Hebrews 6:4-6

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Primitive Baptist, Jul 17, 2004.

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Hebrews 6:4-6

  1. Hebrews 6:4-6 describes individuals who have been given eternal life, but forfeit it because of apos

    22.2%
  2. Hebrews 6:4-6 describes individuals who have been given eternal life, but apostasy is hypothetical a

    27.8%
  3. Hebrews 6:4-6 describes individuals who have been given eternal life but are subject to temporal jud

    50.0%
  4. Hebrews 6:4-6 describes individuals who were never really born again.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Primitive Baptist

    Primitive Baptist
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    There are several different ways in which one can approach Hebrews 6:4-6. The purpose of this poll is to explore those approaches and come to a better understanding of the text. Believers in grace, this is one of the most frequently used verses by Arminians to disprove the doctrine of preservation. Do not be caught off guard! "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" (1 Pet. 3.15)
     
  2. npetreley

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    Doesn't the last choice imply the second? If they were never born again, than isn't the situation described hypothetical?
     
  3. Primitive Baptist

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    I chose option 3, "Hebrews 6:4-6 describes individuals who have been given eternal life but are subject to temporal judgment because of apostasy." The reason I chose this option is because it does not seem likely that the writer of Hebrews is referring to false professors. The characteristics attributed to them could never be attributed to false professors. Any other thoughts concerning this point?
     
  4. StefanM

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    I chose option 4, but option 3 would be my second choice.

    Option 2, in my opinion, would mean the writer was disingenuous when writing Hebrews.

    I do not believe in loss of salvation, so I exclude option 1. Additionally, if true, the loss of salvation as outlined in this passage would seem to be without remedy. It would create a "once saved, rarely saved" situation.
     
  5. Primitive Baptist

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    npetreley, not necessarily. The second option states that Paul was giving a hypothetical situation, that is, "If they shall fall away..." The characteristics described in verses four and five are someone who has been saved by the grace of God. The last option states that the characteristics in verses four and five describe the experience of a false professor, that is, those things do not necessarily imply salvation.

    Those of you who chose option three, how can you make the description of these people in verses four and five fit someone who was a false professor?
     
  6. npetreley

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    Sure. I picked the last one, although I think it implies that the situation is hypothetical. Here's why I picked the last one. After the author gets done describing what would be an abominal situation, he says...

    9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.

    In other words, when he says he is confident of better things [than what we just described] concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation -- I have to ask myself "as opposed to what?" The answer I get is "worse things like what we just described, as in things that accompany non-salvation".
     
  7. StefanM

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    Amen, npetreley! [​IMG]
     
  8. BobRyan

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    The answer is.... Option 1.

    A. IF you say they were never born again - then you give too much credit and "Ability" to the totally depraved nature as if IT could escape the slavery of sin "for a while".

    B. If you say that this is a saved person who is being warned against an easter-bunny like mythical danger that is in fact not remotely possible as a real risk -- then you deflate the warning in the text. In fact to "Warn" against the easter bunny is simply a joke.

    There is no such thing as a practical warning against a mythical danger.

    C. If the warning is to the saved - and is about a real falling away that is only temporary - then saying "it is IMPOSSIBLE to renew them again" is made void. The very sole of this scenario is that they ARE going to be renewed again and that this IS not a permanent problem.

    Futher - "good for nothing and burned" - does not mean "heavenly bliss for all eternity".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. Primitive Baptist

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    I chose option three, and here's why. There's no way that the things in verses four and five could ever be applied to people who were not born again. If you believe they could, please explain. If you understand the situation those Hebrew Christians were in, I believe it'll help clear up a lot of obscurity. God was about to pour out His judgment on Jerusalem in a few short years.

    "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation; which at first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?" -Hebrews 2:1-4

    The writer of Hebrews (Paul?) included himself in this exhortation ("we"). Notice also that he did not say "if we reject so great salvation," but "if we NEGLECT so great salvation." We are commanded in Scripture to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). Those Hebrew Christians had an advantage. The word was confirmed to them by eyewitnesses of the Lord and by sign gifts, neither of which are present today.

    "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven." -Hebrews 12:25

    Again, we see the pronoun "we." The author included himself. Now, if they fell away, it would be impossible to renew them again to repentance. Why? Because they would be crucifying to themselves the Son of God afresh and putting him to an open shame (v. 6). If this Scripture does not teach "once saved always saved," it inevitably teaches "once lost always lost," something Arminians themselves do not believe. God was about to pull the curtain on the Jewish nation.

    "But exhort another while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." -Hebrews 3:13

    The time for choosing was today (Hebrews 3, 4). "...choose you this day whom ye will serve..." (Joshua 24:15) The book of Hebrews was written within the mid-sixties. The Jewish war began in 67. Those Christians who were bearing thorns and briers were being rejected and were "nigh unto cursing" (v. 8; cf. John 15). Again, the time had drawn near. They would not be renewed again unto repentance. I believe this text was primarily applicable to those first century Hebrew Christians. I believe the principle may still apply today, but it had special significance to those Christians.

    Hebrews 10:26, 27 shed some light on the situation. The writer of Hebrews let them know that if "we" sin willfully, there is no more sacrifice for sins, "But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries," (v. 27) referring to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. They were not going to find a sacrifice for their sins in Judaism. They would perish with them.

    [ July 17, 2004, 11:57 PM: Message edited by: Primitive Baptist ]
     
  10. Primitive Baptist

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    Any other thoughts concerning this?
     
  11. BobRyan

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    This is not valid exegesis. One can not argue "I don't like what the text actually says and I know others that don't either - so we must find another meaning".

    The sin of John 5 appears to fit this Hebrews 6 situation. Recall that John speaks of sin that is beyond the line. One for which we do not pray.

    Christ also speaks of sin not forgiven in this life or the life to come.

    Deleting this verse alone does not solve the problem.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. npetreley

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    PB,

    First, I would guess that the author of Hebrews is Barnabas, not Paul. Paul was an excellent writer who knew how to fully develop his themes and bring them to completion. Hebrews is more of a patch-work written by someone who occasionally has trouble staying on topic. It is also written in a style very similar to other work attributed to Barnabas (although the authorship there is in question, too).

    The "patchwork" style makes it impossible to pull "we" from one section of the epistle and apply it to others. This is especially true of Hebrews 6, where the author drops back into "teacher" mode, with the introduction...

    1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection...[...] 3And this we will[1] do if God permits.

    The only use of "we" refers to what "we" will teach at this point. Then when discussing the falling away, he shifts very plainly into "they".

    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.

    Then he comes back to "we" to express his opinion of the readers ("you").

    9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.

    And as I said, this verse seems to draw a distinction between what he just said about those who fall away, and things that accompany salvation -- meaning that what he was just talking about cannot be things accompanying salvation.

    By the way, this is also what I mean by "patchwork" style. He spends a few verses teaching a point, and then seems to forget he was in "teaching" mode and goes right back to addressing the readers on a personal level. He has a hard time staying on track.

    Now, the only really difficult part of the passage to reconcile, IMO, is the phrase "partakers of the Holy Spirit".

    If he was talking about people who were unsaved, then I can only take this to mean one of two things. Either he was talking hypothetically in order to teach his lesson, or he was talking about partaking in the Holy Spirit in some way other than having the Holy Spirit live inside you and regenerate you.

    Personally, I still haven't decided which of the above. But I'm satisfied that he couldn't have been talking about people who were saved, because he compares those symptoms with "things that accompany salvation" as a contrast.
     
  13. Primitive Baptist

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    npetreley, maybe the "we" part of my argument is defective. However, I am still very reluctant to say that the author of Hebrews was referring to reprobates because of the things attributed to them. Let's start with the first thing written about these people. They were "enlightened" (Gr., "photizo"). Though the gospel is preached to reprobates, I don't feel like that could be rightly called enlightenment. Please explain.
     
  14. npetreley

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    Well, like I said, I have a bigger problem with "partakers of the Holy Spirit" than I do with "enlightened", which could mean just about anything. Maybe I'm not phased by "enlightened" because I used to live in California, where everyone believed they were "enlightened" about something or another. ;)

    Anyway, if I am to assume that the situation in verses 4-6 refer to people who are saved, then the only other way I can harmonize that with the rest of scripture is to ask what he means by "renew to repentance"?

    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, 5and 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

    Does that really mean "to be saved again"? Or does it mean "to be brought to a point of re-repentance"? Let me put it this way -- remember the Corinthians who were treating the Lord's supper with disrespect? It was for this reason many of them were sick and some had "fallen asleep". Was this God's "solution" to the problem because they could not be renewed to repentance after what they'd done?

    I think it's possible, but it's a stretch, and it creates a problem for verse 9, which is a pretty strong argument that verses 4-6 refer to "things that accompany non-salvation".

    So verse 9 makes me more inclined to think verses 4-6 are a hypothetical situation stated to emphasize to the readers how immensely important it is to progress in our walk, because if it were possible to fall away like that, the only way to be renewed would be to crucify Jesus again.

    The bottom line is this is a very difficult passage to unravel completely, because IMO the writer was not a very good one, and his intent for even making this point at all is not clear.
     
  15. Primitive Baptist

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    I agree that this text is hard to understand. I also agree with what you stated about California [​IMG] . When I was a kid, I, like most others, did things my parents taught me not to do. I can remember several times my mom saying, "I expected better out of you," or something to that effect. Could that be what the writer of Hebrews is saying to these brethren? Because of their good start, he expected better things from them than what they were doing?
     
  16. Primitive Baptist

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    By the way, if verses 4-6 were only hypothetical, what would be the point of even mentioning this warning?
     
  17. StefanM

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    With the way these verses were written, I'm not sure we'll understand what the point was while we're on this side of heaven!

    Is anyone else wishing that we had a 67th book of the Bible that was a nice, systematic, theological treatise?
     
  18. npetreley

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    Well, I'm not sure it sounds like a warning to me. It sounds more to me like this:

    "Hey people, it's time to get past salvation 101, okay? I mean, by now you should know what basic repentance means. But to continue our lesson: TRUE repentance is something that can happen only once. You can't truly repent, reap all the benefits, fall away and then repent again! If you did that, it would be like crucifying Jesus all over again! But I'm confident of better things from you, not just superficial repentance but TRUE repentance and growth - you know, things that are indicative of real salvation."
     
  19. Me2

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    this is a clear understanding of the process of election. election is unto salvation. it is not in and of itself salvation.

    both the elect and non elect are called and enlightened. yet the wisdom hasnt been tried until the unvealing of the spirit within.
    the true elect will receive true faith of the resurrected spirit of Christ within them and true understanding that associates with the wisdom taught of the Holy Spirit.
    the non elect will derive their understanding from their carnal spirit using their own carnal faith. which leads to not understanding the wisdom and eventually twisting and losing the original truths taught of the Holy Spirit.

    Hebrews 6 is about moving forward FROM the child stage to an unvealing of the spirit of Christ within them. discovering this truth draws the understanding that it is impossible to recrusify an already resurrected spirit that is within you.

    the non elect will only worsen with their carnal imaginations and faith..

    Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    Me2
     
  20. Lacy Evans

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    My mama tanned my hide when she "expected better of me".

    lacy
     

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