Have Ye Not Read?

By Hoyt H. Houchen

Question: Please explain Hebrews 6:6.

Reply: Having rebuked his readers for not advancing spiritually (Heb. 5:12-14), the. author of Hebrews exhorts them to press on to maturity (6:1-3). They are now to leave this foundation (rudiments or elementary principles) by building upon it. A failure to do so would mean a falling away, or going backwards. Remember that the purpose of the Hebrews epistle was to prevent apostasy. This is why the letter is filled with warnings and exhortations. So, verses 1-3 of chapter six serve as the context of the warning given in verses 4-6.

The warning issued by the writer of Hebrews (w. 4-6) to prevent his readers from the fatal mistake of falling away is most significant. “For as touching those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come, and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame” (ASV). Herein are described those who had experienced these spiritual blessings; but if they fell away, it is impossible to renew them to repentance. It is to be noted that the impossibility is upon the part of those who attempt to renew the ones who fell away. The impossibility to renew them to repentance is made clear: “seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” As long as they continue to do this, no one can renew them to repentance. No appeal can be made to them about the spiritual blessings to be enjoyed in Christ; they had already experienced them. In their present condition they will not repent; therefore, no one can renew them. All that remains for such hardened apostates is “a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which shall devour the adversaries” (Heb. 10:27).

Guardian of Truth XXX: 15, p. 453
August 7, 1986