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glad4mercy
Nov 1st 2011, 02:22 PM
Not merely for the sake of debate, but for mutual edification and instruction.

Hebrews 6: 4-11
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, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
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. 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 but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. 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. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

Questions-

1. Are verses 4-5 describing a genuine Christian?
2. What does the writer mean by the words "fall away"?
3. Does this passage teach the possibility of a true Christian to "apostasize"?

John 8:32
Nov 1st 2011, 03:33 PM
This subject is one of the most serious subjects in the Word of God.

Heb 6:4 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,

Looking at verse 4 we see we are talking about one who has had truth revealed to them…

Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

The calling is by the greatest being, God the Father.

Luk 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

This is a whole ‘nother thread, but for our purposes here, that there is a miracle that must take place in the mind of each one who is called to be able to understand God’s word.

What is the heavenly gift?

Joh 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

Water is symbolic of the Holy Spirit.

Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Made partakers…

Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Having the Holy Spirit is the definition of what a Christian is.

Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

Understood God’s word and had the gift of Holy Spirit which gives one power.

Luk 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Heb 6:6 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.

Fall away from the truth and God’s way…

Heb 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

False letters? Deceiving spirits? False words?

2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Following the man of sin, or any deceiver has serious consequences. We are warned of that in several places…

Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Mar 13:5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:
Mar 13:6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.


Not only those who are proclaiming that they are the Christ, but also those who say Jesus is the Christ and use that to deceive many.

2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

2Co 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
2Co 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

What is falling away? Did some great being in the past fall away?

Isa 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart,

(A matter of the heart, what one really wants, what he desires and sets his heart on. Not a passing thought or season of disobedience, but setting one’s heart on his own desires.)

The five why’s of rebellion

(1) I will ascend into heaven,
(2) I will exalt my throne above the stars of God:
(3) I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
(4) (Isa 14:14) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
(5) I will be like the most High.

Notice that they start with ‘I will’? When one’s own thoughts and desires become foremost, when humbly submitting to whatever God says or does or puts one through, when one decides he knows a better we, then he is on very shaky ground indeed.

Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Mat 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
Mat 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

The result of truly falling away…

Heb 6:7 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:
Heb 6:8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
Heb 10:28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Heb 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
Heb 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
Heb 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

So after all this…

1.) Are verses 4-5 describing a genuine Christian?

Yes…

Heb 6:4 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,
Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,


2.) What does the writer mean by the words "fall away"?

Answered above

3.) Does this passage teach the possibility of a true Christian to "apostasize"?

From Meriam Websters…

Definition of APOSTASY
1: renunciation of a religious faith
2: abandonment of a previous loyalty : defection

By definition, yes it takes a true Christian to become apostate.

notuptome
Nov 1st 2011, 05:09 PM
Not merely for the sake of debate, but for mutual edification and instruction.

Hebrews 6: 4-11
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, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
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. 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 but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. 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. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

Questions-

1. Are verses 4-5 describing a genuine Christian?
2. What does the writer mean by the words "fall away"?
3. Does this passage teach the possibility of a true Christian to "apostasize"?
This passage presents a hypothetical scenerio. Posing that if a true believer in Christ were to fall away that it would be impossible for them to be resaved. It is possible in fact probable that a true believer will sin and such sin creates a separation from the Father. An interruption of fellowship not a loss of salvation. 1 John 1:5-10, 2:1-2

The writer of Hebrews is addressing Jews who claimed to accept Christ as Messiah but desired to continue in the Judiastic religion.

True Christians cannot become apostate. Only false teachers can become apostate.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

John 8:32
Nov 1st 2011, 05:30 PM
This passage presents a hypothetical scenerio. Posing that if a true believer in Christ were to fall away that it would be impossible for them to be resaved. It is possible in fact probable that a true believer will sin and such sin creates a separation from the Father. An interruption of fellowship not a loss of salvation. 1 John 1:5-10, 2:1-2

The writer of Hebrews is addressing Jews who claimed to accept Christ as Messiah but desired to continue in the Judiastic religion.

True Christians cannot become apostate. Only false teachers can become apostate.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

Explain how a false believer, an apostate, one who never was can fall away from something he was never a part of.

John146
Nov 1st 2011, 06:45 PM
This passage presents a hypothetical scenerio. Posing that if a true believer in Christ were to fall away that it would be impossible for them to be resaved. It is possible in fact probable that a true believer will sin and such sin creates a separation from the Father. An interruption of fellowship not a loss of salvation. 1 John 1:5-10, 2:1-2

The writer of Hebrews is addressing Jews who claimed to accept Christ as Messiah but desired to continue in the Judiastic religion.

True Christians cannot become apostate. Only false teachers can become apostate.

For the cause of Christ
RogerHow exactly could it be said of "Jews who claimed to accept Christ as Messiah but desired to continue in the Judiastic religion" that they "were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come"?

Neanias
Nov 1st 2011, 07:01 PM
I think it is clear we are not talking about someone who has given mere mental assent to Christ.

We are talking about someone who has tasted of the powers of the world to come, who has been enlightened, who has partaken of the Holy Spirit...

It talks about receiving the rain, which is all those things above, and it speaks of bearing good fruit. It is possible for man to receive enlightenment from God, power from on high, and yet fall under the condemnation of the devil. This is talking about spiritual life and gifts bearing in the believer (the soil) the character of Christ.

When we receive the anointing of Christ, we must then choose to also put on the character of Christ. We must become imitators of him, humble and meek, though he was God himself in the flesh.

Neanias
Nov 1st 2011, 07:04 PM
I find it bizare that we would try to turn scriptures which most clearly talk of people who have known and experienced Jesus into scriptures that talk about those who never experienced him.

These verses are so clear, you'd have to change the meaning to say that person 'never was a christian'! :o (which is sadly what people often do, or they just ignore it!)

mikebr
Nov 1st 2011, 07:19 PM
Not merely for the sake of debate, but for mutual edification and instruction.

Hebrews 6: 4-11
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, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
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. 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 but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. 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. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

Questions-

1. Are verses 4-5 describing a genuine Christian?
2. What does the writer mean by the words "fall away"?
3. Does this passage teach the possibility of a true Christian to "apostasize"?

Once you reject grace, the law is your only hope of salvation. But of course this is a hopeless cause.

Noonzie
Nov 1st 2011, 07:46 PM
Some things to consider.

you have to consider Hebrews 10:14

By one offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified (present tense).

If Hebrews 6:6 meant that you could be justified by the blood of Christ and then lose that standing with God, this verse would seem to have no meaning. It says that for those who are now being sanctified (that is, who are now indwelt by the Spirit and born of God and are growing in holiness by faith), the offering of Christ on the cross has perfected that person for all time. In other words to become a beneficiary of the perfecting, justifying work of Christ on the cross is to be perfected in the sight of God forever. This suggests that Hebrews 6:6 does not mean that those who re-crucify Christ were once really justified by the blood of Jesus and were really being sanctified in an inward spiritual sense.


also consider Hebrews 3:14 and 3:6

We have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end.

The key thing here is the tense of the verb, "we have become partakers of Christ." Not we "will become partakers" and not "we are now partakers," but: "we have become partakers of Christ—if we hold fast our assurance." In other words, perseverance in faith proves that you became a partaker in Christ. Which means that if you do not persevere in faith, it does not show that you fall out of partaking in Christ, but that you never became a partaker in Christ. If we hold fast to our assurance, we have become partakers of Christ; and if we do not hold fast, but commit apostasy (as Hebrews 6:6 describes) then we have not become partakers of Christ. (The same argument holds for the tense of the verb in Hebrews 3:6.) Therefore, it seems clear that this writer does not believe you can be in Christ and then out again.

notuptome
Nov 1st 2011, 09:31 PM
Explain how a false believer, an apostate, one who never was can fall away from something he was never a part of.
Think the pope, the cardinals and the bishops of rome. They study the word of God and their church doctrine all their lives and never come to a knowledge of the truth. They profit from religion but they are never saved. They teach unsound doctrine for truth. They know what the bible says but choose to believe church tradition over the bible.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

notuptome
Nov 1st 2011, 09:56 PM
How exactly could it be said of "Jews who claimed to accept Christ as Messiah but desired to continue in the Judiastic religion" that they "were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come"?
To this day when a Jewish person announces that they have received Christ as Messiah and Saviour their fellow Jews do all they can to argue against the conversion. They plead with the convert to renounce Christ and return to Judiasm.

When the convert receives water baptism then the Jews count the person as dead to Judiasm. It seems reasonable that there were some who could not resist the pressure to renounce Christ and wanted to get re-saved on further consideration. The writer is making it clear that you only get saved one time while putting to rest the idea that salvation can be put aside anytime a person chooses. Salvation is of the Lord and not of men.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

Bandit
Nov 1st 2011, 10:23 PM
Not merely for the sake of debate, but for mutual edification and instruction.

Hebrews 6: 4-11
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, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
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. 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 but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. 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. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:




Hi there glad4mercy,

For starters, there is no "if" in the original text (it has been added to certain translations).


Questions-

1. Are verses 4-5 describing a genuine Christian?

Yes.


2. What does the writer mean by the words "fall away"?

To commit apostasy. (To no longer be saved.)


3. Does this passage teach the possibility of a true Christian to "apostasize"?

Yes.

glad4mercy
Nov 2nd 2011, 06:50 AM
Great discussion so far! Thanks to everyone! :thumbsup: I will post some thoughts/responses tommorow.

Walls
Nov 2nd 2011, 01:10 PM
I understand what the majority above do. This passage speaks of a Christian. Except for very few passages, all the letters of the New Testament are directed at the believer. Hebrews is no exception. It is called Hebrews because it addresses the Jew that has embraced his Messiah and become born again. This Jew is now faced with quite a dilemma. Firstly he has to overthrow (in the case of the date of writing) about 1'600 years of being under the Law. This is not easy. That would be like New Zealand abolishing rugby. Secondly, he faces an even more practical dilemma. The Law of Moses promised prosperity, long life, good harvests, safety and fertility as blessing attached to keeping the Law. Now the obedient Jew embraces Jesus Christ and everything changes. He is chased, buffeted, threatened and even killed for his obedience. His natural tendency is to return to Moses. Who wouldn't? We even have dozens of posters on this Forum who still embrace the Law in one form or another, if one is to judge by their arguments. This tendency to follow Christ and be penalized for it is addressed in Chapter 10 (v.34).

But Chapter 6 addresses another problem. Let us build a hypothetical case. Under Law, Jew #1 steals his neighbor's cow on Monday. After a while, the transgression gets to him and he restores the cow. But he has trespassed so he offers a Trespass Offering. Next Monday he touches a dead man and is unclean. For this he must offer another Trespass Offering. A week later he needs his field plowed and only has one ox and one donkey. He is desperate, so he yokes them together. After the field is plowed, in fear of a crop failure for breaking the Law, he offers another Trespass Offering. But now he becomes a Christian. Having heard that Jesus Messiah died for his sins, he still thinks like a Law abiding Jew and goes about sinning in a relaxed way, thinking all the time that he can just "crucify Jesus anew" or "afresh." The passage is a severe warning that any apostasizing cannot be dealt with like it was under Law, because the new life that is in the regenerate man gives him the opportunity to avoid apostasy, and the grand offering of Messiah is only once. But if he insists on apostatizing himself, "there remains no new sacrifice to save him."

Notice the retribution in verse 8. It is almost identical to three other scriptures concerning the wayward Christian. In verse 8 the errant believing Jew is NEAR to a curse and could be burned. In John Chapter 15 Christ is the vine and we the branches. Anyone not bearing fruit by not abiding in the Tree is cut off and burned. In 1st Corinthians Chapter 3 the slothful builder of the Church (a Christian) will have his work tried by fire and suffer a loss, though be saved. And to the suffering Church of Smyrna the Lord indicates that anyone who does not overcome what was set before them would be "hurt of the second death" (Rev.2:11). Now the second death is the Lake of Fire. To be "hurt" means that one will not go to the Lake of Fire, but the ingredients of the Lake of Fire could touch him and hurt him.

In all four cases the Christian is addressed. In all four cases fire is promised. In all four cases the Christian's new birth, sonship to God and salvation is left intact. In Hebrews 6 the believer is only NEAR to a curse.

In summary, we can say that the believing Jew is to forget the Law and its escapes (or Offerings). He is to understand that it is "impossible to renew him" like the Law did, as Christ only dies once. He is to apply the "rain (grace) from heaven" to produce fruit. He is threatened with retribution if he allows himself "fall away." This retribution is not permanent.

John146
Nov 2nd 2011, 04:42 PM
To this day when a Jewish person announces that they have received Christ as Messiah and Saviour their fellow Jews do all they can to argue against the conversion. They plead with the convert to renounce Christ and return to Judiasm.

When the convert receives water baptism then the Jews count the person as dead to Judiasm. It seems reasonable that there were some who could not resist the pressure to renounce Christ and wanted to get re-saved on further consideration. The writer is making it clear that you only get saved one time while putting to rest the idea that salvation can be put aside anytime a person chooses. Salvation is of the Lord and not of men.

For the cause of Christ
RogerI'm not really following you here. I'm not sure how this answers my question. What do you believe it means for someone to have been "enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come"? Is it possible for unsaved people to be "partakers of the Holy Ghost"? If so, how?

Mark F
Nov 3rd 2011, 01:40 AM
I understand what the majority above do. This passage speaks of a Christian. Except for very few passages, all the letters of the New Testament are directed at the believer. Hebrews is no exception. It is called Hebrews because it addresses the Jew that has embraced his Messiah and become born again. This Jew is now faced with quite a dilemma. Firstly he has to overthrow (in the case of the date of writing) about 1'600 years of being under the Law. This is not easy. That would be like New Zealand abolishing rugby. Secondly, he faces an even more practical dilemma. The Law of Moses promised prosperity, long life, good harvests, safety and fertility as blessing attached to keeping the Law. Now the obedient Jew embraces Jesus Christ and everything changes. He is chased, buffeted, threatened and even killed for his obedience. His natural tendency is to return to Moses. Who wouldn't? We even have dozens of posters on this Forum who still embrace the Law in one form or another, if one is to judge by their arguments. This tendency to follow Christ and be penalized for it is addressed in Chapter 10 (v.34).

But Chapter 6 addresses another problem. Let us build a hypothetical case. Under Law, Jew #1 steals his neighbor's cow on Monday. After a while, the transgression gets to him and he restores the cow. But he has trespassed so he offers a Trespass Offering. Next Monday he touches a dead man and is unclean. For this he must offer another Trespass Offering. A week later he needs his field plowed and only has one ox and one donkey. He is desperate, so he yokes them together. After the field is plowed, in fear of a crop failure for breaking the Law, he offers another Trespass Offering. But now he becomes a Christian. Having heard that Jesus Messiah died for his sins, he still thinks like a Law abiding Jew and goes about sinning in a relaxed way, thinking all the time that he can just "crucify Jesus anew" or "afresh." The passage is a severe warning that any apostasizing cannot be dealt with like it was under Law, because the new life that is in the regenerate man gives him the opportunity to avoid apostasy, and the grand offering of Messiah is only once. But if he insists on apostatizing himself, "there remains no new sacrifice to save him."

Notice the retribution in verse 8. It is almost identical to three other scriptures concerning the wayward Christian. In verse 8 the errant believing Jew is NEAR to a curse and could be burned. In John Chapter 15 Christ is the vine and we the branches. Anyone not bearing fruit by not abiding in the Tree is cut off and burned. In 1st Corinthians Chapter 3 the slothful builder of the Church (a Christian) will have his work tried by fire and suffer a loss, though be saved. And to the suffering Church of Smyrna the Lord indicates that anyone who does not overcome what was set before them would be "hurt of the second death" (Rev.2:11). Now the second death is the Lake of Fire. To be "hurt" means that one will not go to the Lake of Fire, but the ingredients of the Lake of Fire could touch him and hurt him.

In all four cases the Christian is addressed. In all four cases fire is promised. In all four cases the Christian's new birth, sonship to God and salvation is left intact. In Hebrews 6 the believer is only NEAR to a curse.

In summary, we can say that the believing Jew is to forget the Law and its escapes (or Offerings). He is to understand that it is "impossible to renew him" like the Law did, as Christ only dies once. He is to apply the "rain (grace) from heaven" to produce fruit. He is threatened with retribution if he allows himself "fall away." This retribution is not permanent.

Yes, Yes.

I agree with you on this Walls. Rather like discipline.

The word "impossible" in verse 4 rules out salvation, because there isn't anyone who is impossible to be saved.

I'm not in agreement that apostasy is the thought here in verse 6, some commentators say the word "if" is not in the Greek, the verse could be read, "having stumbled", or "have fallen down". I think the idea here is sin that has caused the believer to be tripped up, that would line up with what your saying as well I believe.

Walls
Nov 3rd 2011, 07:18 AM
Yes, Yes.

I agree with you on this Walls. Rather like discipline.

The word "impossible" in verse 4 rules out salvation, because there isn't anyone who is impossible to be saved.

I'm not in agreement that apostasy is the thought here in verse 6, some commentators say the word "if" is not in the Greek, the verse could be read, "having stumbled", or "have fallen down". I think the idea here is sin that has caused the believer to be tripped up, that would line up with what your saying as well I believe.

I think that the contemporary Christian doctrine is the cause of the inability of many Christians to find a place for this discipline. Contemorary majority Christian theology says; "believe in Jesus and you go to heaven, reject Jesus and you go to hell. Then the world ends and there is only heaven." But the revelation of the bible is not that. The bible reveals ages in which God deals with men (Eph 2:7, 3:5, 3:21; Col.1:26 etc.). Old Testament prophecy explicitly warned Israel of their evil, predicts the breakup and dispersion of the nation and predicts a restoration. History has shown the first two. The third has not come to pass. If the first two were real and literal the third will be real and literal, just like all the real and literal fulfillments of those over 330 prophecies concerning our Lord Jesus.

What these prophecies need is the TIME to come to pass. In Matthew 12:32 for instance we find a possible TIME. "And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the (world) to come." The most cursory of investigations reveals that the KJV rendering of "world" is actually "age." Thus, on authority of our Lord Jesus Himself, there is an age to come. Once this is accepted, TIME for Israel's restoration is immediately available. And seeing as Israel has been chastised for the sum of this age, the gospel age, it is not too much to expect their restoration during this future age.

It also provides us with a TIME in which Christians can be chastised, WITHOUT violating their re-birth as sons of God and their having eternal life for ever. My own son misbehaved at times (like we all did). He was chastised. This did not change his status as my son and my inheritor. In actual fact you cannot change his status as my son. He came from me and though he may get life imprisonment, he remains my son. Birth has dictated this, not any works he did.

I propose that the verses above from Ephesians and Colossians provide ample time for God to display righteous dealings with diligent and obedient Christians, and their slothful and disobedient brethren.

Neanias
Nov 3rd 2011, 12:10 PM
Think the pope, the cardinals and the bishops of rome. They study the word of God and their church doctrine all their lives and never come to a knowledge of the truth. They profit from religion but they are never saved. They teach unsound doctrine for truth. They know what the bible says but choose to believe church tradition over the bible.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

Right... I guess the part about tasting of the powers of the age to come, being enlightened, partakers of the Holy Ghost, and having tasted of the heavenly gift is all metaphor! ;) Nothing too real, just nice thoughts, like the Christianity to often promoted that has a form of godliness, but denies the power of God in us!

Butch5
Nov 4th 2011, 03:54 AM
Not merely for the sake of debate, but for mutual edification and instruction.

Hebrews 6: 4-11
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, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
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. 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 but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. 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. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

Questions-


1. Are verses 4-5 describing a genuine Christian?

Yes


2. What does the writer mean by the words "fall away"?

It means to turn away from Christ.


3. Does this passage teach the possibility of a true Christian to "apostasize"?

Yes, we have examples in Scripture.

This passage has to be understood in context. Look at what Paul says earlier.

Title : The Holy Bible, King James Version

Hebrews 1:1-3(KJV)
1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

OK, we see here that Paul is speaking of ones who have had their sins purged. In addition to that he includes himself in this group.


Hebrews 2:1-3(KJV)
1Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
2For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward;
3How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

Ok, here we have Paul saying they must pay heed to what they've heard lest they let them slip. Then he says how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation? So, here again he includes himself.


Title : The Holy Bible, King James Version

Hebrews 2:10-13(KJV)
10For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
11For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
12Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
13And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.


Here Paul says that Christ is not ashamed to call them brethren. Surely Christ is not going to call the unbelievers brethren

Hebrews 3:1(KJV)
1Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus

Notice Paul sais partakers of the heavnely calling, then he says t oconsider the Aposlte and High Priest of "OUR" profession. Again, Paul includes himself.


Hebrews 3:12(KJV)
12Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

Here he states it outright, he calls them brethren.


1Therefore 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,
2Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3And this will we do, if God permit.
4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6If 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.
7For 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:
8But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

And here we have the passage in question. It should be clear from the references and context that Paul is addressing believers.

episkopos
Nov 4th 2011, 11:55 AM
Not merely for the sake of debate, but for mutual edification and instruction.

Hebrews 6: 4-11
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, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
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. 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 but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. 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. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

Questions-

1. Are verses 4-5 describing a genuine Christian?
2. What does the writer mean by the words "fall away"?
3. Does this passage teach the possibility of a true Christian to "apostasize"?

These verses are meant to bring a sober appreciation for our responsibility to remain continually dependent on Christ. We NEED the fear of the Lord to make it through the trials that seek to purify us. A race is not won until it is finished.

percho
Nov 4th 2011, 07:16 PM
I have not ironed out all the wrinkles in my thoughts on this passage as most have not, however it has something to do with our going on unto perfection and is a continuance of chapter five and that Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; and of it being said of him Jesus being made perfect by resurrection from the dead and on that day it being said, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. and As he saith also in another [place], Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. See Hebrews 5:4-10 and really all the chapter. Then in chapter 6 it speaks of our going on unto perfection. I keep putting in bold unto for I do not believe we reach it until our resurrection from the dead. Now I ask. From what order of priesthood shall we believers be? See Heb. 6:20 and commentaries on that verse. I say Melchisedec order.

Now a very key verse here is verse 3 And this will we do, if God permit. The key word being, if.

glf
Nov 14th 2011, 02:54 PM
I borrowed the term "forbidden fruit" from the Garden of Eden to illustrate my point, which is that the sin in (Mt 12:30-32) is unforgivable even in the age to come, which will be on into New Jerusalem. So that, like Adam, as long as we refrain from it, we'll be choosing the Lord! The Lord wants us to want him and without the possibility of a choise, we will be joined to the Lord in eternity as a compulsion and not because we desire it. I would have added that we make that choise day by day, except that there will only be a single eternal day in New Jerusalem.

There is also another un-forgivable sin listed in Rev 22:18,19 NAS "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book."

Forgiveness is agape love in action. It is the fulfilling of the royal law and is a proof of one's love for others. On the other side of the same coin, un-forgiveness will lead to the Lord not forgiving the one who will not forgive. Mt 6:15 KJV "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. "Or again in Mk 11:26 KJV "But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses." Perhaps, the Lord is just trying to scare us into doing what he wants, or maybe he doesn't really mean it, when he tells us that he will not forgive us, if we are unforgiving, ourselves. If these verses are invalid then this next verse has to be invalid too, Mt 10:33 NAS "If you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father who is in heaven." We can quickly fill page after page of impotent verses, if they do not mean what they say. But rather let God be true and every man a liar. By-the-way, forgiveness is not a requirement under the OT Law, but instead they had the limitation, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, and a life for a life; whereas we are to Lk 6:27,28 NAS "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." And be ready to forgive seventy times seven.

For an example; take the brother in 1Cor 5, who was committing a sin that wasn't even named among the gentiles and Paul directed the believers of Corinth to shun him, but not to count him as an unbeliever. Then after he repented as seen in 2 Cor 2, he was welcomed back into fellowship. We see that this man stumbled regarding this sin and then got back up in repentance to continue his walk with the Lord. In 1 Jn 5:16,17 "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death." Thus the extreme importance of praying for one another!

In Rom 14 we can see another result; for example: in Rom 14:14 NAS we see, regarding food, that "nothing is unclean in itself," and in Rom 14:20 NAS "all things indeed are clean." We see here a man who is weak in faith and who doesn't have this knowledge regarding food sacrificed to idols and who is embolden to eat when seeing another brother eat. But his conscience gives him a guilt that leads him to stumble in his own heart before the Lord. Then the stumble becomes a fall when the sprouted seed of faith withers from the cares of this world or because there was no depth of soil in his heart. Rom 14:15 NAS "For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died." So, even though food is profitable for sustenance and should be received with thanksgiving, making us neither the better nor the worse if we eat. Rom 14:20 NAS "Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense." Rom 14:22 NAS "The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves." Rom 14:23 NAS "but he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatsoever is not from faith is sin." So we see that the above brother in 1 Cor 5 committed a more grievous sin and yet obtained forgiveness through repentance while on the other hand, another brother who committed a more minor sin of conscience fell because he did not get up from his stumble. Rather than having a 2 Cor 7:10 NAS "For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death." So we see that this brother's guilt was a sorrow after the world that led him to death, the same as Judas who hanged himself over the potter's field.

1 Tim 4:1,2 KJV "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and the doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;"

1 Tim 1:19 "Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck."

Heb 3:12 "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God."

2 Cor 13:5 KJV "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates."

Heb 6:4-6 KJV "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, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 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." Here we see that the one who falls away from the Lord as their faith withers and dies, not only looses their salvation, but that there is no longer any opportunity available to them for repentance. In fact, we see that God gives such as these over to lust and impurity and to degrading passions in Rom 1:24, 1:26 and in Rom 1:28 KJV "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient," so we see that there is no longer any hope for such a one to repent and return to the Lord in forgiveness. For our part, since we cannot see into another's heart and since we are not to judge those who claim the Lord Jesus Christ as savior in regard to their salvation; we should work in hope to reach all who cross our path for Jesus and let the Lord deal with those who fell away in their faith and who will be impossible to renew again unto repentance, sadly as they will be given over to a reprobate mind. A desire in someone to seek after Jesus and his righteousness is a proof to my mind that such a one is not given over to a reprobate mind.

2 Pet 2:20,21 "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them."

Mt 24:10 NAS "At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved."

1 Cor 10:12 KJV "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."

Gal 5:4 KJV "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."

Rom 11:20-22 KJV "Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off."

We see that both salvation and eternal life are available to us by faith. Faith is that form of believing that is only based upon the Lord's word and will always produce works meet to repentance. What can the works be that accompany faith in Jam 2:17 "Even so faith, if it has no works is dead, being by itself," and also fulfills Eph 2:9 "not of works, least any man should boast?" In 1 Jn 3:18-24 NAS "Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before Him, in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatsoever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. And the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him. And we know by this that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given to us." One might say that a clear conscience empowers full power faith! And if you really want to obtain the object of your prayer request, add fasting to the request for more favor from the Lord for those in need, whom the Lord loves as he does Jesus. Jn 17:23 KJV "I in them, and Thou in me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me."

Heb 11:6 NAS "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." And to go with it, Rom 10:9 NAS "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved." So here we see that believing in Jesus is being obedient to the Lord's commandment and is a work that is appropriate to repentance. This can also be seen in Heb 6:1,2 KJV "therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and the laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment." This is like a road map of the beginning of a new believer's new life. We come to the Lord in faith and the Lord plants the mustard seed of faith in that one's heart. The Holy Spirit baptizes that one into the body of Christ and then in obedience to the Lord's word that one gets water baptized. The laying on of hands speaks of ministry to both the lost of the world and to the body of Christ. The resurrection of the dead is our hope and eternal judgment
Add to the above: gives us our motivation to serve the lost just as Jesus, our God served us by shedding his blood while hanging on the cross. My point here though is that repentance precedes faith which is added by the Lord to the one who is repentant.

1 Jn 4:7,8 "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love, does not know God, for God is love." So we see that we are to believe in Jesus and to love one another. According to the above verse, we see that we reveal our love for the Lord by loving others who are made in the Lord's image. We know that love fulfills the whole law and the prophets and is the royal law. Interesting term, since the eternal priesthood of which Jesus is the High Priest is also a royal priesthood. Thus we can see that agape love is a proof of faith and is also a work appropriate to repentance. These two commandments from the Lord are the works that prove our faith according to both Jam 2:14 and Eph 2:9. Faith in Jesus and love for one another are fruits of the Spirit that increase with spiritual growth as does all the fruits of the Spirit as revealed to us in Gal 5:22,23 NAS "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control against such things there is no law; and in 2 Pet 1:5-8 NAS "Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge; and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Pet 1:11 NAS "for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied unto you." So the fruits of the Spirit are not only a proof that someone is worthy of fellowship, but they also work with faith to reveal that faith to others. And on the other side of this coin, 1 Cor 15:33 NAS "Do not be deceived: bad company corrupts good morals."

glad4mercy
Nov 16th 2011, 03:08 AM
Thanks to everyone for their posts. There is much good reading here, and the text has been interpreted from different viewpoints and perspectives. I think it is clear that to reject Christ, whether you were once a professing believer or not is a sure fire way of perishing. The point of disagreement seems to be whether a true, genuine believer would ever do this.

I think the point that the sacrifice of Christ is a once and for all sacrifice is a great point, ( I think it was Walls post.) Lastly, the point made that this passage refutes multiple salvation or regeneration experiences is one that I strongly agree with.

Here are some thoughts I have...

a. It is not sufficient to say that we once believed. We must also continue to believe and perservere in faith. I do believe tha perserverance and preservation in the faith is a demonstration that we are truly His.

b. Christ's sacrifice is a once and for all sacrifice, He does not offer Himself over and over for our sins. When we repeatedly sin willfully, we are demeaning the sacrifice He made for us.

c. If we stumble, it does not mean we have fallen from grace and need to be saved again. This passage seems to say that a person can only be saved or born again once. If we were to lose our salvation, the Holy Spirit would depart from us, and we would be without hope. The sorrowful conclusion that I come to is that when we sin as Christians, we grieve the Holy Spirit who dwells within us and who has sealed us.

d. I do believe it is possible for a believer to apostasize/ fall away and be lost, however a person who is in a backslidden condition but yet is still being convicted by the Holy Spirit need not despair thinking that they have apostasized. If the Holy Spirit is convicting them, they can and should run to Christ and be restored.

e. However, we dare not remain in willful sin, for sin will harden us, and the Lord may return or we may die at any moment, as well as due to the fact that willful sin shows a disregard and contempt of Christ's sacrifice for us.