Hebrews 6:4-8

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Mickes, Aug 5, 2003.

  1. Mickes

    Mickes
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    can a christian fall away or turn from God after partaking of the Holy Ghost?
     
  2. npetreley

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    After warning them, he says...

    Why is he confident of better things concerning the readers? What makes them different than those in danger?

     
  3. Gunther

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    No. The passage is a warning to serve the same purpose as a promise. They both are to motivate the believer to pursue righteousness, faith, etc.
     
  4. Paul of Eugene

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    It's also a corrective to those who are continually talking about being "saved" and then "losing their salvation" and "getting saved again". You could never get saved again after losing your salvation, should you think you had, so don't go that route!
     
  5. Tim too

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    ABSOLUTELY!

    You can fall away from God and thereby forfeit your salvation. Not only is it possible, it is predicted in record numbers in the last days. (1 Timothy 4:1) It is in the Bible. Ask the Holy Ghost for guidance as you read you Bible. Ask Him if it is possible and underline or highlight all that He shows you. If you grew up believing that you could never lose you salvation like I did, you may be surprised. :eek:

    In the love of Christ,
    Tim
     
  6. John Wells

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    Tim,

    I suggest you read the following slowly and with much prayer:

    Galatians 5:1-5 (ESV)1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.

    Applied to one who was really an unbeliever, the principle of falling from grace speaks of being exposed to the gracious truth of the Gospel and then turning one's back on Christ. Such a person is an apostate.

    During the time of the early church, many unbelievers-both Jews and Gentiles-not only heard the Gospel but also witnessed the miraculous confirming signs performed by the apostles. They often couldn't help becoming attracted to Christ and making some profession of faith in Him. Many became involved in a local church and vicariously experienced the blessings of Christian love and fellowship. They were exposed firsthand to every truth and blessing of the Gospel of grace, but then turned away. According to a passage we will soon examine, they had "been enlightened," had "tasted of the heavenly gift," and had even "been made partakers of the Holy Spirit" by witnessing His divine ministry in the lives of believers (Heb. 6:4). But they refused to trust in Christ alone, so they fell away, losing all prospect of repentance and therefore of salvation, since "there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven...by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). They came to the very doorway of grace and then fell away, back into their works-oriented religion.

    Hebrews 6:4-6 (ESV)4 For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they then fall away, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

    The individuals addressed here had five great advantages because of their association with the church: They had been enlightened, had tasted Christ's heavenly gift, had partaken of the Holy Spirit, had tasted the Word of God, and had tasted the miraculous powers of the age to come (vv. 4-5). There is no reference at all to salvation. In fact, no term used here is ever used elsewhere in the New Testament for salvation, and none should be taken to refer to it in this passage.

    The enlightenment spoken of here has to do with intellectual perception of spiritual truth. It means to be mentally aware of something, to be instructed, informed. It carries no connotation of response-of acceptance or rejection, belief or disbelief. The tasting or partaking implies something similar: a mere sampling of truth. It was not embraced or lived, only examined.

    Because they believe that warning is addressed to Christians, some interpreters think Hebrews 6 teaches that salvation can be lost. If that interpretation were true, however, the passage would also teach that, once lost, salvation could never be regained-that the person would be damned forever. There would be no going back and forth, in and out of grace, as most people who believe you can lose your salvation seem to assume. But Christians are not being addressed, and it is the opportunity for receiving salvation, not salvation itself, that can be lost.

    John 15:1-2,4,6 (ESV)1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

    In John 15, Jesus likened His followers to branches that bear fruit but need pruning now and then. There is no such thing as a fruitless Christian. Everyone bears some fruit. You may have to look hard to find even a small grape, but if you look close enough, you will find something.

    Since all Christians bear fruit, it is clear that the fruitless branches in John 15 cannot refer to them. In fact, the fruitless branches had to be eliminated and thrown into the fire. Yet Jesus referred to the fruitless branches as those who were in Him (v. 2). Doesn't that imply they had to have been genuine believers?

    Not necessarily. Externally they may be attached, but no life flows through them. Other passages in Scripture show it is possible to be a parasite on the vine, seemingly a part of it, but only in appearance. In Romans 9:6, for example, Paul says, "They are not all Israel who are descended from Israel." It was possible for a person to be part of the nation of Israel, yet not be a true Israelite. Likewise, it is possible to be a branch without abiding in the true vine. A similar metaphor in Romans represents Israel as an olive tree from which God had removed certain branches (11:17-24). Those branches were cut off because of unbelief.

    Some only appear to be a part of God's people. In Luke 8:18, Jesus says, "Take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him shall more be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him." Appearance devoid of reality is grounds for being removed from God's people. One day the tares will be separated from the wheat on that basis (Matt. 13:30, 38). "There is," Paul says, "no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1). Those who are in Him cannot be removed, they cannot be cut off, and they need not fear judgment. There is no suggestion here that those who now abide might later cease to do so.

    The true believer, in contrast, can never be thrown away. In John 6:37, Jesus said, "All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out." John later wrote, "They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us" (1 John 2:19). If a person leaves the fellowship of God's people and never comes back, he or she was never a true believer to begin with.

    The Bible knows nothing of becoming unjustified!

    So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1) "condemnation" is used exclusively in judicial settings as the opposite of justification. It refers to a verdict of guilty and the penalty that verdict demands. No sin a believer can commit-past, present, or future-can be held against him, since the penalty was paid by Christ and righteousness was imputed to the believer. And no sin will ever reverse this divine legal decision.

    John 15:16 (ESV)16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

    John 6:37 (ESV)37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

    1 John 2:12 (ESV)12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake.
     
  7. Primitive Baptist

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    "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." -Hebrews 6:4-6

    The writer of Hebrews is actually showing the obvious fallacy of the doctrine that a child of God can forfeit eternal salvation, for if it were possible (hypothetical language), they could not be saved again (v. 6). Those who use this verse to "prove" conditional eternal salvation, or at least the ones I know, also teach that one can be saved again and again. However, the writer of Hebrews makes it clear that they could not.

    "But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak." -Hebrews 6:9

    H was persuaded better things of them because they showed evidence of being of the elect of God, for better things accompany a true salvation experience. The writer also wrote, "THOU we thus speak..." making it clear that he was describing a hypothetical situation.
     
  8. Artimaeus

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    No. It says that IF you lose it, you can't get it back and NOBODY teaches that. It is not teaching the loss of salvation. It is giving an illustration to show the absurdity of just such a concept.
     
  9. Paul of Eugene

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    Here's the scripture you cited:

    1 Tim 4:1-3
    But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
    2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,
    3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.
    NASU

    I don't see anything here that says people actually lose there salvation. Some will depart from the faith, that is, sound biblical teaching.
     
  10. Gunther

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    You don't see it because it doesn't exist. The lengths people will go... :rolleyes:

    Whenever some says you need to read with an open mind and/or the leading of the Holy Spirit, and the Scriptures are plain, WATCH OUT.
     
  11. Tim too

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    I find it very interesting that you can find this passage applying to unbelievers. How in this world could any unbeliever ever be "severed from Christ" if he/she was never in Christ? :confused: How can an unbeliever fall from grace having never been standing as a recipient of God's grace? :confused: I will agree with you about this person being an apostate. APOSTASY = Defection from the faith, an act of unpardonable rebellion against God and his truth. How can an unbeliever abandon something he never accepted? :confused:


    John, you have made a lengthy argument for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit not being believers, however enlightened is a clear indication of a persons standing with Christ. Paul in describing unbelievers calls them darkened. Ephesians 4:17,18 Jesus described Himself to the woman at the well as the "gift of God." Everyone knows that unbelievers do not have the Holy Spirit. I appreciate your effort but I will let the word of God stand for itself.

    I will agree with your statement about not going back and forth. The notion of saved/lost/saved is not taught in the Bible, but apostasy is. It is rejecting God, thereby losing your salvation.

    As to this not being written to the Church, i.e. Christians please tell me what other books in the Bible you believe are not written to Christians. It seems a waste to write books to unbelievers since they are not going to understand them anyway.

    John, look at what Paul goes on to write to the believers the letter was addressed to:

    Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. Romans 11:22 NIV

    Here again you write a lot to explain away what the Bible says. Everyone knows that branches are a part of the vine, Christ. The branches that do not bear fruit are cut off and burned. The ones that do bear fruit do so because they abide in Christ. Why in the world would Jesus tell us to do something that we are going to automatically do? Because it doesn't happen automatically. The devil doesn't stop tempting people just because they become Christians. You can still sin and you can harden yourself to the conviction, teaching and leading of the Holy Spirit by indulging in sin. It is at this point that a person is able to become apostate.

    If you look at this verse so often quoted by those who believe in the eternal security of the believer it says:

    all that the Father doth give to me will come unto me; and him who is coming unto me, I may in no wise cast without,
    John 6:37 Young’s Literal Translation

    You see the verb in the second part of that statement is not past tense but a present active. The are coming to Christ, in other words they are abiding.

    The gospel of John is the crutch for the Calvinist and the proponents of Once Saved Always Saved. The whole Bible resounds with the warning that apostasy will not be tolerated.

    Forgive me for chopping up you post, but with yours and mine together it just would be too long. ;)

    In the love of Christ,
    Tim
     
  12. Tim too

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    You don't see it because it doesn't exist. The lengths people will go... :rolleyes:

    Whenever some says you need to read with an open mind and/or the leading of the Holy Spirit, and the Scriptures are plain, WATCH OUT.
    </font>[/QUOTE]RIDICULOUS :mad:

    If the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit are not sufficient to teach us why read the Bible and why pray?

    Why would Jesus tell us that the Holy Spirit would be our guide and lead us into all truth? John 16:13

    Why did Paul commend the Bereans for examining the Scripture? Acts 17:11

    Why does he say "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
    ????????????????????????????????????????????????

    As for the notion that the author of Hebrews was making a Hypothetical statement about the possibility of a believer losing their salvation, WHY GO TO THE TROUBLE OF WARNING SOMEONE ABOUT SOMETHING THAT COULD NEVER HAPPEN :confused:

    That is like me warning you not to drive three times the speed of sound.

    It is an illogical argument. No one is going to waste the time or the space to fill up a book with empty warnings about hypotheticals. [​IMG]

    In the love of Christ,
    Tim
     
  13. Tim too

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    You are confusing what they pay attention to with what they depart from.

    “The faith” is not sound Biblical teaching. Do a search in your Bible software and see how many times the terms apply to teaching. “The faith” is the relationship you are in with God through Jesus. If you stand firm in that you will do well. If you depart from the faith your part is with the unbelievers.

    Here is Paul showing that “the faith” is something different from sound biblical teaching.

    Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test? 2 Corinthians 13:5 NIV

    They are to test themselves to see if they are in “the faith,” to see if Christ Jesus is in them.

    In the love of Christ,
    Tim
     
  14. John Wells

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    Tim,

    Show me the teachings in the Bible about how one becomes unjustified! :eek:

    We have been justified in Christ. That cannot be removed. What messes with yours, mine, and everyone's mind is that we see people falling away that we are certain were saved. The problem is they never were. There are many professing Christians with head knowledge and a servant's heart, but their hearts have never been truly right with God.

    God's grace, His gift of salvation ("gift of God" you even refer to) is not something that is dangled on a string with God saying, "you better do this and measure up to that, or I'll take it away!" God gives freely the gift of salvation to those who's hearts are right and want it. Once that happens, it's a done deal. You will never convince me otherwise, because it's not in the Bible.

    Romans 8:28-30 (ESV)28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

    Too many past tenses in these verses for me to accept your position Tim!
     
  15. Tim too

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    You are justified by virtue of your relationship with Christ. I see the Bible presenting salvation as our ongoing, enduring relationship with Christ not as a one-time transaction where I say the sinner's prayer and get my salvation ticket.

    As long as I abide in this saving relationship with Christ I will never be unjustified. If I quench the Spirit and continue in willful sin I harden my heart to a point where I can reject Christ. It is called apostasy.

    See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:12-13 NIV

    If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Hebrews 10:26-27 NIV

    In the love of Christ,
    Tim
     
  16. John Wells

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    Tim,

    You continue to cite verses describing false believers.

    "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." -- Rom 10:9-10

    Are you really advocating that I can believe in my heart (that God raised Jesus from the dead) and be justified, and confess this with my mouth and be saved, only to live the rest of my life in fear that I might lose it? :confused:

    My God is of grace - unmerited favor whereby He justified me once and for all.

    “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24)

    Are you trying to tell me that having "crossed over from death to life" I can cross back over from life to death? :eek: Show me a reference for that! ;)
     
  17. Tim too

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    I am assuming that since you choose these verses you would conclude that they were written to believers.

    Here is the very next verse in the series you post. Here again if you look at what the scripture literally says you see that it is NOT a one time done deal, but a lifetime of relationship. Notice that the verb is a present active verb not a past. Believing in Him = Abiding in Him.

    For the Scripture says, "Every one believing on [or, trusting in] Him will not put to shame." Romans 10:11 ALT

    For the Scripture says, "Everyone believing on Him will not be put to shame." Romans 10:11 LITV

    for the Writing saith, `Every one who is believing on him shall not be ashamed,' Romans 10:11 YLT


    I am saying that if you abide in Christ you have nothing to fear. However if you continue in willful sin you are hardening your heart and could reach the point of becoming an apostate. Then yes, there is a lot to fear.

    `Verily, verily, I say to you--He who is hearing my word, and is believing Him who sent me, hath life age-during, and to judgment he doth not come, but hath passed out of the death to the life. John 5:24 YLT

    "Most positively, I say to you*, the one hearing My word and believing [or, trusting] the One having sent Me has eternal life and does not come into judgment, _but_ has passed from death into life! John 5:24 ALT

    Here is your verse again in a couple of literal translations. Notice that the verbs are present active not past again. It is not a one-time deal but a life in relationship with our Lord Jesus that saves one.

    If we quench the Spirit and harden our hearts against God it is called apostasy and our place will be with the unbelievers.

    In the love of Christ,
    Tim
     
  18. John Wells

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    Tim,

    The literal translations (I don't particularly care for them, but anyway . . .) also say that the one who believes "hath passed out of the death to the life," and "has passed from death into life!" "Life," BTW is eternal life. You failed to answer my previous question: How does one pass from life back to death? Please provide scriptural references.
     
  19. John Wells

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    Tim,

    Your stance that salvation can be lost flies in the face of:

    Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

    “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

    No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:33-39)

    Whatever your view of salvation Tim, it's powerless!

    John 6:37 (ESV)37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

    Tim, the world is full of people who appear to have come to Jesus, but in their hearts, merely are giving lip service. They fool us all by their religious, churchy ways, but they never fool Jesus.

    Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:22-23)

    1 John 2:12 (ESV)12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake.

    So Tim, you're saying our sins can be unforgiven? :confused:

    True believers will not walk away from their faith, only false believers! True believers may backslide but they will not completely abandon their faith. Peter was a backslider who denied Jesus. Judas abandoned Him!
     
  20. Tim too

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    John,

    You may not care for the literal translations but they are important to thorough Bible study unless you read Greek and Hebrew. Because of our relationship with Christ we have abundant life now and at His appearing He brings eternal life to us if we persevere, according to Paul.

    God "will give to each person according to what he has done." To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. Romans 2:6-7 NIV

    Here are two Biblical examples of those who have crossed from life to death. These two rejected faith and good conscience and shipwrecked their faith. Notice to whom they were given . . .Satan.

    Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme. 1 Timothy 1:18-19 NIV

    In the love of Christ,
    Tim
     

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