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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hebrews chapter 6

This is a short exposition of Hebrews chapter 6

The community spoken of in Hebrews were believers. We can see this in Hebrews chapter 2

"We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will."

The author includes himself as one of the ones who can drift away. So to assume that the people spoken of in chapter 6 as nonbelievers would be false for one would have to make the author of the book of Hebrews a nonbeliever as well.

It is most likely that they were Jewish believers.

Hebrews chapter 6 verses 1 & 2 (NKJV)
"1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."

The six foundations found in the first couple verses of Hebrews chapter six, seems to be the same as the milk found in the previous chapter.

From verses 1 and 2 we see that the milk/elementary principles are:

1.) foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death

2.) foundation of faith in God

3.) foundation of instruction about baptisms

4.) foundation of the laying on of hands

5.) foundation of the resurrection of the dead

6.) foundation of the eternal judgment

1.) foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death

John talks about the samething when it comes to things that lead to death

1 John 5:16-17
"If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that.All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death."

It seems to me that the "elementary" things Hebrews was talking about had to do with the "initial" things of salvation......Like Repentence.

2.) foundation of faith in God

This letter seemed to be sent to a group of believing Jews so they already had the Gospel preached to them.

Romans chapter 10 shows us how faith comes about.

"14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!""

and verse 17

"17Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."

It seems to me that the "elementary" things Hebrews was talking about had to do with the "initial" things of Salvation......Like faith

3.) foundation of instruction about baptisms

This seems to be talking about Water Baptism. Something that Christians go through......even believing Jews

As Prophesied in the Old Testament

Ezekiel 36:25-27
"25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them."

And as seen in the New Testament

John 3:5
"5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."

Romans chapter 6:3-5

"3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,"


Colossians 2:11-13
"11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,"

Water Baptism was seen as the normal way in which the blood of Christ gets on a person. This is how we are supernaturally and mysteriously united with Christ.

Thus it seems that the text is talking about another initial aspect of salvation.

4.) foundation of the laying on of hands

This seems to be talking about the christian practice of "Confirmation/Chrismation". We see this in Acts where the Apostle layed hands on new gentile believers so that they too can receive the Holy Spirit like they did. Thus this seem like post cross and post ressurection to me.

Acts chapter 8
"16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit."

Acts chapter 9
"And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts chapter 19
"And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied."

The laying on of hands was the norm in which people were Baptized with the Holy Spirit. This is the second half of John 3:5

"5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."

5.) foundation of the resurrection of the dead

We see Paul preaching this in Acts chapter 17 to pagans. So This too seems like a christian thing in regards to what is tought to those who are new christians or soon to be christian.

Acts chapter 17
""30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.""

6.) foundation of the eternal judgment

This seems to be a christian thing as well. Something new christians are tought....or soon to be christians are tought.So this seems to be am immature christian community not a mature one. This is what it seems like from reading chapter 5 to the first two verses of Chapter 6.

Hebrews chapter 6 verse 4 (NKJV)

"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit"

This enlightened is probably talking about Baptism, but it could also be talking about a pre or post enlightening as well. As found in Cor chapter 4 and Eph chapter 4.

The Heavenly gift is most likely talking about Communion, or the Lord's table.

Being partakers of the Holy Spirit is talking about being filled with the Holy Spirit. One of the Epistles of Peter talks about being partakers of the Divine Nature.

2 Peter 1:4
"Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."

Hebrews chapter 6 verse 5 (NASB)

"5and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,"

Before the invention of the printing press the Word of God was read and people heard it. Infact, good portions of it was memorized. The word of God was presented in the Liturgy itself when the believers gathered to Worship.

The powers of the age to come is still unknown to me at this time. I will have to update this at a later time.

However, with that said to assume that "tasted" means not being real in the first place is false. It's false because one would have to say the samething about the Lord Himself.

For scripture says:

Hebrews 2:9
""But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.""

Did Jesus really die? If so then the context of "Taste" in the Book of Hebrews really means something actually experienced.

Hebrews chapter 6 verse 6 (NASB)

"6and 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."

The "if" clause is not in the Majority text. It is said that Theodore Beza added the "if" in his Text.

Knowing this we know that some did fall away. It wasn't "hypothetical"!

Now what was the difference between those that fell away and those that didn't?

They both repented, believed, was Baptized, had hands layed on them so that they could be filled with the Holy Spirit. They both had communion. They both heard the Word of God and they both were tought about Judgment and the resurrection of the dead.

Well Hebrews tells us in verses 9 to 12

Hebrews chapter 6 verses 9 to 12

"9But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way.
10For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.
11And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,
12so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises."

What are the things accompaning salvation? It is their work and Love in ministering to the Saints.
The difference was "diligence", the difference was "perseverance". The difference was "unwavering faith and patience".

That was the difference. This is backed up by Hebrews chapter 10 in which a lack of fellowshipping together seems to be deadly to ones faith.

Hebrews 10:24-26

"24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 26If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left",



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