As I continue this series of blogs on answering questions concerning scriptures that seem to contradict grace, I would recommend that you go back and read at least part two of this series. There are several things I explained that you will need to understand prior to continuing. With that being established, let’s jump right into the next difficult scripture for us to harmonize with New Covenant grace.
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.” (Hebrews 6:4-6)
The writer of Hebrews seems to be telling us that if someone falls away from their faith that they can never again be redeemed. They are beyond reparable. The misunderstanding of this scripture has created much fear, torment and bad practices in the Church. Did you know that according to many studies as much as eighty percent of those with mental illness that is severe enough they must be permanently hospitalized, believe they have committed a sin so grievous that God could never forgive them? Religion, even Christian religion has been a huge reason for many mental disorders. It also, has been the reason for wars, slavery and many other tragedies. Here is my point, when we fail to rightly divide the Word of God through Jesus’ finished work of the cross, we can become as dangerous as any other religion that does not regard the value of human life. We may do it different and justify our actions differently but are we damaging or helping people with what we teach? It is a must we see the scripture through the lens of the cross. Jesus paid it all and called it finished! Therefore, we must approach everything through grace as the platform.
So, what was really going on in this scripture, what was the writer really trying to convey to the readers at that time? Remember, from the previous blog we discussed how this group of Hebrew believers were making a huge mistake by going back to the Jewish temple to make animal sacrifices when they would sin or you could say, miss the mark. Therefore, the writer of Hebrews writes to them, “For if we sin willfully after we have come into the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for our sins.” (Hebrews 10:26). The writer is trying to get them to see that Jesus was the end of all sacrifices. They no longer needed to do what they once did to cover their sins because Jesus had washed them away. Past, present and future. It was a done deal and now Jesus, the new and final High Priest was sitting down next to the Father at rest. There was no longer a need for a sacrifice to be made. With this understanding let’s look at the above scripture again. “For it is impossible for those were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the son of God, and put Him to an open shame.” (Hebrews 6:4-6)
Here is the context that the writer of Hebrews was dealing with. Many of the Hebrew Christians who had come out of Judaism were struggling to make a clean break from it. Think about how shocking this transition would have been to their culture, families and lives. There was a lot of attachment that they were dealing with, not to mention fear. These Christians, whom the writer of Hebrews is addressing, had experienced God as verse four lays out. Yet, they were still being pulled the other direction. As they continued to navigate through this transition, there were times they would “fall away”. Was the writer saying they could never be brought back in? No, he was saying that even though they might have drifted away in their season of confusion, they didn’t need to be brought back in because God had never let them go! They might have drifted away but God still had them. They were His because they had put their faith, at one point, in Christ. Therefore, the writer of Hebrews says, “it is impossible to bring them back to repentance…” he goes on to say, in doing so, “they crucify the son of God all over again.”
Under the Old Covenant people would constantly have to repent and make sacrifices in order to have their sins covered. Under the New Covenant, Jesus became the One sacrifice that we must accept one time. When people fall away they do not need to get saved again and again. What they need is to be taught God’s grace, who they are in Christ and truly discipled into this New Covenant grace we live in. When we continually tell people they need to keep getting saved over and over again, we are crucifying the Son of God over and over again. This is what the writer of Hebrews was dealing with. Even though it was different circumstances, it is still the same mind-set we have in our church culture today. We have “backslider” calls where people go to the alter and promise they will do better and “get saved again.” Does it work? No, because what changes people is teaching them who they are in Christ, not constantly telling them they are still not good enough in God’s eyes. Repentance means to change our minds. We need to change our minds to agree with God and believe we are who He says we are: His righteousness!
Changing how the World Views God,
Are you looking for a Gospel of grace church that preaches the finished work of Jesus? Do you enjoy ministries like Joseph Prince, Andrew Wommack, Lynn Hiles, Jim Richards, Ed Elliot, Andrew Farley or Creflo Dollar? If so, Reveal Church might be the perfect fit for you. Come join us Sunday mornings at our new time 10:30 am. We meet at Copper Stone Executive Business Center at 3632 Land O Lakes Blvd. Land O Lakes, FL. 34639. Children’s church is provided for all ages. Pastor Brian has been ministering the gospel of grace message since 1999, with powerful truths that will continue to empower you to walk out God’s best for your life as you stay at a place of rest in Christ. Come be a part of this powerful start up gospel of grace church and help us reach the Tampa Bay area with the message of the finished work of Christ. We look forward to seeing you this Sunday!