"Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses [was faithful] in all his house. For this [man] was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.
"For every house is builded by some [man]; but he that built all things [is] God. And Moses verily [was] faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
"Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When
your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in [their] heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
"But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
"For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? [was it] not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. (Hebrews 3:1-19)
The Saints' Everlasting Rest "NOW in the heart"
"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left [us] of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard [it].
"For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh [day] on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
"And in this [place] again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
"For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
"Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Jesus, the Great High Priest "NOW" 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.
"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:1-16 KJV)
"For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things [pertaining] to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as [was] Aaron.
"So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another [place], Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
"Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 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 babe. 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. (Hebrews 5:1-14)
"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.
"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.
"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. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
"For God [is] not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 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.
God Keeps His Promises
"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:
"Which [hope] 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 6:1-20)
Key to Hebrews 6:1 - 6
"The goal of the Christian is expressed fully by the Greek word teleioteta (5047) which is translated "perfection" (v.1). The ideas being explained here is that the believer is to pursue a state of maturity, instead of going back to the initial rudiments of Christianity and basic faith (v.2). The phrase "laying again a foundation" refers to the idea that if a Christian could lose his salvation, he would need to be regenerated again and again.
In laying the groundwork for this passage, there needs to be a proper understanding of the controversial section consisting of verses four through six. The key idea to consider is that the whole passage is hypothetical. For the sake of argument, one must accept the supposition that one can undergo the process of salvation, and then "fall away": (v.6), or lose his salvation.
The explanation in the following verses is designed to show the oddity of this idea (v.4). The nature of the impossibility is tied directly to the infinitive in verse six "to renew" (anakainizein ).In the Greek text, between this phrase, there are five participles which must be explained thoroughly in order to properly understand the Holy Spirit's intent in this passage. The first of these participles, which appears in verse four, and is the Greek word photisthentas (5461).
This term is translated "those who were once enlightened." However, it should be rendered "having been enlightened," noting the usage of the passive voice. The latter meaning reveals that the salvation process is initiated by God giving "light" to every man (John 1:9)
The next phrase to consider in this detail of salvation, also found in verse four, is "and have tasted the heavenly gift." This too could be better expressed "having tasted" (the Greek word is geusamenous . In this case, the middle voice is used to reveal that a person is responding to the light God has given.
The focus changes to man's responsibility in initiating a reaction to his "enlightened state." In this verse, the person involved exercises his choice to "taste" of God's free gift of salvation. This fact is always clear in the salvation process: God offers the gift, but man must take the initiative to receive it. (John 1:12; 3:16). The gift must be understood as nothing that a person earns, rather, it is God's free offer of salvation.
"This "gift" is specified as having a heavenly origin. The third participle is genethentas (v.4, from ginomai ) translated "were made." This also should be rendered in the passive voice as "having been made," indicating a result of man's receiving the gift of God. Connected with the phrase "partakers of the Holy Ghost," this participle expresses that virtue of the receiving, one is made a partaker. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is involved in the process by coming to indwell the believer.
The Holy Spirit not only works in the indwelling, but it is indicated that the divine revelation and conviction processes previous to salvation are based on the activity an energy of the Holy Spirit. In examining the fourth Greek participle (found in verse five), geusamenous (cf. v. 4) one should consider that the same interpretation is intended by the middle voice in the phrase "having tasted."
It appears in this form to reveal to man his responsibility to God's word. The believer is not merely accountable to simply follow the "good word of God," he is also urged to understand God's future plan to exercise His "power" (v.5, dumaneis ) to benefit the believer as well. The word for "power" here refers to miracles which God will perform in believers, not of the impending judgment and destruction to come.
"Now one must turn his attention back to the phrase in verse four, "it is impossible," and combine it with the Greek infinitive anakainizein (340), meaning "to renew again" (v.6). Applied to verse six, this, this word refers to a repentance which is qualitative
new and different. If a different form of repentance was needed, Christ would also have to die on the cross a second time. This, however, is inconsistent with the context of the rest of Hebrews (cf. Heb. 9:28; 10:11,12).
"The teaching is clear: Christ died once for man's sin. If His death was insufficient, there would be no security for believers. This is precisely why the writer of Hebrews uses this illustration. In philosophical language,this form of reasoning is reductio ad absurdum (a reduction to an adsurdity). From a false assumption one deduces absurd conclusions. It would be false to assume a believer could fall, because his repentance, based on Christ death, would be invalidated. There would be no security, and Christ would need to be crucified again.
"The difficulty in this controversy is in determining when the actual decision to follow Christ becomes true salvation. One is saved at the point of genuine acceptance of God's gift of "light," and then he is received by God (Eph.1:6). God ultimately judges men's hearts and knows those who are truly repentant. The decision for salvation is made ineffective when it is based on emotions and his own abilities (2 Thess. 2:13).
See Key 1 John 3:6-9
In this passage, John examines the question of whether the person "born of God" can commit sin. In the verse six, The apostle writes, "Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not...," and in verse eight, "He that committeth sin is of the devil.." Furthermore, in
verse nine there is an emphatic declaration:
"Whosoever is of God doeth not commit sin... and he cannot sin..." If it were possible for a Christian to sin, there would appear to be a contradiction in these portions of Scripture. In this instance, John says if it is not possible for those who are really born again to sin, there must be very few genuine Christians. Man still possesses a fallen sin nature, as well as the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Also, the doctrine of eternal security is evident in Scripture (John 1:12; 10:28; Rom. 8:38, 39). Though they may fall into sin, the believer's sonship is not affected, not his eternal salvation. These verses expose two erroneous doctrines: antinomianism and perfectionism. Antinomians (derived from the Greek word anti , "against," and nomos , "law") contend that the covenant of grace was not established based on conditions. The result is man cannot be held accountable to any moral law. It is only required of him that he believe, then he can then live as he pleases.
The perfectionists go as far as to say that the sin nature in man has been eradicated as though surgically removed as a cancer. John was warning believers against this form of thinking, that they not continue in sin, but abide in righteousness (vv. 8,9). Moreover, the apostle exposes these doctrines in the command, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.
And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1John 2:1). This is not the proper rendering of this verse. It should denote the mere action of a sin, not the idea of habitually sinning. John explains that even he was capable of committing sin, not in a habitual sense, but as one particular action. The phrase, used in verse nine, "does not commit sin" is in the present tense denoting continuous action.
On the other hand, in chapter two, verse one, John uses the aorist sense, speaking of one point in the past when a sin was committed. Furthermore, there were those who taught that mere intellectual knowledge was enough to make men acceptable to God, even though they lived impure lives (Perfectionism). Therefore, John reiterates meaning "the one habitually doing"), were considered righteous. They were not only making the righteousness and holy life of Christ the object of their truth, but alos the pattern of
their walk and practice.
John's idea of committing sin on a permanent basis is further explained in 3 John 1:11:".. He that doeth good is of God: But he that doeth evil hath not seen God." There are two participial nouns in the verse, ho agathopoion (215), meaning "the one being a doer of good, a benevolent person," and ho kakopoion (2554), referring to "the one doing evil, a malicious person." This is the same usage found in 1 John 3:7: ".. he that does righteous is righteous.."
John does not imply that merely acting good will make one righteous. A man is an artisan who has acquired a skill and works at that trade as his calling or occupation. Hence, the correct translation of 1 John 3:8 should be, "The one who practices sin." The expression, "he cannot sin," (1 John 3:9) simply means the true believer cannot sin habitually, deliberately, easily and maliciously (e.g., Cain sinned out of hatred of goodness, 1 John 3:12).
There is a distinct contract drawn between divine and human natures of man. John speaks of the divine nature in this abstract way, however, he does not ignore the existence of the sinful nature in the believer, which exists as a mortal in a corrupt world. Consequently, John states in 1 John 1:8: "If we say that we have no, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible KJV editor Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D. AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN 37422)