly denigrate.
  12. Standard memberRemoved
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    05 Aug '15 13:19
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    It may be that the consequences may be the same for all that continue in the major sins, like Satan and his demons that know who Jesus is, whether they consider themselves saved believers or not, if they do not overcome. I am not of the opinion that Jesus would give us a license to continue in all our sins just because we are water baptized into a church group and claim we are believers and are saved.
    There is no such thing as a license to sin. Anyone who thinks that way is not born again.
    The nature is changed, sin would be the farthest thing from our minds. We have no desire to hurt (grieve) our Lord which is what sin does, besides destroying us.
    That is not to say we will never sin, but we don't walk with a sin conscience. That is bondage.
  13. Standard memberRemoved
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    05 Aug '15 13:20
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    "It's like deja vu all over again." -- Yogi Berra

    Thanks for fleshing out Hebrews 5:12-14 a bit more than I did, and making the needed connection between this and the verses that some like to throw out at every opportunity, namely Hebrews 6:4-6. My use of Hebrews 5:12-14 was for another reason entirely, though, but thanks for explaining this passage for those who might not understand just what Hebrews 6:4-6 is saying, but who use it anyways.
    Yes, it is deja vu, it seems like this debate goes on and on.🙂
  14. Standard memberRajk999
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    05 Aug '15 14:14
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    Yes, it is deja vu, it seems like this debate goes on and on.🙂
    I wont bother posting all the other passages. I have been doing that too many times. Two points though:
    - if a preacher has to spend so much time and effort trying to explain away what Christ and the Apostles is saying in very clear language about sin, then he is definitely on the wrong track.
    - I personally like the teachings of Christ and I think they are easy to understand. No fancy mental gymnastics or expert analysis or semantics and playing with words are required .. even better there is a great comfort in knowing, believing & putting into practice as best as one can, the commandments of Christ.
  15. Standard memberRemoved
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    05 Aug '15 15:09
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    I wont bother posting all the other passages. I have been doing that too many times. Two points though:
    - if a preacher has to spend so much time and effort trying to explain away what Christ and the Apostles is saying in very clear language about sin, then he is definitely on the wrong track.
    - I personally like the teachings of Christ and I think they ...[text shortened]... t in knowing, believing & putting into practice as best as one can, the commandments of Christ.
    There is no playing with words. It is leaving the milk and digging in deeper to God, Jesus Christ and the word of God.
    Eph 4:11-16
    nd He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
    NKJV

    Heb 5:13-14
    For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
    NKJV
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