Part 2 of 6
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1- 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. (Heb 6:4-6)
Like all the passages we will be dealing with, if you wear the lenses of performance-driven, rules-keeping, Law-mixing Christianity, this could be a frightening scripture. It sounds like your salvation hinges on your behavior. Do good, be good, don’t drink, don’t chew, and don’t go with girls that do, but back-slide and your out-of-here, game over. Sizzling in the eternal barbecue pit way down under.
The question, is as always, a matter of context. Don’t get the context right, and you can make a “con” out of the text. So, what is the context, is this speaking to believers or unbelievers?
If it’s speaking to believers, there is a huge interpretive problem. The Bible is so clear, in the work of your salvation, the moment you believed you received a completely new nature. You became a new creation, reborn from above. As a Bible writer John puts it “born of God.” You are the righteousness of Christ, a child of the living God. Your identity is not based on your performance. Just because we act contrary to our nature or identity, does not me our identity or nature has changed, nor God’s promises to us and His affections for us.
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Heb 12:14)
The phrase “be holy” is not an instruction for improving your performance, rather, it’s an admonition to be who you truly are. Be holy, because you are, in truth, holy.
“We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus once for all” (Heb 10:10).
So, to unborn your rebirth, to undo what Jesus did to you, to unholy your holiness is impossible. Once you’re born, you’re born, it’s a no brainer! To assert that you can lose your salvation, that you can undo what God has done, is like saying that God makes mistakes and His finished work is flawed and unfinished. Thankfully, He doesn’t make mistakes, and His finishing work on the cross isn’t flawed.
So, who is this passage addressing? You got it, unbelievers. It is addressing those who have heard the Gospel of God’s Grace, tasted His goodness and mercy, seen the light of His love, experienced His presence, and even have perhaps changed their minds (repented) about who Jesus is, but yet at the end of the day, they have refused to believe and trust in His Gospel of Grace. They like Judas, have hardened their heart and refused to receive His strength for their weaknesses. They have fallen away in disbelief and pride, rejecting the Grace that is so sufficient for their every need. They have landed on preferring a do it yourself, religious approach to God, instead of His Grace.
As it says in Galatians 5:4… For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.
Hardening your heart to the Gospel of Grace, as this debated passage describes (Hebrews 6:4-6) is indeed, a dangerous thing.