Hebrews 6:4-8

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by The Biblicist, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    Hebrews 6:4 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,
    5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
    6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
    7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that comes oft on it, and brings forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receives blessing from God:
    8 But that which bears thorns and briers is rejected, and is near to cursing; whose end is to be burned
    .

    The purpose of this thread is to establish whether or not this portion of scripture supports or denies OSAS by examining it in its immediate context of Hebrews 5:11-6:19.

    This means we cannot jump outside the context to some other proof texts found in other contexts in order to establish the meaning of this text. It means we must define it by its own context of what immediately precedes and follows it. Hebrews 5:11 introduces the immediate thought that begins this portion of Hebrews - their lack of ability to understand harder things - and it continues to Hebrews 6:19whereas Heb. 6:20 makes a transition to another subject and takes up - the Melchezidek Preisthood.

    So, those who oppose OSAS and think this text proves their case, please step forward and present your contextual evidence for your position.
     
  2. The Biblicist

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    My understanding of this text is that it is introduced by the assertion that they have become dull of hearing (Heb. 5:11) due to the fact they have been stunted in their spiritual growth (Heb. 5:12). The writer asserts they should be teachers of the word by this point (Heb. 5:12a) but their stunted growth demonstrates they are but spiritual "babes" in their ability to deal with and understand the Word of God (Heb. 5:12b).

    At this point, Paul begins to define the difference between spiritually mature versus immature Christians:

    13 For every one that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
    14 But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.


    The Greek word translated "full age" is the same Greek term translated "perfection" in Hebrews 6:1 urging the "babes" to go on to "perfection" or spiritual maturity.

    The difference between the immature "babe" and the one of "full age" is not sinlessness but a development of diet from "milk" to "strong meat" and in so doing they have developed skillfulness in handling the Word of God by use of their senses so that they have developed a greater ability to discern truth from error.

    Therefore, when he urges these spiritual "babes" to go on to "perfection" he is using the word in regard to mature development in handling more than foundational "milk" doctrines listed in Hebrews 6:1-2.

    In Hebew 6:3 he introduces the only hypothetical possibility that would prohibit them from growing up and that is if they could lose their savlation.

    1 ¶ Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation.....3 And this will we do, if God permit.

    The word translated "permit" is in the Subjunctive mood which can introduce a hypothetical scenario. In this case, one that is not possible as verse four denies the possibility by saying:

    "For it is impossible......

    What is impossible is directly stated in verse 6

    "IF they should fall way to renew them again unto repentance..."

    Therefore, the subjunctive clearly indicates a hypothetical impossibility. It is impossible to renew them again to repentance IF they could fall away from what characterizes true salvation.

    Verse 6 continues to provide two reasons for this impossiblity that the writer is hypothetically considering:

    1. They would have to recrucify Christ - hypothetically impossible
    2. They would have to put him to open shame - hypothetically impossible.
     
  3. Iconoclast

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    There was a real danger of these people of falling away from their profession of faith....verses 7-12 show the contrast of the apostate,from those who perservere.
     
  4. The Biblicist

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    First, I appreciate that you use the context to attempt to prove your point.

    If I simply took that portion of scripture isolated from the preceding and foregoing context you may have a point.

    However, I beleive the writer is saying the very opposite. If it were possible for a true child of God to fall away it would be "impossible" to bring him back to a state of repentance and thus saved again because it would require what is impossible - to recrucify Christ again. Besides if that did happen it would put him to open shame because he is the Savior and if the cross was insufficient the first time it would not be sufficient regardless how many times it was repeated.

    Secondly, it is not possible because saved people do not go back and forth from a saved to lost condition. You are iether one type of soil or you are the other. If you lost you are the barren type whose end is to be burned. If you are saved then you are the fruitful type that is supervised by the gardener and whose end is to be reaped (vv. 7-8)

    Thirdly, Even though he is talking in such hypothetical terms, there are things that always accompany salvation that make certain such an hypothetical consideration never happens. (v. 9).

    One of those things is God does not forget you (v. 10) and the proofs of your initial salvation and the writer encourages them to continue in the same works of love (vv. 11-12) as these things also accompany those who finally inherit the promises (v. 13).

    Another of those things that accompany salvation is the promises of God as characterized in the promise God made to Abraham that God is purposely working in your behalf to save you (vv. 14-17).

    Another of those things that accompany salvation is God's inability to lie (v. 18) that by two immutable things (God's promise, his inability to lie) you might have another thing that accompanies salvation and that is a strong consolation in fleeing to him as your refuge.

    Finally, we have the strongest thing that accompanies salvation and that is the Jesus Christ is the anchor of our soul and he has entered already into heaven having accomplished his redemption for us and is now applying it so that we too through the Melchezidek High Priestly ministery be certain that He will not fail to bring us from the guttermost to the uttermost (6:20-7:25).
     
    #4 The Biblicist, Feb 15, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2012
  5. Tom Butler

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    Here's what I think:

    The term "falling away" is mistakenly taken to mean "falling from grace." That's not what it means. It means, in my view, that the writer of Hebrews is warning them not to return to keeping the law as a way of finding favor with God.

    Once they have abandoned the idea of grace through faith, and go back to the Law, they have cut themselves off from the road to repentance.

    This passage is not saying one can lost his salvation.
     
  6. Amy.G

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    I think this passage is speaking to Jews who have received the maximum revelation God will give. They had the OT scriptures, they saw the works of Christ and they had the witness and teachings of the apostles. If after receiving so much revelation from God they still rejected Christ, there would be no way to be saved. These were people who were still on the fence, so to speak. They were close to belief, but because of the severe persecution of the church, they were in danger of turning away and going back into the Law and thus receive damnation.
     
  7. The Biblicist

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    Amy, how would your analysis interpret Hebrews 5:12 then? Is the writer describing lost Jewish people in this text?

    Heb. 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

    Amy, how would your analysis interpret Hebrews 6:10 then?

    Heb. 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
     
  8. The Biblicist

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    Tom, how would you interpret the fact that the writer says it would be "impossible to renew them again to repentance"? Would that mean those who doctrinally turned from grace to the Law could not return to the doctrine of grace?
     
  9. DaChaser1

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    To me, the entire passage here is Hinged to the part afterwards, but we are persuaded better of you bethren!

    That the true believers in jesus are anchored into Him, and will yield and produce good fruit!

    To me, the writer is outlining in Chapter 6 either hypothetical case for loss of salvation, but the immediate 'we are persuaded" afterwards would not support that notion, or else is desription of false believers, wanna be saints who were still sinners, who had sat in service/heard the Apostles/even saw the HS work among them, yet never really believed in saving fashion in person/work of Christ!
     
  10. The Biblicist

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    The hypothetical scenario concludes in verse 6 with an impossibility for renewal of salvation. In verses 7-8 the writer concludes there can only be two classes of people and you are either one or the other and then he makes the confirmation that concerning them he is persuaded better things, that is in keeping with the last described condition in verse 8. He does not believe they are classified with that condition in verse 7 but in keeping with those things that characterize the field in verse 8. It is those same things that accompany salvation.

    There is a gardner tilling and planting and there are fruits growing that will be harvested in the condition of verse 8. It is these things that accompany the second soil that do not accompany the first soil. The writer happily identifies them with the latter not the former in verses 9-19.
     
  11. DaChaser1

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    Think you and I are in pretty much full agreement here!

    cannot prove loss of ones salvation from this passage, but IF one did, have to also include that IF a saint went back to being sinner in nature, would be impossible to get resaved, once and done!

    Even among those professing loss of salvation, NEVER HEARD/READthem agreeing with that part of it!
     
  12. Amy.G

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    I think Hebrews was addressed to both believers and unbelievers.
     
  13. The Biblicist

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    So you believe that unbeleivers are the ones who fall away so that it is impossible to renew them again to repentance? They are lost but after they have partaken all the truths available but reject them there is no future hope "impossible" for them to ever be renewed or brought back to a point they can repent of rejecting those things and be saved?
     
  14. Amy.G

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    Yes. There is no more revelation for them to receive.
     
  15. DaChaser1

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    hebrews addressed to the saints wasn't it?
     
  16. The Biblicist

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    Yes, but can those who reject all the revelation ever be brought back to a point of repentance and accept what they rejected? According to this text it is "impossible to RENEW them again to REPENTANCE"!

    How is it that if they did change their mind and accept the truth they once rejected they would "crucify the Son of God afresh and put him to open shame"? Wouldn't the opposite be the case if they were lost and rejected all truth and then changed their mind and received it?
     
  17. Amy.G

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    Are we debating? Because I don't believe one can lose their salvation. I believe Hebrews is speaking to both believers and unbelievers. To "crucify the Son of God afresh" is the same type of unbelief of the Jews that caused their hatred of Christ and thus having Him killed. It's speaking of a severe apostasy and rejection of the only Lord and Savior. They would be no different than the ones who crucified Christ because of unbelief, and there is no hope for that kind of rejection.
     
  18. The Biblicist

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    I agree with you that true children of God cannot lose their salvation. However, I am trying to see how you can reconcile your particular intepretation of this text with the words "for it is impossible to RENEW THEM AGAIN TO REPENTANCE"!

    If it is lost people that "fall away" from receiving the truth, thus rejecting the truth, how is it impossible that they can ever be from that point forward be brought back to repentance, thus accept as lost people what they formerly rejected as lost people? And how would such acceptance of the truth that was formerly rejected be crucifying Christ afresh and putting him to open shame?

    It would seem that the very reverse would be true if he were talking about lost people who rejected the truth! It would seem that if they were to change their mind about such rejection they would not be putting Christ to open shame or recrucifying him but would be honoring him by the first time receiving the cross in faith?
     
  19. Amy.G

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    They can't be renewed to repentance because they had a complete and total rejection of the gospel of Christ.
     
  20. Iconoclast

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    Thorns and briers are apostates....

    Judaism was a legal religion....Christianity was not

    these Hebrews were professing faith in Christ....but as persecution came they would draw back into the synagouge...The writer is exhorting them to do that is apostasy...do not draw back..

    No saved person ...can become unsaved because of the Covenant.
     

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