Leaving the Elementary to Go on to Maturity (Hebrews 6:1-3)

Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so" (Hebrews 6:1-3)

One of my favorite things to do is visit big cities. I love walking around town, taking in the skyscraper scenery and experiencing the hustle and bustle of big city life.  New York is perhaps the most impressive of cities that I have ever visited. Every square inch is occupied by tall buildings and skyscrapers. Anything less than twenty stories dwarfs in comparison to what makes up New York City skyline. Considering the fact that all of this is housed on a tiny island, it makes sense that what you see above the surface is relative to what lies beneath. To support dozens of floors, each skyscraper must have footings that go deep into the earth. The foundation must be built right or the building would never support the addition of height.

The same is true for believers. Our foundation must be well constructed. We must know and understand certain things first in order to receive the deeper things of God later. The foundation always comes first. The cornerstone of this entire belief system is built on Jesus. Then as we get to know Him and read His Word certain principles are laid, solidifying the base we are building. What is being formed will support the many deep and wonderful truths of God in the future. But to build the sixteenth floor the foundation has to be in place first.

This passage of scripture is a call to start moving in the direction of maturity. The writer of Hebrews is still on the same thought as the ending of chapter 5. He begins this chapter with 'therefore' and as the saying goes, any time you see this in scripture you need to pause and find out what it is “there for”. He ended chapter 5 rebuking the people for their laziness in understanding important beginning truths. They still needed the milk showing their infancy, not willing to grow and train themselves to understand even the base principals of God. Because of this, he is saying it is time to move on to spiritual maturity. They need to take the foundation of what they'd been taught and strive for more understanding.

This list of elementary truths should be the foundation of our lives. These doctrines are important to know so well we could teach them to others. Understanding these things concerning repentance, faith, baptisms, laying on of hands, the resurrection and eternal judgment are the base things of God, they are beginning truths. But having these as our foundation of faith assures that the principles built on them will be secure and supported. This is why the writer says it is time to move on toward completeness and perfection belonging to the spiritually mature. And now, he aims to do just that. The next principles discussed in Hebrews can be hard to understand, but we will be proceeding into advanced teaching leaning on our foundational understanding to support these deeper truths.

Just as each floor of a New York skyscraper is built on the preceding one until the entire building is completed, we are to continue growing in the Word until the very end. It is not a onetime read. Each time through brings more understanding and more revelation than the time before. As we plant these seeds in our hearts we can expect much return on our investment. David said we will be like a tree planted by the streams of water yielding fruit in season and prospering (Psalm 1:2-3).

Subjecting the Son to Public Disgrace (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 1 of 4

Growing up Baptist, I held tightly to the doctrine 'once saved, always saved'. So you can imagine the ground shaking experience that occurred one summer at camp when my counselor co-worker challenged this idea. He was attending Bible college at the time learning all sorts of things. As he shared this knowledge, confusion about what I had always believed set in. I realize now what he was trying to say, but at that time, I wasn't able to reconcile this truth in full understanding. Even reading a verse such as this, can challenge our core belief system unless we understand several things. However, to comprehend the fullness of God's grace, having insight into a passage of scripture such as this is extremely important.

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The Basis of Eternal Redemption (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 2 of 4

If it is possible to fall away, as this passage in Hebrews suggests, or in effect become again as an unbeliever without the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, this verse seems to contradict others throughout scripture which talk about eternal redemption. So, it is important to first look at eternal redemption, what it is, what has been promised and who it is for; so we understand what the writer is saying in these verses concerning falling away.

Eternal redemption can be defined in this way; it is putting saving faith in the complete and perfect work of Jesus Christ, confessing Him as Lord, accepting the payment and forgiveness for your sins, trusting in Him to do what you cannot do. Once this happens you are saved, period. This is an eternal decision. You cannot lose what has been given to you as a gift.

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What Does it Mean to Fall Away? (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 3 of 4

We've established that you cannot lose your salvation, nor can anyone take it away from you, but Hebrews teaches that it is impossible to be brought back again to repentance once you've fallen away. If it is possible to fall away after being born again, it is important to look at this and understand what the writer is saying. Remember for every Biblical truth there is an equal and opposite truth that appears to contradict. Like our example of the tightrope, these truths pull in an equal and opposite direction to bring balance. In all cases it is not an either or scenario, but both. So understanding both sides of the apparent contradiction will expand your revelation of God's amazing grace and heighten your appreciation of the choice offered to you in Jesus.

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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.

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Juli Camarin

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