Those who have advanced to the very threshold of Christ’s salvation, even being clearly convicted by the Holy Spirit and fully enlightened in the Word of God as to the way of life, again turning to trust in dead works and ceremonies, put Christ to an open shame and will not be renewed again to repentance by the Holy Spirit. The true believer takes refuge wholly in Christ’s finished work, in which he finds a hope sure and steadfast leading him heavenward.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Hebrews 6:1-3 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 6:4-9 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 6:4-9 cont. – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 6:10-20 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 6:1-8 – ”Go On Unto Perfection.”
We must leave the 1st principles, as a builder leaves the foundation; he is never so much on it as when farthest above it. The 3rd and 4th principles (v. 2) are the Jewish equivalents of the 1st and 2nd (v. 1). So long as men continue to tread the love of God under foot, they cannot repent and be restored. The failure, as with unproductive soil, is not on account of a failure of heaven, but because the soil is hard and obdurate. If we are unproductive, it is due to our own hard-heartedness. (Meyer)
Hebrews 6:1 – Dead works are those which do not spring from the life-giving principle of faith. (Moody)
Hebrews 6:4-6—It is impossible to renew again unto repentance; seeing.…
The writer of this Epistle is eager to lead his readers from first principles to. that strong ineat which was befitting for those of mature growth; and, as he proceeds to do so, it was as though he were arrested by a sudden thought of some who had recently fallen away from the faith.
In the awful stress of trial which accompanied the fall of Jerusalem, the Hebrew Christians, who were still dwelling in Palestine, were strongly tempted to apostatise. Some, indeed, had done so. But can we really consider that they ever were true Christians? They went out, because they had never been truly of. They had been enlightened as to the doctrines of Christianity; but the enlightenment had been of their head rather than of their heart. They had tasted of the heavenly hopes, anticipations, and joys of the Gospel message, without really belonging to the Household of Faith. But, notwithstanding all, they had gone back.
It is impossible to renew such to repentance, whilst they go on living as they do, crucifying the Son of God by their vicious and cowardly course of action, and putting Him to an open shame. It is the solution of the great difficulty which has perplexed many timid souls. The impossibility of renewal is only for those who persist in their evil ways. Abandon your sins, and God will restore you to your old place.
It cannot be too clearly emphasized that this text does not say that backsliders cannot be restored to the favor and forgiveness of God; but that they cannot be restored so long as they cling to the things which had been the sources of their declension. (Meyer)
Hebrews 6:9-20 – ”The Hope Set before Us.”
The keynote of this passage is patient continuance. We should seek not only faith but its accompaniments. It is not enough to manifest faith, hope and love, but to continue to do so unto the end. Notice that the two conditions on which the promises are inherited are faith and patience.
These truths are enforced by the example of Abraham. He believed God and patiently endured. Your prayers cannot be lost, as ships at sea; they will make harbor at last, laden with golden freight. God’s promise and oath are a double door, behind which they who have fled for refuge are safe – a double window beyond which all noise dies down. The allusion is either to the cities of refuge, or to a ship safely riding out the storm. Hope is sure, because the anchor has fastened in a sure ground; steadfast, because its cable will not snap in the strain; and entereth, etc., because it unites us to the unseen. Jesus has taken our anchor into the inner harbor, and has dropped it down into the clear, still water there. (Meyer)
Hebrews 6:19 – On the margin of the ocean that surrounds and laves our island home, an object of absorbing interest may often be observed, – a ship riding at anchor near a lee shore in an angry sea. She has drifted, ere she was aware, too near a rockbound coast; the wind is blowing direct on shore; there is not room to tack; whether she should point her prow north or south, she will strike a projecting headland ere she can escape from the bay. One resource remains, – to anchor where she is till the wind change. There she lies. Stand on this height and look down upon her through the drifting spray. I scarcely know in nature a more interesting or suggestive sight. The ship is dancing on the waves; she appears to be in their power and at their mercy. Wind and water combine to make her their sport. Destruction seems near; for if the vessel’s hull is dashed by these waves upon the rocks of the coast, it will be broken into a thousand pieces. But you have stood and looked on the scene awhile, and the ship still holds her own. Although at first sight she seemed the helpless plaything of the elements, they have not overcome – they have not gained upon her yet. She is no nearer destruction than when you first began to gaze in anticipation of her fate. The ship seems to have no power to resist the onset of wind and wave. She yields to every blast and every billow. This moment she is tossed aloft on the crest of a wave, and the next she sinks heavily into the hollow. Now her prow goes down beneath an advancing breaker, and she is lost to view in the spray; but anon she emerges, like a sea-fowl shaking the water from her wings and rejoicing in the tumult. As she quivered and nodded giddily at each assault, you thought, when first you arrived in sight, that every moment would prove her last; but now that you have watched the conflict long, it begins to assume in your mind another aspect, and promise another end. These motions of the ship now, instead of appearing the sickly movements of the dying, seem to indicate the calm, confident perseverance of conscious strength and expected victory. Let winds and waves do their worst, that ship will meet them fearless, will hold her head to the blast, and maintain her place in defiance of their power. What is the secret of that ship’s safety? No other ship is in sight to which she may cling; no pillar stands within reach to which she may be moored. The bond of her security is a line that is unseen. The ship is at anchor. The line on which she hangs does not depend on the waters, or anything that floats there; it goes through the waters, and fastens on a sure ground beyond them. The soul, considered as a passenger on the treacherous sea of Time, needs an anchor; and an anchor “sure and steadfast” is provided for the needy soul. (Arnot)