Hebrews 6 Dilemma

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Internet Theologian, Mar 3, 2016.

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  1. Internet Theologian

    Internet Theologian
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    I was listening to R C Sproul (oh, the HORROR :p) the other day and he was lecturing on the Canon. He stated that Hebrews had some trouble making it into the canon due to Hebrews chapter 6. This portion seemed to indicate the possibility of loss of salvation. He went on to say how this teaching was foreign to the church, and this is why it had some trouble being allowed into the canon.

    His lecture reminded me of this take on Hebrews 6 contained in this video. Let me know what you think. (of the video, not me, or Sproul, or Friel) Biggrin

     
    #1 Internet Theologian, Mar 3, 2016
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  2. JonC

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    I can't stand to watch Friel much at one time, but agree with him on this passage. I don't think this is the "go to" passage for those who deny everlasting life, probably due to the familiarity of that explanation. I believe Friel is right about context and right in his interpretation.
     
  3. Internet Theologian

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    Friel did an excellent job here. I listen to his Wretched Radio program a lot and it took a while to get used to his voice, but he has so much good stuff it didn't take too long.

    What Sproul said was of great interest concerning the early church view on OSAS or however one likes to frame it. Many have struggled with this chapter including me, especially early on in my conversion.
     
  4. JonC

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    I also have struggled with the passage, and I’m sure many of us have at one time or another. A friend and I once taught a class on Hebrews, alternating chapters. I am thankful for two things. He landed on Hebrews 6 and he was a DTS professor.

    I also agree that Friel did an outstanding job. He typically does. When I said I can't watch him mutch, i mean there’s something about him I find distracting (he reminds me of someone….maybe a Dr. Who or a Christian Bill Nye…or both), but nothing against him at all, just a stylistic preference of mine.

    I have heard this verse offered to counter eternal security, but I’ve encountered passages like Colossians 1:21-23, 1 John 2:24 and the like just as often if not more so. But, like you, the one that gave me pause when I was younger was Hebrews 6. If taken out of context it certainly can become an issue.

    In fact, several months ago I had this discussion at church. We have too many who believe what they are told but do not know what they believe....so to speak. This was my example. People believe in eternal security but can't defend or really explain eternal security if put to the task. They have the right answers but not the understanding to accompany those answers. Friel's videos would be a good tool, particularly (I'd think) with the youth and college students (I think he'd appeal to that demographic). This is something that I believe has become neglected in our churches today (as evidenced by the growth of nontraditional doctrine within our faith).
     
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  5. kyredneck

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    There is no dilemma when it's accepted that God's children are capable of doing everything they're told NOT to do, and that includes succumbing to persecution and falling away, which is exactly what was happening to these beleaguered Hebrew Christians. Unless of course you believe Christ's atonement does not cover the sin of unbelief, then you have a 'dilemma'.
     
  6. annsni

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    That made me giggle. :)

    Yep - I agree with his approach on this passage. And man, I've never heard him speak but I think that was plenty!! He reminded me of a friend who is a great actor and he would go over the top into a character like that. I wonder if he modeled him! LOL
     
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  7. revmwc

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    Another reason it almost didn't make it was no proof of authorship.
     
  8. revmwc

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    I am. currently teaching the Book of Hebrews on Sunday night
     
  9. beameup

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    It's easy to figure out if you (1) know that the audience are Hebrews who are still anticipating the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom on earth. (2) You realize that the writer has a lot of "authority" with the intended audience. (3) You come to the conclusion that the author was present on the day of Pentecost and personally witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit. (4) That you are able to come to the conclusion that this epistle is not written to the Body of Christ, but that this epistle will be very important to a future group of Messianic Israelis during the Tribulation.
    (1)Doctrine - no
    (2)Reproof - no
    (3)Correction - no
    (4)Instruction in Righteousness - yes
    All scripture is "for us", but not all scripture is written "to us"
     
    #9 beameup, Mar 3, 2016
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  10. SovereignGrace

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    Posts like this is what miffs me about dispensationialism. All scripture is written to ALL believers. This above is pure nonsense!!

    :mad:
     
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  11. JonC

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    It has become one of my favorite studies ... I say that knowing that my "favorite" changes often. It is amazing how each time we study a book it becomes new again as truhs previously settled in the background are thrust foward into primary view and sharper focus. On more than one occasion I've sat dumbfounded over a truth revealed in a passage I had memorized as a child. Perhaps it's just me, my lack of attentiveness or a change in viewpoint influenced by some stage in life. I don't believe so, but rather I think it is the depth of Scripture and unveiling work of its Author. That is my hope anyway as spiritual growth sounds better than attention deficit disorder.

    I wish you the best as you teach Hebrews, brother. I hope you and your audience will also find a newness through the journey. It is a tough book and interpretations sometimes clash.

    Sent from my TARDIS
     
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  12. Iconoclast

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    he is hyper.....lol other dispys will disown him.
     
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  13. Iconoclast

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    Hebrews 6 is about Apostasy to perdition....those who fall this way...perish eternally.....it is impossible to renew them to repentance......If...having.....fallen....away.....

    The figure of thorns and briers is always used on apostates in the ot.

    ezk2;
    2 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.

    2 And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.

    3 And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.

    4 For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God.

    5 And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.

    6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

    7 And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.


    isa10;
    16 Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.

    17 And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;

    18 And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standard-bearer fainteth.

    19 And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.

    20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.

    21 The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.

    22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
     
  14. JonC

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    There are various interpretations of this passage, and I don’t think it an issue of dispensationalism but rather an issue of the author’s intended audience.

    Pink points out that his interpretation differs from Calvin and Owen. He views the author of Hebrews as explaining to his audience that they have failed to grasp the fact that Judaism was but a temporary dispensation, its ordinances and ceremonies foreshadowing Him who has come and made atonement. The shadows have been replaced by the Substance, there can be no turning back to the type when the reality has arrived. Pink sees this as a needed warning to stir up these Hebrews who were saved, but also reminds us that while Scripture speaks plainly and positively of the perseverance of the saints, yet it is the perseverance of the saints and not unregenerate professors. All who profess to receive the Gospel are not born of God. (Pink, An Exposition of Hebrews)

    Sproul notes that many Calvinists believe that this is addressing non-Christians within the assembly. Much like Israel consisted of true Israel and false Israel, so also does the church assembly consist of wheat and tares. This is the context I believe correct. Sproul believes this may be describing true believers, but this is an ad homineum argument. Falling away does not accompany salvation, the argument is not a real warning of apostasy but an illustration. (And I disagree with Sproul here).

    I believe the reasons in the video insofar as why this is not dealing with Christian apostasy. But I also see the author as addressing the local expression of the church (wheat and tares) and directing this warning that if any reject the gospel of Christ and return to their previous faith (looking for the Messiah) their faith is futile. So I lean towards Pink more here than Sproul, but I think both have identified the issue of why this isn't Christian apostasy.
     
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  15. kyredneck

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    Hell on the brain, as usual. If this is as you see it then the doctrine of eternal security is false for these falling away are described in the letter as brethren, partakers of the Holy Spirit, tasted the good word of God, received the knowledge of the truth, sanctified by the blood of the covenant, the LORD's people.
     
  16. Darrell C

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    I don't have much time this morning so going to have to come back to the rest of the video, so just want to point out a couple things where I see him make mistakes concerning the passage.

    While he points out a couple things that are crucial to a correct interpretation...

    1. The audience is Hebrew;

    2. There are three groups within this audience;

    3. Context, context, context!

    (and just going to focus on this first half of the video because of the lack of time, and think where I see him make mistakes cannot be recovered from in the rest of the teaching)

    ...I see his first mistake is an over broadening of the context to the point where the surrounding text he alludes to is lost.

    He makes the "Therefore..." of Chapter 6 refer to the first five chapters, and that is true (because we interpret Hebrews as a whole and everything in it creates the broader context which is specific to Hebrews), however, there is a more direct link to the context of Chapter 5.

    He makes the statement, referring to the statement of the Writer to the general Hebrew audience, "You get this (meaning the Old Testament teachings(he says this at about the 10.00 mark in the video))," when in fact...the Writer states the exact opposite of this.

    They didn't get it.


    Hebrews 5:10-14

    King James Version (KJV)

    10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

    11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

    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.

    13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

    14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.



    While this Epistle certainly goes out to believers, here we see a direct rebuke of those Hebrews who are ignorant of the "First Principles of the Oracles of God," which is referring to the Hebrew Scriptures, and the ABCs of Christ found in them (the Hebrew Scriptures, or, the Old Testament). This is why He has to stop teaching about Christ's greater Priesthood.

    If you look at the link you will see that "full age" refers to those who have been made complete, and is part of a theme that threads it's way through Hebrews. He states that those he refers to don't even understand the basics of what the Old Testament taught about Christ, which makes it harder, impossible, for him to expound upon Christ.

    "Full Age" is most often translated with a connotation of "maturity," which is what we see in the translation the teacher uses. But, when we get to our "therefore," the first thing the Writer does is to exhort them to go on, not to maturity, but to perfection, which is again speaking about completion, which has a central focus of Christ, which is his subject when he has to stop and rebuke them for their ignorance:

    Hebrews 6

    King James Version (KJV)

    1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

    2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.



    So the primary issue I would take with the teaching so far would be a failure to properly place the "therefore" in it's proper context (context, context!).

    The writer uses this word again in Hebrews 7:11...


    Hebrews 7:11

    King James Version (KJV)

    11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?



    ...the point being, the Levitical Priesthood...did not bring perfection/completion. For this reason there was a need for one to rise greater than Melchisadec, greater than Aaron (and his line).

    Now we look at the usage of this word in Hebrews 7:11, and ask the simple question, "Was the purpose of the Levitical Priesthood, or the sacrifices of the Law, or the Law itself...meant to make people mature? We do see the word used to describe maturity, this is true, but, does that fit with the context we have before us in Hebrews 5:14, and can we see, when he uses this word again shortly, that implication there?

    The passage in view interrupts the teaching, but he gets right back to the primary point/s which again have Christ as the central figure being contrasted to that which could not make perfect/complete.

    While I would say that his application of the therefore is still correct, not even having seen the rest of the video I cannot see how he can recover, seeing he has already missed one of the single most important points which has to be considered before this passage is properly interpreted.

    We will see him resume his teaching when he ends this interruption of rebuke here:


    Hebrews 6:9-12

    King James Version (KJV)

    9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

    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.

    11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

    12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.



    In other words, when he begins his rebuke, he says...



    Hebrews 5:9-11

    King James Version (KJV)

    9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

    11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.



    "...'we' have many things to say of Him that has been made perfect/complete...but we can't, because you are slothful."

    He ends by saying "Don't be slothful."

    This Book, above all books of the New Testament, drives home Eternal Security like no other. The audience of the first century, who would not have misunderstood the terms the writer speaks, would have heard this Epistle quite differently than we, English-speaking 21st century believers would have. We can even go back to the time when, as mentioned, the issue of canonization arose. If we understand what the Writer is saying, no such debate would even come up.

    It is just my opinion the anonymity is due to this being an Epistle of Paul, who was not well received among many of the Jews, as evidenced in Acts. Anonymity kept those who hated Paul from dismissing the teaching he provides in the Epistle. J. Vernon McGee and Harry Ironside present compelling reasons why Paul is the likely Writer, and it makes sense that, due to the severity we see sometimes, such as we see in this current text, that the message, combined with a knowledge of who wrote it, could have resulted in a rejection of what they desperately needed to hear.

    I'll watch the rest of the video when time allows. Keep in mind that I am not blasting this fellow (first time I ever heard of him), and am glad to have someone getting a number of points correct which those who wish to properly understand this passage can take hold of. But, as I said, the therefore is either left out, or, as is the case here, broadened to the point where the immediate context (Hebrews 5:10-6:12) is not clearly defined.


    God bless.
     
    #16 Darrell C, Mar 4, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016
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  17. Iconoclast

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    Well kyred.....even you cannot spin away verses 7,8,9....whose end is to be burned......But beloved....we are persuaded better things of YOU, and THINGS that ACCOMPANY SALVATION.
     
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  18. Darrell C

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    Notice also what he says:



    Hebrews 6:7-9

    King James Version (KJV)

    7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:

    8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.



    He makes the same point he makes in chs.3-4, which is the same thing is going out to everyone (in Ch.4 it is the gospel) with two distinctly different results. The same rain that brings herbs is the same rain that brings thorns. The former is tended to, but what has to be done to have a result of thorns?

    Nothing.

    That is his point, the very reason he tells them not to be slothful.


    9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.



    In other words, "We don't think you are going to do that which we just said...don't do."

    And he reminds them again...


    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.


    11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:


    12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.




    "We are persuaded better things of you who have...laboured in love in reverence to His Name. We desire all of you do this. Rather than be slothful."

    Not the first thing in this passage supporting loss of salvation for believers, but a warning to Hebrews not to be unbelievers like those they are contrasted with: Israel under the Law.


    God bless.
     
    #18 Darrell C, Mar 4, 2016
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  19. kyredneck

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    No spin required Icon. All that's required is for you to cease the knee jerk insertions of 'infinity in a torture chamber' every time God's wrath or displeasure is in view. Fire is the most common symbol of God's wrath in the scriptures, and the short simile given in vv. 7-9 is corporate, pertaining to apostate Israel which is what these Hebrews were falling away back to, thus crucifying Christ again.

    7 For the land [Gr., gh] which hath drunk the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them for whose sake it is also tilled, receiveth blessing from God:
    8 but if it beareth thorns and thistles, it is rejected and nigh unto a curse; whose end is to be burned.
    9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak: Heb 6

    49 I came to cast fire upon the earth [the land; Gr., gh]; and what do I desire, if it is already kindled?
    51 Think ye that I am come to give peace in the earth [the land, Gr., gh]? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
    56 Ye hypocrites, ye know how to interpret the face of the earth [the land, Gr., gh] and the heaven; but how is it that ye know not how to interpret this time? Lu 12

    Here we see the fire of God's wrath was manifested as 'division', which if you've studied the civil war that broke out among them 66-70 AD you know that more Jews were killed by Jews than by Romans.

    That's what these were falling away back to, "a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which shall devour the adversaries" (10:27).
     
    #19 kyredneck, Mar 4, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  20. percho

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    To me the key to the understanding is in verse's one and three.

    let us go on unto perfection;
    And this will we do, if God permit.

    Can anyone show from the word of God, that he is not going to permit, those he called, to proceed all the way unto perfection?

    Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Acts 15:18 His works are shown in the preceding seventeen verses and they will come about. It is not about what we are doing or about our actions but about what God is doing. IMHO.

    Compare 2 Tim 2:11-23 ASV
    Faithful is the saying: For if we died with him, we shall also live with him:
    if we endure, we shall also reign with him: if we shall deny him, he also will deny us:
    if we are faithless, he abideth faithful; for he cannot deny himself.

    I used the ASV because it uses the word faithful.
     
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