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“For It Is Impossible”

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SIH STSTA ICON“For It Is Impossible”

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

 

 

Heb 6:1-9

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,  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

And this will we do, if God permit.

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.

 

 

THE STUDY:

Heb 6:1-9… 

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,  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 

Here the writer of Hebrews reminds us of the need to continue to grow in knowledge of the teachings of Christ.  We are to not continue to dwell on the foundation teachings we have learned, but we are to add to them and build upon them. As we grow in knowledge and application of the teachings of Christ, we become “perfect” (mature, strong Christians) who are equipped for service to Christ.

Some of the teachings that are considered foundational include:

  1. the need for “repentance from dead works” and “faith toward God” for salvation
  2. the importance of entrance into church membership (through “baptism” in water), the Holy Spirit’s initial empowerment of local churches (“baptism” in the Spirit) and the coming reformation of the world (“baptism” with fire)
  3. the ordination of God’s men into the ministry (“laying on of hands”), the “laying on of the hands” by the apostles which propagated the accrediting gifts of the Spirit.
  4. the coming “resurrection from the dead” which teaches us about the existence of life after death and entrance into either the presence of God or “eternal judgement” in the Lake of Fire.

 

 

And this will we do, if God permit. 

Here, we can see that growing in the knowledge of Christ’s teachings is not simply a matter of human will but is wholly dependent upon God’s gracious intervention in our lives…

1Co 2:9-2:16

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

This is why we are told that God must allow “permit” us to come to a greater understanding of His truths for us to achieve the goal we have had set before us.

 

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. 

Please note this verse now begins a discourse on the permanent nature of our salvation.

The writer will now explain to us that we cannot be shifting back and forth from being saved, lost, and then saved again.  Christ’s payment on the cross included all of the believer’s sins past, present and future.  It was an all sufficient payment that will never fall short of the complete, eternal redemption of His people…

Rom 8:29-31…

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”

Folks, once saved we are PERMANENTLY saved.  In other words, the receipt of our new nature (and becoming a new creature in Christ) is our new, enduring state of existence.  We have been made the servants of Christ, never to return to the servanthood of Satan, our sin nature, and this fallen world. This is our new identity and we will continue on as servants of Christ for the rest of our lives.

This principle of our enduring change (resulting in us being placed permanently into the Kingdom of Christ) is a tremendous motivating force for us to grow in the knowledge and application of the Word of God.  Due to this never ending change in servanthood, we should devote our lives to coming to a greater understanding and application of the truths of our Lord for our lives.  Being permanently made His servants, should we not come to a greater understanding of His teachings and desires for our lives?  This can only be done through a continuing learning and application of His Word to our lives.

The writer of Hebrews clearly tells us that “it is impossible”.  In other words what follows CANNOT happen.  NOT EVER can a person who is saved, fall away and then be saved once again.  Why?  For him to be resaved would mean that Christ would have to die again.

To lose a person’s salvation would clearly demonstrate that the death of Christ was insufficient to cover ALL of his sins (past present and future.  Therefore if a Christian could lose their salvation Christ would have to die a second time on the cross to pay the price for the sins that caused the Christian to initially lose his salvation.

Please note in this passage, a truly saved person is described as:

  1.  “enlightened” – had their spiritual eyes enlightened to see the truths of His Word and come to a knowledge of Christ as the light of this world.
  2. “tasted of the heavenly gift” – partook of God’s gift of salvation
  3. “made partakers of the Holy Ghost” – indwelt by the Holy Spirit
  4. “tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come” have experienced the Word of God in their lives and the precious hope of a coming eternity with Christ.

Speaking of these genuine Christians, the writer of Hebrews says that “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.”

Remember the context of this statement is that “It is impossible”.  In other words “it is impossible for a saved person to depart from their saved condition, no longer be a new creature and lose his membership in God’s kingdom and then regain all these blessings a second time.”  Why?  Because in doing so they would…

“crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

If he did lose his salvation, it would be proof Christ had failed in His work, thus putting Him to a public shame and causing Him to die on the cross again (to pay for the sins that caused the initial loss of salvation).

 

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. 

The writer then uses a picture from nature to illustrate the complete, and permanent, blessing of salvation which is given to any who come to Christ in repentance and belief.  The eternal nature of the blessing of salvation is much like the blessing of rain that falls upon the earth causing it to bear herbs.

The rain causes the earth to bear the herbs and bring them to maturity which end up being a blessing to others.  Just like a Christian whose initial salvation experience and continuing growth is brought about through the continuing application of Christ’s work on the cross in the life of the believer.  These blessings of salvation and spiritual growth result in the believer being a blessing to those around him.

The one who never tastes of God’s grace of salvation is like the ground that only brings forth thorns or briar plants.  This ground does not bring forth spiritual fruit, nor can its plant life be used to be of benefit to others around him.  This ground is the perfect picture of the person who is not saved, who never has received the work of Christ, which is eternally rejected by God and condemned to eternal judgment.

Please note the writer’s point.  The earth (picturing Christians) that bears herbs does so due to the gracious work of Christ on the cross that is applies to his account.  The ground that bears thorns and thistles (lost men) has never tasted of Christ’s gracious work on the cross. They cannot go back and forth from thistle bearing to fruit bearing and then back again.

Why is this?  God’s gracious application of his work on the cross is like continuing rains that keep the saint secure and produce spiritual fruit in the believer’s life.  That is what makes the difference.  God’s continuing gracious intervention (pictured by the rain) is what enables and then sustains the earth to bear the herbs and be of great value to others. Just like God’s work on the cross, and His intervention in the life of the saved (through the Holy Spirit) is what saves them AND keeps them secure in fruit bearing.

To lose our salvation is to say God has failed in His initial work on the cross… to regain salvation (following losing it) is to say that He must have died again and paid for the sins that originally caused the initial loss of salvation.

 

But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

The writer of Hebrews, sums up this portion of his teaching with encouraging words.  He is convinced that the Lord has “better things” (more truths from God’s Word) awaiting them to be learned and applied.   The ability to understand and apply the truths of God’s Word is a direct blessing that accompanies the salvation experience.

This is why he has gone to great lengths to encourage the Hebrews to continuing to grow in the Word of God.

This is why he explained in great lengths one of the great motivating forces to continue in God’s Word… we are graciously, eternally, changed and secure in Christ, He now is our permanent King, should we not seek His teachings and desire for our lives found in His Word?  Do we not appreciate Him for His complete work on our behalf, making us secure?  If so, it is a certainty that we should be spending time in His Word seeking His will for our lives as His eternal servants.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 

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