Hebrews 6: 1-20
VV 1-3, 1Therefore, 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, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.
The author of Hebrews highlighted the six basics principles of Christianity, repentance from dead works (rejection of work salvation), the doctrine of baptisms (baptisms of water and the Holy Spirit), laying on of hands ( impartation of spiritual gifts) resurrection of the dead (the rapture), eternal judgment (the white throne judgment and the millennial kingdom).
VV 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.
Verses 4-6 is hard to teach but very important to understand. The author warned that if we ignore the basics of Christianity and drift back to the world again, we may even lose our salvation. If someone had been born again, had experienced the Holy Spirit, tasted the goodness of God, but went back to the world again, then it may not be possible to renew that person to repentance.
The subject of eternal security is a continuous debate among biblical theologians and scholars. The Calvinist theology subscribed to the doctrine of “once saved always saved’ but the Arminian theology subscribed to the doctrine that one can lose salvation through sin. So which one is right?
The Calvinist-Arminian debate will never end. Each side will choose verses to support their position and there are plenty to choose from. Hebrew 6:4-6 is one of them. Both positions and doctrines are equally true but they are not mutually exclusive. They are two sides of the same salvation coin. We have to accept that there are things that we will not understand this side of eternity. A balanced theology is preferred to a pure Calvinistic or a pure Arminian theology
I believe in eternal security. I believe that we cannot lose our salvation but we can deliberately choose to lose it. Although Paul says in Romans 8:1, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God’’, but a person can deliberately choose to be separated from the love of God. It is possible for a born again believer to hardened the heart, to walk away from the faith, and not wanting Jesus anymore. Jesus will not force His Lordship on anyone.
VV 7-8, 7 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; 8 but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.
The rain falls on the thorns and the fruit-bearing plants. The thorn is a curse and the fruit-bearing plant is a blessing. The truth of the gospel will fall on those who hear and accept it as a blessing but will also fall on those who hear and reject it as a curse.
VV 9-12, 9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. 10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
The author of Hebrews was confident that salvation would come to the first-century Jews and us because we labor and minister to God’s people. James 2:17, “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead”. James was not talking about work salvation. It is not faith and work that saves but faith with work that saves. Our righteous God will not forget our work and will reward us in heaven. Do not be lazy, keep on ministering, and keep on believing.
VV 13-16, 13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute.
When God gave the Abrahamic covenant to Abraham, He swore by Himself because He could not swear to anyone greater than Him. The author quoted Genesis 22:17, “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven”. Although Abraham believed God’s promise, he still had to wait another 25 years before Isaac was born, from age 75 to age 100. Believe with patience because God’s promises will come to pass.
VV 17-20, 17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
God was determined to show us that He is a promise-keeping God by two immutable things, His promise, and His oath. He cannot lie to His promise and He cannot break His oath. These are the anchors of our soul as we wait patiently for His promise to be fulfilled. Jesus entered behind the veil into the Holy of Holies. The veil in the temple separates the people from the presence of God. Only the high priest can enter behind the veil once a year on the Day of Atonement. When Christ died on Good Friday, the veil of the temple was torn from the top to the bottom leading the way for all of us to enter into the presence of God. Mark 15:38, “and the veil of the temple was torn in two”. Jesus was not a Levi, not a descendant of Aaron, and not a high priest of the Aaronic Levitical system. He was a High Priest in the order of Melchizedek. Psalm 110:4, “The Lord has sworn, and will not change his mind: You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”