Summary: Can a Christian who walks away from the faith come back to repentance? Can we lose our salvation?
Hebrews: Chapter 5B-6
October 5th, 2008
Today we are going to talk about one of the most interesting and controversial texts in the book of Hebrews and perhaps even the entire Bible. Is our salvation secure? The Calvinists believe in a concept called the perseverance of the saints. Some other groups refer to this as eternal security. They believe that once you are a Christian you are saved. From the point in which you receive your salvation then you cannot lose it. Is that true? Are we ‘once saved always saved?’ What I want to do this morning is simply answer one question: can we lose our salvation? The book of Hebrews is perhaps the most important book that we have to answer this question. What we find as we move from chapter 5 to chapter 6 is the importance of our spiritual development.
Hebrews chapter 6 may in fact be the most controversial passage in Scripture. Before we get into the text we need to remember one important thing. Who is our audience? Remember this is going to get more and more important as we move through the book of Hebrews. Who is our audience? They are Christians. This is a text written to Christians and a warning that we should take seriously. Our author warns his reads that they must now allow themselves to grow apathetic or to become stagnant. He tells his readers that they are spiritually immature, they are acting like babies and that they need to grow up so that they do not fall into the sin of apostasy. They need move off milk and onto solid food which is what he tells us in Hebrews 5:11-
Heb 5:11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. Heb 5:12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Heb 5:13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
These Christians are not mature. They have not developed as they were supposed to. The author would have expected them to be teachers by this time but he finds that they are still in need of someone to teach them the elementary truths of the Gospel. This church is immature because they have not grown beyond elementary teachings. They have set their foundation but rather than building on that foundation they are trying to lay the foundation again. Our author says we must move forward we must press on toward maturity. Our author pleads with his audience to leave behind the basic teachings and to move on to maturity. He wants them to develop and to grow so that they do not become complacent. They are in danger of Spiritual stagnation and if they do not grow they may slip away. So our author urges them to mature-to grow in the faith and in their relationship with God. Look at what he says in Hebrews 6:1
Heb 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, Heb 6:2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. Heb 6:3 And God permitting, we will do so.
These basics of Christianity are important. They are the foundation of our faith. These six things are the Spiritual ABC’s: 1. repentance: notice that this comes before faith. Repentance is to change your mind, if you repent after you have faith you are going back to your old life, we must repent and turn from our old life before following Christ in our new life. 2. Faith-complete trust or confidence in God. 3. Baptism, 4. Laying on of hands which at this time was often combined as a blessing in association with baptism, 5. The resurrection from the dead which is ultimately important because if Christ is not raised then our faith is for nothing and finally, 6. Eternal judgment as an indication that there is a real existence of heaven and hell.
This passage is not an encouragement to forget about the basics but to build on them. You must learn your alphabet before you learn to write. You use the foundation to build on. Why is it so important to mature? If we do not we are in danger of drifting away and becoming lost. If we do not build on the foundation if we do not press on and continue to grow we are in danger of sliding back. In sliding back we are in danger because there is such a thing as apostasy. It is a complete desertion or total walking away from God. This is something that there is no coming back from. So with that in mind our author is going to tell us about this danger of apostasy. Look at Hebrews 6:4-