Rather, … His dignity underscores the horrific evil of renouncing allegiance to him and siding with his enemies. The other participial constructions focus on the primary means of grace, the apostolic word, and the Holy Spirit’s miraculous deeds that confirmed the apostles’ testimony. You can taste the goodness of the … For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word … 2:1; Jude 4). the purpose of proclaiming the gospel through publishing The preacher intends for his warning to alarm us to heed his appeal by remaining steadfastly loyal to Jesus. The book of Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians since it begins by referring to "the … “Impossible” arrests our attention, abruptly opening a Greek sentence that runs for three verses. (1 Timothy 2). The ESV’s “and then have fallen away” rightly renders the final participle in the series of participles we looked at in the comment on 6:4–5. The text itself must govern the questions we ask. But one can be a member of a new covenant congregation, hearing God’s word and seeing his Spirit’s works, yet nevertheless harden one’s heart against God’s voice, as some Israelites did (Heb. . They stress gospel admonitions with abridgment of gospel promises. If one were to read ONLY Hebrews 6:4-5 they would get the totally wrong context of these Chapters. The preacher expects us to take to heart both the urgent warning against a final departing from Christ (6:4–8) and the admonition to assured confidence in God’s promise (6:9–20) without any whisper of contradiction. Answer: Hebrews 6:4–6 states, “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance… If you are far from God right now, stop listening to those who tell you you can lose your salvation, and consider yourself FOUND right now. No! This article is adapted from ESV Expository Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation: Volume 12 edited by Iain M. Duguid, James M. Hamilton Jr, and Jay Sklar. Hebrews is where people go to lose their present possession of salvation and reject the dispensation of the grace of God for today. What’s the preacher’s purpose or intent? (Revelation 13). The gravity of such resolute rebellion, akin to Judas’s treachery, explains why it places the apostate’s heart beyond the possibility of repentance. By implication, it also indicates the sacred relationship between persevering faithfulness and our inheritance of salvation. And that is why some are telling others they can lose their salvation … We are not saved because of anything good in us. May we heed the sincere, urgent, and inviolable warning of Hebrews 6:4–8, so that we may be saved by divine grace on the last day. After warning his hearers against falling away, he notes there are grounds to believe they haven’t taken that fatal step of departing from Christ—for God doesn’t abandon his people (6:9–10). Even though advocates of this interpretation claim their explanation prompts believers to remain loyal to Christ, it pushes us to be retrospective and introspective. There are plenty of reasons to dislike wearing face masks, but there are biblical reasons why we still should. He switches from first- and second-person pronouns of interpersonal conversation (“we” and “you”; 5:11, 12; 6:1, 3) to descriptive third-person pronouns (“those who,” “they”) because he is not accusing his hearers of having passed the spiritual point of no return into curse and condemnation (6:8). The warning of Hebrews 6 announces the unbreakable connection between falling away from Christ and the impossibility of being restored to repentance. Who Is the Man of Lawlessness? 1:10; Rev. They accentuate gospel promises with adjustments to gospel admonitions. But what is Hebrews 6 … Do we not properly characterize his words as a warning? For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. 8:31–39) and that no one can pluck us out of His hand (John 10:28–29). Ezekiel 18:21-22 and 24. Against this view, I would argue the passage is a warning, and as a warning it alerts us to lurking dangers that entice us to forsake Jesus. But the passage is a future-oriented warning. To contend Hebrews 6:4–8 addresses falling away that exposes one’s faith as false is to advocate what Tom Schreiner and I call the “tests of genuineness” explanation. Let’s let the Bible answer that question. 3:1–4:13; cf. When we look at Hebrews 10:26 and whether or not we can lose our salvation, we must examine its context. The individuals to whom the writer of Hebrews referred in this passage of Hebrews 6:4-8 are not believers who have lost their salvation, or who are in danger of losing their salvation. God has promised to keep us, assuring us that nothing can separate us from His love (Rom. (Hosea 1 & 3). Their view seems to be summarized this way: A passage like Hebrews 6:4–8 is sincere and urgent only if God’s promise can fail. . Please make sure all fields are filled out. The pairing of the apostolic word and the Spirit’s confirmatory testimony is repeated twice, first in generalities and then more specifically: (A) Having tasted the heavenly gift However, I must admit the verses that brought up by those who believe you can lose your salvation (e.g. What is God teaching us about his faithfulness in the story of Hosea and Gomer? —Hebrews 6:4-6. Be sure to click 'Like' and share this with your … Segment 3 (16:46) – Hebrews chapter 6 – proving that you cannot loose your salvation. The New Testament is full of evidence that we cannot lose our salvation. What Is the Mark of the Beast? When we come to worship and we hear Christ Himself say, "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, I will give you … Holding fast, then, becomes an identifier or distinguishing trait of those that are truly saved. Here and in 10:29 our author refers to Jesus as “the Son of God,” reminding us of his divine glory announced in the prologue (Heb. 10:1–8; cf. Can we lose our salvation? … Desire to resolve doctrinal strain is understandable, but it distracts us from receiving Hebrews 6 for what it is: a sincere and urgent warning lest the world lure us to join its repudiation of Christ, making him a spectacle of shame and leading to intractable unrepentance. In fact, doctrinal strain between warning and promise prompts many to remove the tension altogether, since they regard it as uncomfortable if not contradictory. The farmland analogy of verses 7–8 illustrates the distinction between externally experienced blessings and internal heart responses. The link of the Spirit to miracles suggests that his public activity in the Christian community, not his secret regenerating work in human hearts, is in view. Does Hebrews 6:4 teach we can lose our salvation? Answer: “For if we are willfully sinning after receiving the full knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice concerning sins.” Hebrews … Dennis E. Johnson (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of practical theology at Westminster Seminary California and associate pastor of New Life Presbyterian Church in Escondido, California. In so doing, they unwittingly alter the prospective (forward-looking) conditional warning against repudiating Christ and intractable unrepentance. But the danger of willful apostasy, from which repentance is impossible, is real. This is the question many Christians have asked after reading the verses of Hebrews 6:4–6. This passage confuses us because it relates to how we process the relationship between the gospel’s promises and its admonitions. The 11 Beliefs You Should Know about Jehovah’s Witnesses When They Knock at the Door. Previously: Who hasn’t been perplexed by the warning in Hebrews 6:4–8? Without realizing it, they transform the forward-projected conditional warning against renouncing Christ into a future assertion that genuine believers can renounce him and perish. Before the doctrinal question of apostasy can be answered, it’s critical first to address this warning passage’s function. The Broader Context of Hebrews … It does not announce faith’s possible failure. gospel-centered, Bible-centered content. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. Jesus said that the new life we have is eternal, not temporal, and we will never die ( Luke 20:36 ). Then we read: We want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. This means we believers should wholeheartedly affirm: “If I, who look to Christ alone for salvation, forsake him, I will find myself incapable of repenting such that I’ll most assuredly perish forever.” We must resist adjusting this with diversionary questions. (A’) Having tasted the goodness of the word of God 2. Perhaps through this article, the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, has found you. He is the author of several books and contributed to the ESV Study Bible. B. Perhaps they themselves performed such deeds of power despite their hearts’ alienation from God, as even Judas did (Matt. Read the Passage. 27:39–44). Yet the privileges once enjoyed by apostates, the horrific evil of their fall away from trust in the Son of God, and their irremediable ruin are not irrelevant to the original audience in their immaturity, nor to anyone who needs stimulus to persevere to the end. We should recall (and God never forgets) how he has turned our hearts toward himself. ... Give Us An Example Hebrews 6:4-6 … You can't accidentally or easily "lose" your salvation, but I believe there is evidence that you can reject it by continuously ignoring God or refusing to obey Him. What Does It Mean That Women Should “Remain Quiet” in Church? The man of lawlessness seeks to make himself the central person of worship, beyond any other religious objects or personages in his day. As the preacher does throughout Hebrews, chapter 6 blends admonitions to bold confidence with warnings against eternal perishing. 12:2–3; 13:13; cf. Editors’ note: This series analyzes perplexing passages of the Bible. According to Roman Catholic doctrine no man can know if he is saved. Tackling Hebrews chapter 6 verses 4 through 8. 10/19/11. 4:5; Eph. If it was, that would mean that you could lose your salvation and not be able to get it back. Your gift allows TGC to continue offering gospel-centered resources and hope for the searching. 1:1–4). Accompanying the apostles’ witness in words was God’s confirming testimony “by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit” (2:4). The Bible says that we are “sealed” with the Holy Spirit at the moment of our salvation with the Lord and that nothing can break this seal, no matter how many bad and evil sins a person may commit after getting saved. Even Saint Peter didn't lose his Salvation when he violated Hebrews 6:4-6... Last edited: Nov 5, 2020 Advocates of this interpretation are convinced the passage is truthful and sincere—not a deceitful charade or false exaggeration—only if the believers addressed can fail to persevere in loyalty to Christ (see Scot McKnight, “Warning Passages Ahead: Brief Response”). Six experienced Bible teachers walk through some of the richest but more challenging books of the New Testament, helping Bible readers understand what they say about Christians’ hope for the future. . Although “the heavenly gift” could refer to the whole salvation that God bestows by grace, the repetition of “tasted” suggests that the gift coming down from heaven is specifically “the goodness of the word of God.” In Hebrews 12:25, God’s voice speaking to Israel on earth (at Sinai) will be contrasted to his addressing the new covenant church now from heaven. Matt. And it could seemingly be interpreted as losing your salvation. Crossway is a not-for-profit Christian ministry that exists solely for He doesn’t admonish us to doubt the inheritance that God assures us by his sworn oath and promise. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. 7:21–23). Some, as I once did, resolve the tension by explaining the passage as a retrospective (backward-looking) assessment of one’s faith in Christ. Is it possible for a Christian to lose his or her salvation? The preacher assures his readers that when God made his promise to Abraham, he swore an oath to show the heirs of promise the “unchangeable character of his purpose” (6:17). (2 Thessalonians 2). Accordingly, if my faith is enduring, this authorizes me to infer I’m truly united with Christ. 4For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit,5and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,6and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. A truly 'Saved' person can never ever lose their Salvation. (Admittedly, it’s doubtful those who hold this view would … What about Hebrews 6? If I’m not persevering in faith, however, this evidence suggests my faith is false. It’s a warning God employs as a means of enabling his people to endure. 6:1), for there is no means of salvation other than Jesus (Heb. The FAQs: Are Fetal Cells Being Used in COVID-19 Vaccines and Treatments? The letter to the Hebrews was written to persuade them to go on to maturity in Christ (Heb. Our author, like pastors today, does not claim to look into others’ hearts but rather addresses his hearers in terms of their observable profession and behavior, recognizing that appearances may prove, in the end, to be deceiving. The word dynameis (plural), translated “miracles” in 2:4, reappears here as “powers,” and in both texts these miracles/powers are connected to the Holy Spirit (cf. (B) Having become partners/partakers of the Holy Spirit “Although the author addresses the community as a whole as believers, he hints at his own lack of omniscience—some may not be true believers even through by association they appear to be (3:6, 14; 4:1–2; 6:11). Four Greek participles —“having once been enlightened” (hapax phōtisthentas), “having tasted” (geusamenous), “having become” (genēthentas), and again “having tasted” (geusamenous) — introduce the spiritual privileges enjoyed by those who are members of the visible church. (B’) and the powers/miracles of the age to come. God regularly uses warnings and consolations or threats and promises together to secure us in the way of salvation. . In the work of Justin Martyr and later Fathers, “enlightenment” became a metaphor for baptism; but none of the uses of phōtizō in the NT refer explicitly to baptism (Luke 11:36; John 1:9; 1 Cor. Find out the answers in this powerful message by Joseph Prince. So the good word of God is a gift that now comes from heaven through Christ’s messengers. Such an apostate has identified himself with those who crucified the Son of God and treated him with contempt (Heb. Hebrews must be rightly divided from Paul’s epistles to … Hear the truths, have your doubts dissolved, and be assured once and for all of your eternal salvation in Christ! 1:18; 3:9; 2 Tim. Copyright © 2020 The Gospel Coalition, INC. All Rights Reserved, Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases on Amazon.com.Â, The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance, How a Former Radical Sparked the New Calvinist Movement, 4 Reasons to Wear a Mask, Even if You Hate It. Click below to watch a short clip of this powerful message. The warning here threatens us with the inseparable connection between failing to heed the gospel’s call and the impossibility of being restored to repentance if we forsake Christ. Advocates of this view unintentionally alter the function of the passage by converting the warning against falling away into a declaration that it’s possible to fall away. Why Did God Command Hosea to Marry a Prostitute? Question: "Does Hebrews 10:26 mean that a believer can lose salvation?" But Hebrews 3:14, I think, is an absolute key verse in that book: “We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.” The author doesn’t say, “If you … enlightened” (6:4) when they heard God’s voice speaking good news (3:7; 4:2) of salvation through the apostles (2:3–4). Some English versions read “if they fall away,” allowing for the interpretation that for people who had experienced the previous blessings, a fall into apostasy might be purely hypothetical, never actual. This article is part of the Tough Passages series. The author then builds suspense by withholding the detail of what, precisely, is “impossible” until the middle of verse 6: it is impossible, he finally says, “to restore . (Admittedly, it’s doubtful those who hold this view would agree with this characterization.). 1. These are the people being addressed in Hebrews Chapter 5 and 6. Those who say that it's certainly possible point readily to the warning in Hebrews 6 as Bible proof. again to repentance” those who “have fallen away.” But before pronouncing a sober sentence on the spiritual treason from which there is no return, the author lists a series of God’s gracious gifts that compound the gravity of such apostasy. First, it’s important to remember that salvation is by God’s grace, not our works (Ephesians 2:8, 9). There is a difference between tasting and eating. He still loves you. Acts 8:13, 18–24; 2 Pet. Additionally, Hebrews 6 is a big stumbling block for people about the kinds of spiritual experiences a person can have and still be lost. “Quietly” does not mean that women are never to utter a word when the church gathers for worship. The Greek construction translated “have shared in the Holy Spirit” is literally “have become metochoi [companions] of the Holy Spirit.” The apostates had become the Holy Spirit’s companions, like the Messiah’s “companions” in Hebrews 1:9 and 3:14, as members of the Christian community, in which the Spirit attested the gospel through miracles. You don’t simply “lose” your salvation, as if it was as easy as that. It remains true that no one to whom Christ has given eternal life can be snatched out of his hand (John 10:29–30). (6:11–12). There are many people who have taught (and others still teach today) that this passage clearly shows that a Christian can lose his or her salvation . There are sincere Christians on both sides of this debate; however, what’s most important is what the Bible says. If they’re correct, then I must believe God’s promise to preserve me is subject to failure. They were “once . 4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 … We have good reason to believe this interpretation … To get the full context of what the writer was saying, you should start reading at Hebrews 5:8 where the author digresses from speaking about Jesus becoming a high priest in the order of Melchizedek 6 … Acts 2:17–19; 4:29–31; 10:38). They unwittingly render as revocable God’s promise of salvation to everyone who believes. Dennis and his wife, Jane, live in Escondido and have four children and sixteen grandchildren. Acts 16 t… ​Ardel Caneday is professor of New Testament and Greek at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minnesota. 21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and … The Gospel Coalition supports the church by providing resources that are trusted and timely, winsome and wise, and centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible makes it clear that you can’t lose your salvation because it’s all from God. Does Hebrews 6 teach that you can lose your salvation? Leaving those things behind and pressing on towards salvation. To alleviate the strain, some say the warning presents a possibility that genuine believers may reject Christ and be cast away forever. Hebrews 6:4-6 6 Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of … Is it possible for a Christian to lose his or her salvation? We who are Abraham’s heirs have God’s promise and oath to assure us that his promised salvation is our sure hope—a “sure and steadfast anchor of the soul” (6:19). We must be willing to suffer, to give our all for Christ, to persevere until the end in order to obtain the final reward. So the warning becomes a backward-looking reflective appraisal of one’s perseverance amid temptations. Rather, those who are “enlightened” seem to be those who are exposed to God’s saving light through hearing the gospel proclaimed. They believe the passage teaches believers can fail to persevere in faith and fall under God’s indicting wrath. God, who sovereignly grants repentance to rebels (Acts 3:26; 11:18), will not intervene (as he could) to turn around those who have willfully walked away. He is co-author of The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance (IVP Academic, 2001), co-editor of Four Views on the Historical Adam (Zondervan, 2014), and a regular contributor to Credo. Rather, when we are dead in our transgressions and … Hebrews 10:26-29, and also Hebrews 6:4-8 have been used by some to say the Scriptures teach that one can lose their salvation after they have been saved as result of returning to … Hebrews 6, can you lose your salvation? You mentioned that "careful study can lead to conclusions … If you cannot lose your salvation, you will hold fast until the end. And in a cursory reading, it does seem that this … Learn more or donate today at, ESV Expository Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation: Volume 12. The preacher’s purpose is to warn, to caution, even to alarm, lest we fall away and find ourselves incapable of repenting. Intense as this warning is, however, it doesn’t nullify or contradict equally strong admonition to bold assurance. In order to understand Hebrews 6:4-6, we must first determine whether someone who is saved can lose his or her salvation. 6:1-8). Their view seems to be summarized this way: A passage like Hebrews 6:4–8 is sincere and urgent only if God’s promise can fail. Simply kneel down right where you are, or bow your head, and tell Jesus you … Many believe that you cannot lose your salvation, no matter how many bad things you may end up doing in this life. 18:1; 21:23; 22:5). Hebrews 6 is a popular chapter in which those who believe a Christian can lose their salvation use for their support, but Hebrews 6 in reality the context teaches the very opposite in which … This is often seen as evidence that implies the genuineness of one’s faith. Those who trust in Jesus for salvation may abandon him and perish eternally. Heb 6:5-6) seem difficult to understand. And as a warning, it directs us to be prospective and extrospective so that we might persevere in faith. 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