Losing one's salvation

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by chickenlady, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. chickenlady

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    I'm visiting a friend and her mom tried to debate me while I was here. She said she was 'set streight' by somebody she knows that told her she could lose her salvation with these verses in the bible.

    Hebrews Ch 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 unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    I honestly don't understand what the verses mean and plan to ask my pastor when I return, but I told her the bible makes it VERY clear that you can't lose your salvation throughout the whole new testament! And gave her many examples, but there was no budging. So can anybody help shed some light on these verses? Thanks!
     
  2. paidagogos

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    I am not sure that anyone can authoritatively tell you what these verses mean although I have heard many spurious interpretations from both sides. However, I think that I can tell you some things these verses do NOT mean.

    1. It is not clear whether this is dealing with:
    a. Believers who have erred from the faith or
    b. Unbelievers who have professed to be saved but actually are not
    2. It is not clear whether this eternal damnation or loss of reward and judgment
    a. It may be speak of the sinning saint standing at the Judgment Seat of Christ
    b. It may be speaking of the damnation of one who has professed Christ but never possessed him (i.e. a false profession without believing)
    c. Note that this individual is “nigh unto cursing”—it does not say he is cursed (condemned)

    One thing is certain. Your friend is somewhat naïve and gullible. She is accepting someone’s ideas and interpretation over the clear teachings of the Word of God. This passage is unclear but there are many, many other clear passages that deal with the believer’s security. Always interpret the unclear passage in light of the clear teachings of Scripture.
     
  3. James_Newman

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    No unbeliever could be considered to be a partaker of the Holy Ghost. It is obviously talking about believers. It does say that the one who has fallen away is rejected, and their end is to be burned. If this is not speaking about eternal salvation (and I don't believe it is) then it must be speaking of the believers portion at the judgment seat.
     
  4. Ed Edwards

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    These verses have been discussed on the Baptist Board (BB)
    about once a month since i got on the BB some 36 months ago.

    These verses are written in a form of Greek logic.
    This form of logic is called "reducto absurdium".
    What is proved here is that you can never be lost,
    if Jesus ever saved you.

    In the argument form 'reducto absurdium' you start with
    an assumption. You logically follow the argument until
    you reach something that is obviously absurd. The
    absurd contention is due to the error of the asumption.

    The assumption here is "If they shall fall away".
    Should they fall away, they would have to be restored.
    They cannot be restored unless Jesus is crucified again
    and put to shame again. Crucifing Jesus again is absurd.
    Hense the assumption "if they shall fall away" is
    untrue.

    Most of the verse, is a definition of who 'they' are:

    Hebrews 6:4b-5: 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,


    Yep, you get saved by JESUS and you stay saved!

    Heb 6:1-3 (KJV1611 Edition):
    Therefore leauing the principles of
    the doctrine of Christ,

    let vs goe on vnto perfection,

    not laying againe the foundation of repentance from dead workes, and of faith towards God,
    Heb 6:2 Of the doctrine of Baptismes, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternall iudgement.
    Heb 6:3 And this will we doe, if God permit.

    Look at what Paul wants to discuss:

    let vs goe on vnto perfection,
    (also known as: completeness)

    Paul doesn't want us to be thinking that we can loose
    our salvation while Jesus works us on to completeness.
     
  5. James_Newman

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    You can certainly use the Greek argument to nullify most scripture. Or you can read it and believe it. If they shall fall away is not an assumption. It is a conditional statement. The question is really, what does Paul mean by 'fall away?'
     
  6. gb93433

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    Those verses lie within the context of people vacillating back and forth to fit whatever is convenient.
     
  7. Ed Edwards

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    It means to loose
    the Salvation Jesus gave to you.
    I've explained that above.
    The passage is a proof that Jesus'es salvation
    of you can never be rescended.
     
  8. Ed Edwards

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    But it is
    a lot easier to nullify most scripture
    by not understanding them.

    You really cannot use 'the Greek logic
    argument' to nullify most scriptures.

    How, in your understanding, does the goal
    of Paul in this chapter get helped along by
    verses 4 thru 6? The goal is to explain
    perfection (completion).
     
  9. chickenlady

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    I do remember reading in past scripture about a believer's works being burned...so I was thinking these verses were about the judgement seat. Was trying to explain that to her but there was no listening.
     
  10. Helen

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    There are two other possible options that what have been mentioned so far. Barry and I looked up this passage in the Greek and found something strange: the conditional "if they fall away" is not in the Greek. The 'if' is not there. There is an 'and' instead. In other words, the original says that it is impossible for those who have been enlightened, shared in the Holy Spirit, etc. AND fall away and come to repentance again. That is probably the meaning, as indicated above. The original grammar seems to indicate it was an argument against losing one's salvation.

    However there is also another possible argument. To be enlightened is a mental thing. It is to come to knowledge. You do not have to be a Christian to come to knowledge about God. To taste the heavenly gift...what is the heavenly gift but love and fellowship? For you do not 'taste' salvation. But you can 'taste' love and fellowship and joy and all the fruits of the Spirit when in association with true believers. And 'sharing' in the Holy Spirit is NOT being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. It can possibly involve being in a prayer group or being prayed for or, again, simply being in fellowship with true Christians. Tasting the goodness of the Word of God is the same. Anyone can 'taste'. Most are not interested in the full meal, however! And what about tasting the powers of the coming age? The coming age, the Millennium, will be a time of peace and of being governed not just internally by Christ, but externally as well.

    All these things can be in the experience of a person who has attended church and/or fellowshiped for any length of time with true Christians.

    Now go to Romans 1. Verse 18 talks about the wrath of God being poured out on those who SUPPRESS the truth by their wickedness. They have known about God, Paul continues, because God has made that knowledge plain to them.

    But they prefer the lie. Just like the people, if this is the correct interpretation, of Hebrews 6. They've KNOWN the truth and refused it.

    And there is no other truth. No other way.

    So while I personally am not sure which meaning is involved in the original writing of Hebrews, neither one indicates a person can lose his or her salvation. An excellent reference for that is the end of Romans 8.
     
  11. Watchman

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    Ed, Helen, good posts.
    Because of the clear teaching of scripture elsewhere, this passage CANNOT mean that one can have, and then lose their salvation.
    I take another approach, where you must look at who is speaking, and who is being spoken to. As for the exact writer, it is not for me to debate that here. My point is that a first century Hebrew spoke to first century Hebrews.
    Jesus, and the Apostles after Him, walked among them performing great miracles. These Hebrews did indeed partake of the Spirit in the since that it was, indeed, the Holy Spirit that was at work among them doing these works.
    But, IF they ignor all of this, reject Christ, they have no other way to be saved. They discount, or outright deny what Jesus did among them and, thereby, put Him to open shame.
     
  12. servant-96

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    Heb. chapter six has nothing to do with salvation. It has to do with Christian growth, moving on to perfection, if God permit. Our salvation is based on God's promises. God promised that if we believe on the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ alone for our salvation, God promises He will save us. That's grace.
     
  13. I Am Blessed 24

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    I believe the verse means that IF we are truly saved, and IF we fall away, and IF we lost our salvation (which we can't) then we could never be saved 'again' unless Jesus died again.

    Jesus died 'once for all'...
     
  14. Ed Edwards

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    Amen, Sister I Am Blessed 16 -- RIGHT ON! [​IMG]
     
  15. Dpiearcy

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    ok...this is now my 2nd official post on this site. I happen to notice a lot of questions concerning charismatic doctrine. That's understandable considering the wide use of television etc.

    Does this sound familiar? "Depart from me ye workers of iniquity, I NEVER (that should be bold and underlined) knew you"

    Never. not even for a time.

    now to answer the question posed concerning Hebrews 6.

    Yes...this is a supposed "proof" text that people use saying you can loose your salvation.

    Here are my thoughts:

    People can go to church years and hear the gospel over an over again, even be faithful church members, and never really make a commitment to Jesus Christ.

    Who was this letter written to? Jews. But the warning does apply to us today.

    Some people have adopted a form of Christianity, but they do not have the reality of it. Remember, Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prphesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform amany miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness'" (Matt. 7:21-23).

    Let's break this down verse by verse and keep it in context.

    verses 1-2

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

    The key ideas of "leaving" and "let us go on" are really two parts of the same idea. Together they are the first step into these Jews' (remember, Hebrews was written to the HEBREWS) becoming spiritually mature. They had to leave once and for all their ties with the Old Covenant, with Judaism, and accept Jesus Christ as Savior.

    "leaving" in the Greek is apheiemi, which means to forsake, to put away, let alone, disregard, put off.

    It is the provisions and principles of the Old Covenant, of Judaism, that are to be dropped. It is not a question to adding to what one has.

    The Old Covenant has 6 features that are pointed out in verses 1-2. These are: repenance from dead works, faith toward God, instuction about washings, laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. These are NOT, as is often interpreted, elemntary Christian truths that are to be abandoned in order to go on to maturity. They are Old Testament concepts. To be sure, they pointed to the gospel, but they are not themselves part of the gospel.

    Let's cover these in detail:

    1. Repentance from Dead Works.
    This is turning away from evil deeds, deeds tha bring death.

    In John the Baptist's preaching, and even in Jesus' own early minstry, the basic message was, "repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Only repentance was preached. Turn from evil toward God. Bt the doctrine of repentance becomes mature, complete, in Jesus Christ. (read Acts 20:21; Acts 26:20-23).

    Now that the New Covenant is in effect, repentance is meaningless without faith in Jesus Christ. (John 14:6).

    2. Faith Toward God
    It does no good at all today to have faith in God unless there is also faith in His Son, jesus Christ, who is the only way to God.
    The Old Testament taught repentance from dead works and faith toward God. The New Testament teaches repentance in faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ, the only way to God. The distinction is clear. The Jews in this letter believed in God; but they were not saved. Their repentance from works and faith toward God, no matter how sincere it may have been, could not bring them to God without Christ. (Acts 4:12).

    3. Instruction about Washings
    The King James translation ("doctrine of baptisms") is misleading, especially since everywhere else, including Hebrews 9:10, the same Greek word (Baptismos) is translated washings. It is not "baptizo", which is always used for the ordinance of baptism.

    Every Jewish home had a basin by the entrance for family and visitors to use for ceremonial cleansings, of which there where many. It is THESE washings that the readers are told to abandon and forget. Even the Old Testament predicted that one day its ceremonial cleansings would be replaced by a spiritual one that God Himself would give (Ezek. 36:25).

    It is the being born again (regeneration) of water and the Spirit that Jesus told Nicodemus was necesarry for entrance into the kingdom (John 3:5).

    4. Laying On of Hands
    This has nothing to do with the apostolic practices (Acts 5:18; 6:6; 8:17; 1 Tim. 4:14; etc.). Under the Old Covenant the person who brought a sacrifice had to put his hands on it, to symbolize his identification with it (Lev. 1:4; 3:8, 13).

    Our identification with Jesus Christ does not come by putting our hands on Him; it comes by the Spirit baptizing us into union with Im by faith.

    5. Resurrection of the Dead
    The Old Testament doctrine of resurrection is not clear or complete. We learn of life after death and of rewards for the good and punishment for the wicked -- and much more about resurrection than this. From Job, for instance, we learn that resurrection will be bodily, and not just spiritual (Job 19:26). There is little else we can learn of it from the Old Testament.

    In the New Testament, of course, resurreciton is one of the major and most detailed doctrines. It is the theme of the apostolic preaching. It comes ot fullness in the very Person of Jesus Christ, who said "I am the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25).

    6. Eternal Judgment
    We can learn little from the Old Testament about final judgemtn than what is given in Ecclesiastes "God will bring every act to jugment, everything which is hidden, wheter it is good or evil" (12:14).

    In the New Testament, we are told a great deal about eternal judgment.

    The point of Hebrews 6:1-2 is simply that the unbelieving Jews should let go completely of the immature, elemntary shadows and symbols of the Old Covenant and take hold of the mature and perfect reality of the New.

    That brings us to verse 3:

    "And this will we do, if God permit."

    Interpretting this verse is difficult, despite its brevity and simplicity.

    Some interpreters believe we is an editorial reference of the writer to himself. He is saying, "I will go on and teach you what you need to know if God permits me." Others believe the writer is simply offering to identify himself with those to whom he writes, and is saying, "You will go on to maturity if God permits."

    I believe both could be correct. They are not mutually exclusive of the other.

    This brings us to the "crux" of the passage... the folling verses.

    Let's put that under the heading of "Five Great Advantages". What are they?

    Glad you asked! :)

    1. They had been enlightened.
    First of all, we should notice this passage makes no refernce at all to salvation. There is no mention of justification, sanctification, the new birth, or regerneration. They are not born again, made holy, or made righteous. None of the normal New Testament terminology for salvation is used. 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 spirtual, biblical truth. They had an intellectual understanding of biblical truth. This has occured in a few other places in the New Testament (Matt. 4:16; John 12:35-40; 2 Peter 2:20-21).

    I think we all know people who have been "enlightened", or have heard or understood the gospel but not have partken of it.

    which brings us to our next point.

    2. They had tasted of the heavenly gift.
    This group not only had seen the heavenly light but had tasted! The heavenly gift could be one of several things. The Holy Spirit is spoken of in Scipture as a heavenly gift, but, since He is mentioned in the next verse, I do not think He is the gift meant here. The greatest gift, of course, is Christ Himself and the salvation He brought (Eph. 2:8). Christ's salvation is the supreme heavenly gift, and no doubt the one referred to here.

    This great gift, however, was NOT RECEIVED! It was not feasted on but simply tasted, sampled. It was not accepted or lived, only examined.

    Tasting is not eating. God placed the blessing of salvation to the lips of these New Testament Jews, but they had not yet eaten. The tasing came from waht they saw and heard, as many today have seen the transforming power of Christ and heard the gospel.

    3. They had partaken of the Holy Spirit.
    Partakers (Greek, metochos) has to do with association, not possession. These Jews had never possessed the Holy Spirit, they simply were around when He was around.

    The Bible never speaks of Christians being associated with the Holy Spirit. It speaks of the Holy Spirit being WITHIN us!

    Here, however, are some persons who are simply associated with the Holy Spirit.

    4. They had tsted the Word of God.
    Again, these readers are spoken of as having tasted something of God, this time His Word. The Greek word here for word (rhema, which emphasizes the part, not the whole) is not the usual one (logos) for GOd's Word.

    Any person who has heard the gospel and perhaps made a profession of Christ, but who is uncertian of salvation, should take Paul's advice: "Test yoursleves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!" (2 Cor. 13:5). Such a person needs to learn if he has only tasted the gospel without eating it.

    5. They had tasted the powers of the age to come.
    the "age to come" is the future kingdom of God. The "powers" of the kingdom are miracle powers. These Jews had seen the same kind of miracles that are going to come when Jess brings in His earthly kingdom. They TASTED them. They saw the apostles do signs and wonders. The more they saw and tasted without receiving, the more their guilt increased. They were like those who saw Jesus Himself perform miracles. How hard it is ti explain the hatred and unbelief of those who saw a resurrected Lazurus, who saw the blind given sight and the dumb given voices, and yet who rejected Christ. How guilty they will stand before God in the Great White Throne judgment.

    Ok...for the final (or fourth) warning. Verses 4-6:

    "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."

    Still speaking to the UNSAVED who have heard the truth and acknowledged it, but who have hesitated to embrace Christ, the Holy Spirit gives a fourth warning, the crux of 6:1-8. Summarized, the warning is: "You had better come to Christ now, for if you fall away it will be impossible for you to come again to the point of repentance." They were at the best point for repentance -- full knowledge. To fall back from that would be fatal.

    Because they believe the warning is addressed to Christian, many interpreters hold that the passage teaches that salvation can be lost. If this interpretation were ture, however, the passage would also teach that, once lost, salvation could never be regained. If, after being saved, a person lost his salvation, he would be damned forever. There would be no going back and forth, in and out of grace. But Christians are not being addressed, and it is the opportunity for receiving salvation, not salvation itself, that can be lost.

    It is the unbeliever who is in danger of losing salvation -- in the sense of losing the opportunity ever to receive it.

    I'm sorry for the lengthy post but I've seen many Christians struggle with this passage. Any study of hermenuitis (the art of interpretting Scipture) tells you to consider WHO the passage was written. We've done that. We also have taken it in context and hopefully you can now see, Hebrews 6 was written to the unbelieving Jew and not to Christians. We are not in any danger of losing our salvation. If you need further reference I would be happy to provide!

    David Piearcy
    [email protected]
    Pastor
     
  16. Plain Old Bill

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    It is so nice to see all of the good valid entries for the OSAS position.Helps me to know I am actually on a Baptist Board.
     
  17. buckster75

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    I find it interesting that someone (though they seem to go to these verses often) would use these to say you can lose salvation. I use them to say you can not. Some may find it hard to understand but we can be clear if losing was a possibility then it is the end of the church because the part of this scripture which is very very clear is that once lost (though that is not possible) it is absolutly impossible to get it back.
     
  18. JackRUS

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    Dr E.R. Campbell in his "A commentary of HEBREWS Based on the Greet New Testament" has the following to say on 6:4-6. I am leaving out the words that are written in the Greek. Don't know how to type them.)

    4. "For it is impossible for those once having been enlightened, and having tasted of the heavenly gifts, and having been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,"

    The word order in our translation follows the order in the Greek test. The noun translated "impossible" means that God is not able, it is not possibsle for Him, holy and righteous as He is, to renew those who continue in a state of rebellious unbelief. The writer is not speaking of all the Hebrew believers in this verse, but of particular individuals, some who had professed to believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah.

    He refers to these Hebrews as once "having been enlightened". The participle translated "having been enlightened" is in the aorist tense and passive voice, which means that someone in the past had taught them the elementary principles of the message of Christ. This means that they have been enlightened, and illuminated their minds.

    As we look at the whole scenario of these Hebrews, in light of all the information we have in the New Testament, we wonder what they really believed about Jesus beyond that fact that He is the prophesied Messiah. How many of them recognized that He died for their sins according to the Scripture (Isa. 53:5-6)?

    It appears to us that the first principles of Christ, which have been preached to them, primarily dealt with His Messiahship, rather then His redemptive ministry, the Cross. The fact that they had this initial elementary message preached to them does not necessarily mean that they were trusting Jesus Christ for salvation from sin (1Cor. 15:2-4; Acts 21:20).
    Next, we are told that these Hebrews had also once "tasted", sensed the taste of, and perceived the heavenly gift. It appears that the heavenly gift mentioned in this verse refers to either God the Son or God the Holy Spirit. Since the following phrase involves the Holy Spirit, the heavenly gift apparently refers to Jesus Christ (1Cor. 15:49; 2Cor. 9:15; Rom. 5:15; Eph. 1:22).

    These Hebrews had tasted of the incipient truth regarding Jesus Christ. They had been introduced to the things taught in the forepart of Acts. They had these scant fragments of truth, only tasted. They came to the brink of knowing Jesus Christ, but in the process of time, fell away from the little truth which had been presented to them.

    The particular Hebrew referred to in these verses had recognized that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah. This was a head-trip based on the evidence, but they never ingested Him as the free and gratuitous gift of God who died to save them from sin. Many of them had receded from even the elemental truth which they had been taught.

    Instead of recognizing the real purpose of the death of Jesus Christ, they were still engrossed in the Mosaic Law and it sacrifices (Gal. 4:25).
    Furthermore, these early Hebrew are referred to as "having been made partakers of the Holy Spirit." The Greek verb translated "having been made" is in the aorist tense and passive voice, which means that in the past, God had made them partakers of the Holy Spirit.

    The Greek noun translated "partakers" is derived from the compound verb which literally means "to hold with", "to share" and "to have a partner relation" to the Holy Spirit. Apart from the prior and preparatory working of the Holy Spirit, the Hebrews, where were disgracing Jesus Christ, would not have originally even recognized Him as the Messiah (2Cor. 3:14-18).

    We must keep in mind, the language used in conjunction with the Holy Spirit in this verse does not indicate that the Spirit was actually in the Hebrews description in vs. 6 (Rom. 8-9).

    The language used in this verse indicates that "in the past" God had related, via His Spirit, to the particular Hebrews who where now crucifying Jesus Christ and exposing Him to open shame. These were Hebrews whom the Spirit convinced that Jesus is the Messiah, but who at that time were unaware that Christ had died for their sins, and who were still engaged in keeping the Law.

    5. "and having tasted of the good word of God and the powers of the coming age."
    In verse 4, Paul says that they had tasted the heavenly gifts, and in this verse he uses the same participle to say that had tasted the good Word of God. What we have already said about the meaning of this participle applies to this verse; namely, that they had been introduced to, acquainted with, and sampled the good Word of God.

    Before we continue to discuss further the meaning of the closely knit context in verses 4 through 6, we need to acknowledge that it consist of a series of four participles, the first one being preceded by the adverb "once". We interpret this to mean that the adverb "once" applies to all the participles; i.e. they had once been enlightened; they had once tasted of the heavenly gift; they had once been partakers of the Holy Spirit and had once tasted of the good word of God and the powers of the coming age.

    It is extremely important that we consider what was once, as recorded in the forepart of Acts, taught to these Hebrews who believed that Jesus is the Messiah. It appears to us the elementary principles which they were taught go back to the early days when thousands were acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah in Jerusalem and Judea (Acts 2:41; 4:4; 6:7). Back at this point in time; there is every reason to believe that these Hebrews continued to keep the Mosaic Law. In fact, at that point in time, the only thing which would have deterred them from offering the sacrifices of the Law would have been a clear understanding that Christ's death had fulfilled these - that He had died for their sin (Acts 21:20; Gal. 4:25). We have no reason to think that any or many of these Hebrews clearly comprehended the fact that Jesus Christ's death on the Cross fulfilled and replaced the Levitical offerings.

    It appears to us that the Epistle to the Hebrews was probably written thirty years after what is recorded in the first chapters of Acts took place. This means that what is written in this epistle covers a span of some thirty years. In the foregoing paragraph, we suggest that the elementary word of Christ refers to what was taught them in the first chapters of Acts. This was a time when the Messianic Kingdom was being offered to the nation of Israel. It was a period of time prior to the Church ministry of the Apostle Paul. In other words, it was a time when the truth taught related to Kingdom and not the Church, the Body of Christ, of which we are members.

    Now, looking at the Book of Hebrews from the writer's perspective, we need to recognize that dramatic changes took place between what was taught in the first part of Acts and beyond the last part of Acts. During this time, the Messianic Kingdom was rejected by Israel (Acts 7:15-20). Saul of Tarsus was miraculously saved and appointed the Apostle of the Church with a new message and name (Acts 9:3-19; 13:9: Eph. 3:2-9). Peter spent a great deal of time with Paul, highly respected him, and read what he wrote (Gal. 1:18; 2:11-21; 2 Peter 3:15-16).

    This mutual relationship, plus insight into what was written by the Spirit (Isa. 53:5-6; Matt 26:28), leads to the conclusion - Paul and Peter had a common salvation message based on the Cross - it is by Grace through faith (1 Cor. 15:3-4; 1 Peter 1:18-21).

    Lest some may think that we have strayed from the verse before us, Hebrews 6:5, let me affirm, our diverting has been for a definite reason. First, we recognize that after Israel rejected the Messianic Kingdom in Acts, chapter 7, God revealed a new organism, the Church, the Body of Christ, through which He would have a spiritual relationship with His people. The apostle through whom God revealed the truth for the Church was Paul. His ministry as primarily directed toward the Gentiles and the Jews in their midst. On the other hand, Peter's ministry was primarily directed toward the Jews in Jerusalem and Judea; however, his opportunity to minister to them was almost nil (Acts 9:27-30). This could be cited as a good reason why he wrote the epistle to them.

    In view of the context, we interpret the statement, "having tasted the good word of God," as primarily referring to the Kingdom message with both its present and future miracles. The gospel of the earthly Messianic Kingdom and miracles are inseparable (Matt. 10:7-8).
    6. "and having fallen away, to renew them again unto repentance, while they crucify again to themselves the Son of God, and are exposing Him to open shame."

    The aorist participle translated "having fallen away" may also be translated "havening fallen beside" or "defected from". The Greek infinitive translated "renew" may also be translated "to restore". The Greek noun translated "repentance" manes "a change of mind, thinking" and subsequent actions.

    Summarizing, those who have been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gifts (Christ), who have been made partakers of the Spirit, and who have tasted of the Word of God and miracles, if after they have done these things they fall away and defect, it is "impossible" to renew or restore them unto repentance or a change of mind while the continue crucifying Christ and continue exposing Him to disgraceful public shame.

    Verses 4-6 often erroneously cited to prove that a believer can lose his salvation. As we have explained, the language used in verses 4-5 speaks only of what have been made available and offered to these people, not of what they actually possessed.
     
  19. JackRUS

    JackRUS
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    To 'eat' rather than to 'taste'.

    "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is
    my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." John 6:51

    The Hebrews used this expression of eating and drinking with reference to knowledge by the metonymy of the subject, as in Ex. 24:11 where it is put forth for being alive; so eating and drinking denoted the operation of the mind in receiving and inwardly digesting truth or the words of God.

    See Deut. 8:3 and compare it with Jer. 15:16 and Ezek. 2:8. No idiom was more common in the days of the Lord. By comparing vv. 47 and 48 with vv. 53 and 54, we see that believing on Christ was exactly the same thing as eating and drinking Him in their language. Tasting was not quite the same. One does not swallow when they just tastes something in their language.

    Catholics stumble over this language as well with their Transubstantiation non-sense.

    So we are talking about the difference between head knowledge (tasting) and believing and trusting (eating). James 2:19
     
  20. JackRUS

    JackRUS
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    That about sums it up.
     

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