The Conditions of Becoming Reprobate (Hebrews 6:4-6)

"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace" (Hebrews 6:4-6)

Part 4 of 4

Every new believer has at one time or another struggled over this question of losing their salvation. They’ve messed up and assumed that what they’ve done proves they aren’t saved. Of course the devil is right there planting these ideas into their head. But as we have already seen, you cannot lose your salvation, which was a gift. Neither will God take it back from you.

Let’s go back to my camp days again... There was another counselor who had been learning about this in Bible college and started challenging me whether or not you could lose your salvation. To even phrase it like that, I don’t believe he understood this principal either, because it really should be a non-issue among Christians. It is in the scriptures to show us the incredible facets of God’s nature, meaning he gives us a choice because this is the highest form of relationship one can have. Everyone in this kingdom is here by choice, personal choice. It is not a matter of losing it rather returning or renouncing it.

This is why the Lord outlined the guidelines for being mature enough to renounce such a great salvation.He will not hold you accountable unless you are fully aware of the decision. For instance, if when a child, I ran away from home and decided I no longer wanted to be a part of my family, the police would find me and return me to my parents. Even if I told them I wanted to change my name and cut all ties. They wouldn’t allow such a decision from a child, even a teenager because there is no understanding of the long term effects of that decision. However, now that I am an adult, legally I could go down to the courthouse, change my name, renounce my birthright, cut off all association with my family and the courts would grant this decision in my favor. And the Law would back me up. My parents would have nothing to say about it because legally I am an adult and I am responsible and fully aware of the full weight of my decisions.  

The same is true of God, He does not allow this decision to be made by a person unless certain requirements have first been met. Because verse 6 exclaims that they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and publicly shaming him before the world (Hebrews 6:6). Since there was only one sacrifice for sin for all time (Hebrews 7:27; 9:12; 9:28; 10:10; 10:12; 10:14; 10:18), to reject this gift after experiencing it leaves a person in bad shape. There is no other salvation, which is why Peter said it would have been better for the person to never have known the way of righteousness than to know and turn back once again to the pollution of the world (II Peter 2:20-21). As in the previous example, one must be fully aware of the  weight of their decisions to be held accountable, so certain requirements must be met . 

"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace" (Hebrews 6:4-6). 

First, the person has to be enlightened. The Greek word is phōtizō, which means to give light, to shine, to enlighten, light up, illumine, to bring to light, render evident. It also denotes causing something to exist and come to light becoming clear to all. To enlighten spiritually with saving knowledge. The regenerating work of the Holy Spirit gives us a working knowledge of God. It’s a revelation, it changes our entire way of thinking because we are new creations.  

Secondly, the person has to have tasted the heavenly gift and shared in the Holy Spirit. This is more than being born again by the regenerating work of Holy Spirit. This is operating in the kingdom. The word used for gift describes spiritual or supernatural gifts. The word for heavenly denotes things that take place in heaven not on earth. The word for tasted is defined as to partake of, enjoy, make trial of, or experience. In other words, the person actively participates in the kingdom by operating in the gifts of the Spirit (I Corinthians 12-14).

Next, the person must have tasted the goodness of the word of God. The Greek word used here is rhēma, the spoken word. The significance of rhēma as distinct from logos (written word) is not referring to the whole Bible as such, but to the individual scripture which the Spirit brings to our remembrance for use in time of need. It is the ability to take "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:17) and skillfully use it. This is our defense and offense here on earth. To use it, we must know and have spiritual insight into the scriptures. This comes through maturity and enlightenment by the Holy Spirit over time. 

Lastly, the person must have experienced the powers of the coming age. The writer is talking about dynamis power, it is where we get the word for dynamite. It is defined by Strong’s Concordance as inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth. The power for performing miracles. The age being referred to is one of indefinite duration, eternity. This makes sense since the person is fully operating in the kingdom, its gifts and power.

These four things are required before God holds one accountable to make this decision. Notice, if after experiencing all of these things, hardness of heart takes over to the point they decide to renounce God, the reason they cannot be restored once again is because it is impossible for them to be brought back to repentance. If they’d repent, God would restore. But in this state of a reprobate mind the person basically becomes a God-hater.

This is why the writer of Hebrews begins this chapter instructing us to progress in our knowledge of the Lord Jesus. Because fellowshipping with the Lord protects the heart from the cares and worries of this world. Peter said, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good” (I Peter 2:2-3). We should experience the Lord and enjoy Him and progress in our revelation of Him. In this way, we guarantee what has been promised to us through faith in Christ, protecting our hearts from forgetting what has been purchased for us. “We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” (Hebrews 6:11-12).

Juli Camarin

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