Summary: The Rubik’s Cube of the Bible presents principles of spiritual progress.
Shiloh Bible Church
Pilgrims Should Make Progress
The Rubik’s Cube. [Play with the Cube.]
Have you ever tried to solve the Rubik’s Cube? It’s a challenge! The Cube was invented in 1974 by a Hungarian man named Erno Rubik. The object of the game is to arrange the cube in such a way that each of the 9 squares on a face contains the same color. I have never been able to solve the puzzle!
Like the Rubik’s Cube, some passages of Scripture are a challenge to interpret. Such is the passage we have before us in our study of Hebrews this morning. As a matter of fact, one Bible commentator wrote, “Hebrews 6 is the Rubik’s Cube of the Bible.” Listen to what the writer of Hebrews says in Hebrews 6:4-6: “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, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”
What does the writer of Hebrews mean by these stern words? Let’s find out. Let’s try to solve the Rubik’s Cube of the Bible this morning. Please turn to Hebrews chapter 6. If you’d like to take notes, you’ll find a teaching outline as an insert in your bulletin.
Now, Hebrews 6 is usually interpreted in 1 of 2 ways. One view is that it is a warning to unbelievers to get saved. But I don’t think that is what the writer of Hebrews is saying here. I don’t think he’s addressing unbelievers. I think he is referring to Christians. Look at their description in verse 4. He describes them as …
· Those who have once been enlightened—they received the light—they understood the gospel.
· Who have tasted the heavenly gift—not only did they understand the gospel, they also appropriated it. Now, some people say, “They only tasted the heavenly gift. They didn’t digest it so they weren’t saved.” But the word “taste” is the same word used in 2:9 where it says that Jesus tasted death. Jesus didn’t just nibble on death. Jesus fully experienced death. Likewise, these people fully experienced the heavenly gift—they embraced Christ as their Savior.
· Who have shared in the Holy Spirit—when they saw the light and trusted Christ, they received the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit regenerated and indwelt and sealed them till the day of redemption.
· Who have tasted the goodness of the word of God—they have deeply experienced the Scriptures in a powerful way.
· And the powers of the coming age—they experienced first hand God’s miraculous workings in their lives.
It seems to me that the writer of Hebrews is describing Christians—not unbelievers. So, I don’t think these verses are a warning to unbelievers to get saved.
A second view of this passage is that it is a warning to believers about losing their salvation. But I don’t think that is what the writer of Hebrews is saying here either. This view contradicts other New Testament Scriptures that clearly teach that a believer cannot lose his salvation. Jesus said in John 10 that He gives believers eternal life and they will never perish. Paul said in Romans 8 that no one or nothing can separate believers from the love of God.
So, what is this passage talking about? If it isn’t a warning to unbelievers to get saved and it isn’t a warning to believers about losing their salvation, then what is it? What do we do with this Rubik’s Cube? Do we give up, put it back on the coffee table, and forget about it? No, we can’t do that! This is God’s inspired, infallible Word and we need to understand its message to us.
Well, I believe that this Rubik’s Cube can be solved. And I think the key to solving the puzzle is found in the context of this passage. Look at the first word in 6:1. What does it say? What is the first word? “Therefore.” And you know the old saying, “When you read the word ‘therefore,’ find out what it’s there for.” The writer of Hebrews is drawing a conclusion to what he said at the end of chapter 5. And do you remember what he said in 5:11-14? He described his readers’ spiritual immaturity. Look at what he said: “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 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! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”