Hebrews 6:1-6

Henry Mahan

Looking at the entire passage, it appears here in Hebrews 6:1-6 that the apostle Paul wishes to push believers on to growth and maturity. There is a tendency in the flesh to stand and rest and to say, "I am saved; I have passed from death to life. Jesus Christ is my refuge; here I may find contentment and rest." But Paul urges us to progress in the truth of God–to grow to maturity, to grow up from a state of childhood to the fullness of maturity in Christ.

In Verses 3-6 Paul says that in order to grow, the believer must leave the elementary teachings and doctrines of Chrst. We must not lose them; we must not deny them nor forget them, but lay them in our hearts as the foundation of all that we profess and expect. We don't want to rest here, however; for there must be a building erected on this foundation. The apostle then mentions six foundation principles which must be well laid at first and then built upon.

In reading Verses 4-6, two questions come to mind. First, WHO ARE THE PEOPLE SPOKEN OF? If you read John Gill, John Owen, and most Calvinistic writers, they all say that these people are professors of Christianity but not true believers. Spurgeon said their interpretation of this passage is influenced by the doctrine they are seeking to prove, not by what it actually says; for even a child reading these verses WOULD DECLARE THESE PEOPLE SAVED.

The second question to be considered is: WHAT IS MEANT BY FALLING AWAY? To fall into sin is not to fall away (Prov. 24:16). We have countless examples of this in David, Abraham, Lot, etc. Also, to deny Christ is not to fall away. Peter denied Him but came back.

Then what is falling away to the place of impossible recovery? Well, there never has been a case of it yet, so I can't describe it to you; but I will tell you what I suppose it is. It would be for the Holy Spirit to depart from a believer; for the work of God's grace to cease; for the blood of Christ to lose its efficacy; for God, Who has begun a work, to leave off finishing it and to say, "Sinner, I half-saved you, now I damn you." This is what falling away is. A man cannot fall away from a position he has never occupied.

What the Scripture here is saying is the IF HE COULD FALL AWAY, it would be impossible to ever renew him. How else can they be saved? Is there a healing stream better than the foundation of blood? Is there a better righteousness than Christ's? NO! If they could fall away AS SOME TEACH, it would require a second incarnation, a second Calvary, a second putting Him to shame, a second regeneration! He died for those who crucified Him once. Shall I cruicify Him again? (John 10:27-29.)

Henry Mahan, Pastor
Thirteenth Street Baptist Church
Ashland, Ky.

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