LET US GO ON
Hebrews 6:1 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, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit.
When we see that word, “Therefore” we usually know that it points backward to a previous matter. As has been said, we must look at the previous verses to see what it is “there for!” But this time that is not the case. For here the apostle is stating that as it has already been clearly handled that there is nothing that can be done for those who have fallen away from spiritual growth, he must “Therefore” go on with attending to those who are continually teachable.
For he speaks of those who have fallen away as being impossible to renew to repentance again. Hebrews 6:6 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. Notice that he speaks of “they’ and “them.” But then he reveals that there are those that evidence things that accompany salvation. And here he refers to these as “you,” and not “them.” Hebrews 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. So here are represented both tare and wheat, sheep and goats, the converted and the counterfeits!
And it is to those of whom he was persuaded better things that he lists the evidence of their not being apostates, encouraging them to be faithful in these matters unto a “full assurance of hope unto the end.” Hebrews 6:10 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. 11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
For although the believer is not saved by works, he is most assuredly saved unto good works! And those good works are actually ordained of God, so that they follow and reveal every true believer. Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. The apple tree does not give apples to become an apple tree. It gives apples because it is and apple tree! The believer does not do good works in order to become a christian. He produces good works – which are ordained by God for every true believer to walk in – because he is a true believer! 1 John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
There can be no evidence of inner, invisible faith without external, visible works of faith! For those with a mere profession, without a true possession, only have demon faith. And that is no faith at all! James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
The evidence of life is growth. And this is most certainly true in the realm of the believer! For the Apostle Peter clearly sets up growth as that which evidences that one is not falling away from his profession into apostasy. 2 Peter 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
In chapter one of Peter’s second letter he clearly states that the growth of adding to our faith is the true remedy and evidence of one not becoming an apostate. 2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
Here in our passage in Hebrews we understand that the apostle is stating in verse three that he will not lay again the first principles of the doctrine of Christ. He will not offer them milk doctrine, but the strong meat doctrine. For those who have grown require it for their continued growth to have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. And there is nothing that can be done for those who have renounced the faith and walked away!
For walking away from one’s profession, and abandoning one’s identifying with the true believers, seals them up in unrecoverable apostasy! Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
The Apostle John writes of the same matter! 1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. For antichrists are those who have made a profession of being a believer, but abandon their faithfulness to Christ, proving that they were without a possession of faith to begin with. They make shipwreck of faith! 1 Timothy 1:19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
These have hearts like the soil of the stony ground hearers! They get very excited about christianity, springing up in excitement about their new found fad! But when the first trail comes along, they walk away. Matthew 13:4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
So here in our Hebrew passage the apostle is both pruning the dead from the vine of religious profession and strengthening that which is living. This is exactly what the Lord prescribed for the church of Sardis. Revelation 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
And this is done by continuing faithfully in the instruction in righteousness. Job 4:3 Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands. 4 Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees. 16:5 But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage (to relieve), your grief. Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Pastor Gene Breed
July 20, 2017