CAN WE FALL AWAY ? PART ONE
The 6th chapter of Hebrews has posed numerous problems in understanding who is being referenced; as well as, if fallen away, the meaning of being unable to be
renewed again to repentance.
The book of Hebrews presents the deity and the preeminence of the Lord Jesus
This book also exhorts the believers to remain steadfast and to grow in the faith.
The book of Hebrews establishes the Lord Jesus as The High Priest:
"Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he
might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make
reconciliation for the sins of the people." Hebrews 2:17
The believers are urged to take heed from departing from the living God due to
They were urged to labor to enter into the promise of rest from their own works, not
to fall from unbelief, and to hold fast their profession:
"Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession." Hebrews 4:14
The scripture establishes Christ Jesus as being:
"Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec."
The scripture is chiding the believers for being immature in the faith and lovingly
prompting toward maturity. The writer is conveying that he would like to expand on this Melchisedec of the past, and how he portrays truth in regard to the priestly
capacity of the Lord Jesus:
"Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you
again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as
have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason
of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
The writer of Hebrews now exhorts the readers to go onto perfection:
"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." Hebrews 6:1-3
"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."
If those fall away in unbelief it is impossible to renew them again to repentance
seeing they crucify the Son of God afresh by reverting back to the old priesthood
and Levitical system of sacrifice. The Old Testament sacrificial system was a
figure, or type of the Lord Jesus and his perfect sacrifice. By adherence to the old
priesthood and offering animal sacrifice they are crucifying The Lord Jesus afresh;
in essence this is shaming him and the efficacy of the once and for all sacrifice of
himself. The context of the text places "those" who fall away in contrast to "us",
which remain steadfast in regard to their profession of faith and moving toward
The letter to the Hebrews will expand on the principles that will prompt the
Hebrews to cease the backslide of adherence to Levitical sacrifice. The doctrine
will dictate the necessity for the Hebrews to grasp: the purpose of the Levitical
priesthood; the priesthood of the Lord Jesus; the assurance of holding fast their
profession of faith; the right perspective on persecution; the sufficiency of the
sacrifice of Christ Jesus; the severity of disregard for the blood of Christ; the
the promises and blessings. The following verses will illustrate these doctrines and show that the understanding of Hebrews 6:4-6 presented is in context and accord with the theme and purpose of this book.
Following is the warning for falling away. The Hebrews will be warned not to be
profane as Esau, who having sold his birthright, found no place of repentance when he would have inherited the blessing and a full reward.
There is no way to repent, to change his decision, to inherit a full reward:
"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." Hebrews 6:7-8
So much better is the consolation:
"But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany
salvation, though we thus speak." Hebrews 6:9
The desire is for all to be diligent followers laboring in love toward God and the
saints; to come to full assurance as a product of such obedient labor, and to obtain
the promises through faith:
"And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full
assurance of hope unto the end:
That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience
inherit the promises." Hebrews 6:11-12
The promises of God are sure; resting on past and continual fulfillment. God has
laid the foundation of the assurance of his promises to us by his oath: by two
immutable things, the blessing and the multiplying sworn to Abraham. These
things are demonstrated to us by the nation of Israel, the church, and Christ Jesus
our anchor. Our hope, Christ Jesus has entered into the holiest within the veil as a
forerunner for us: a high priest forever after the order of Melchisedec:
"For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater,
he sware by himself,
Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.
And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is
to them an
end of all strife.
Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the
immutability of his counsel, confirmed it
by an oath:
That by two immutable things, in which it was
impossible for God to lie, we
might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope
set before us:
we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which
entereth into that within the veil;
Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even
Jesus, made an high priest for ever
after the order of Melchisedec." Hebrews 6:13-20
Perfection is not obtained by the Levitical priesthood:
"If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people
received the law,) what further need was there
that another priest should rise after
the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?"
The Levitical priesthood was made after the law, but Melchisedec after a lively
priesthood; to whom Levi paid tithes while in the loins of Abraham. This better
hope gives us the means to draw near unto God:
"And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there
ariseth another priest,
Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an
For he testifieth, Thou art
a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the
weakness and unprofitableness thereof.
For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did
; by the
which we draw nigh unto God." Hebrews 7:15-19
The Lord Jesus ensures a better testament: arising by oath as a priest forever after
the order of Melchisedec:
"By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament." Hebrews 7:22
CONTINUE TO PART TWO