Hebrews 6:1 “…let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God”
Growth beyond salvation. What Paul would refer to as working out our salvation. It’s not enough just to be born, you have to grow, mature as a person in order to experience life. Same thing for the spiritual side. After you’re born again spiritually, you must grow, in your relationship to God and in the image of Christ.
4-6 “For it is impossible…”
These verses have troubled people since they were written. Some interpret them to say a person can lose their salvation, fall away from the faith. Others say the description is not of true Christians, but only those who know of the truth and reject it. The problem with trying to decide on the meaning of the words and phrases used is that if you look only at this section and don’t relate it to the rest of the Bible, it is easy to misinterpret what is being said. While some of the phrases appear to be referring to those who are truly saved, the context with the verses before and after, as well as the concepts of assurance of salvation and eternal security would disagree with that interpretation. The only idea left is that they refer to those who learn of true salvation, but choose to reject it. To me, the bigger question was why was this section included in the flow of the writing? The ideas expressed are important, but their proper interpretation would show why they’re even here. The writer appears to stop the flow of an idea in chapter 5 to mention the readers’ problem with not growing as believers as they should, needing milk instead of solid food. He begins this chapter saying he’s going to move on to more advanced topics, God willing, instead of staying in the milk area, then comes to verse 4. The reason he’s going to do this is growth. True Christians will accept Christ and then begin to grow. Those that never accept Him won’t grow, but will continue to behave like children in the faith, only interested in discussing elementary principles. It’s impossible to get those who have learned of Christ, the way of salvation, but have rejected it to be saved any other way. If you reject what Christ has already done, the only option would be for Him to do it again, which isn’t going to happen. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. You can’t force someone to genuinely accept Christ, and they certainly won’t grow without Him.
7-8 “…the earth…bears herbs…but if it bears thorns and briers…”
These verses help explain the previous. All may be watered, but all don’t grow into what they’re supposed to be. The growth of what is there is the true determination of what has happened. Useful herbs don’t become thorns and briers, they’re thorns and briers from the start.
9 “…things that accompany salvation…”
Growth that comes from being a true Christian.
12 “…do not become sluggish…”
Don’t give up. Keep working hard, just as you see others do who have grown strong in the faith.
15 “…after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise”
Like Abraham who believed God and remained faithful.
18 “…by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie…”
Had to check the commentary on this one. The two things are the promises made to Abraham and the oath God gave him for them. God can’t lie, so we know the promises were true, but then He also made an oath to reinforce it. Two immutable things based on the fact that God can’t lie.
20 “…the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”
Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise. The blessing to the world promised to Abraham, who entered the Holy of Holies for us. And the writer has come full circle back to Melchizedek. Apparently, he wanted to get to this point, but must have had a thought about the possibility that the readers wouldn’t understand. So he took the quick detour to explain why some wouldn’t, their need to be true Christians and to grow.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.