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Hebrews Chapter 6

Chapter 6 builds upon the rebuke of the slothful believers at the end of Chapter 5. They were “babes” in their understanding when they should have been teachers by that time. Because of their laziness, their growth had been stunted.

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.

“Leaving” in verse 1 above doesn’t mean rejecting or abandoning. It means moving forward from some point (like advancing from one school grade to the next). “Perfection” means completion or maturity. Faith and repentance are the very first steps that bring a sinner to salvation. “Baptisms” appear to refer to Old Testament ceremonial washings which were intended to typify cleansing from sin by the blood of Christ. The “laying on of hands” may refer to God’s gift of the Holy Spirit, originally dispensed through the hands of the apostles. That the dead will rise and that eternal judgement will come are foundational principles.

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

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.

The words above are sobering. It seems that God is saying that a person who has been exposed to the bright light of truth, who has “tasted” but not “eaten” of salvation, of God’s word, and of the power of God, who has benefited from the workings of the Holy Ghost but has not been indwelled by him, and who then turns away from these wonderful things cannot be restored.

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.

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.

God expects fruit as a result of his patient goodness to us. One of these fruits will be gracious giving of oneself to serve other believers.

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.

13. For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,

14. Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.

15. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

16. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.

17. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:

18. That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

Abraham is an example of God’s grace bestowed through faith. He patiently believed that what God had promised, he would fulfill. God assures those who follow Abraham’s example that their hope is grounded in his certain promises.

19. Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

20. Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Beyond the veil of the tabernacle was the holy presence of God himself. That is where hope in God ultimately leads.

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