Hebrews 6/ June 18
“…let us press on to maturity,” (Hebrews 6:1)
The original letters were not divided by chapters, they were written in a flowing fashion just as we write. This will explain how the contents of one chapter tie with the ones on either side of it, which is certainly is the case of chapters 5 and 6. Picking up in chapter 5, v11 we read, “Concerning him (meaning Melchizedek) we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” (5:11-14)
Before the author elaborates on the role of Christ being like that of the Old Testament priest Melchizedek, he stops so to chide his readers for their spiritual immaturity. He is critical because what he is going over with them they ought to already know and be teaching other spiritually younger Christians. This is a huge indictment against the church in not raising up spiritually mature Christians. The entire discipleship of those who come to Christ is treated in an extremely passé fashion. There is too much concern in churches over secondary matters than in training new believers in righteousness. The focus of the church should be to raise up holy people. In Acts 2 the very first thing we read of the new believers is, “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42). Being saved is treated too much as a “common” type experience and not with that of critical importance. This is the most important decision a person will ever make, this is eternity! It’s knowing God, it is to completely change a person. It’s resisting satan.
Chapter 6 begins, “Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,” (6:1). The author is encouraging his reader to move on toward maturity; the need to continue going over the need of repentance and renewal of faith are dead subjects- live the new life! Just do it!
An apparent hot topic of that day is next brought up, and the verses create much debate as to what he is meaning, “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.” (6:4-6) Some consider these verses are teaching that one can lose their salvation, that they have tasted the good word and then fall away. Pentecostals believe you can lose your salvation and then be saved again in a continual manner; if that were true, however, this verse says that it is impossible to renew them to repentance- so the truth is that if one can lose their salvation then it can never be regained!
The truth of this verse is that it is saying if one is brought near to God, taste it, recognize the greatness of it YET refuse to submit to God, then there is nothing else left for them. There is nothing greater to wait for, to have expectations for, than Jesus. The one time I saw my own mother being pulled to God by the power of the Holy Spirit, she refused to yield to God. She was shaking, she was emotional, she had been touched by God- but she refused. She would not give up the hell-bent life she was living. And with that, there was nothing left for her, she had heard the call, but refused it. I pleaded with her, but the answer was ‘no’.
Once someone denies Christ’s call upon their life there is nothing left. Often that person will become more hardened against God, even more bitter. The life without Christ yields only thorns and thistles, it is worthless, and in v8 the author says it ends up being burned, burned in the fires of hell.
Don’t ever deny the call of God, don’t ever deny the leading of God in a particular direction for life. Don’t deny His leading of you to give up sin and be cloaked in righteousness. As the author says in v9- “we are convinced of better things concerning you.” Be sure to be reaching out for God’s expectations for your life.