Hebrews 6:1-5
Heb 6:1 (KJB)
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,
Leaving - Having left
The principles - The beginning
Perfection - Full growth or maturity
Laying - to cast down or throw down
This verse is a continuation of what had just been spoke about in the 5:11-14. The writer speaks of the immaturity of these believers and how it was not possible for them to understand the deeper spiritual things because they were still tied to much of the visual sacrifices, which were the animal sacrifices which looked forward to the coming of Christ. The word “leaving” is better translated “having left” which is in the middle voice, which means there is action on part of those in view. When a person becomes saved they have “left” the beginning of the doctrine of Christ, that is, they no longer seek the shadow but Christ who is the substance and fulfillment of those shadows. This is what the writer is getting at. He now wants them to forsake the shadow and embrace the substance. They are now to live by faith and no longer by sight. If one leaves behind the shadows and embraces Christ, then they must not remain on a level all their lives as if they just became saved. (Phil 3:13 KJV) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, The Apostle Paul gave this principle to the Philippians. They were to forget their past life, whether it be religious or sin filled, and begin to mature in Christ. As one matures in Christ those elementary things will fade away as one pushes on toward maturity. The farther one progresses in Christ, the farther away goes the past life with all its shadows and types. The dead works are those which were done before salvation and in this verse is points to the animal sacrifices under the old dispensation and when the animal sacrifices were done, the person had faith in God that they were accepted to cover their sin. The writer to the Hebrews states that those who became saved in Christ must never go back to a foundation of dead works. Works which are alive are done in Christ after salvation.
Heb 6:2 (KJB)
Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
The Jews who would have read and understood the Old Testament would have been familiar with these teachings. They would realize that these are taught when a person is in Christ. There would have been an easy transition of understanding from the Old Testament to the New Testament.
Doctrine of Baptisms
(Exo 30:19-21 KJV) For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat: {20} When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the LORD: {21} So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.
Laying on Of Hands
(Lev 4:15 KJV) And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock before the LORD: and the bullock shall be killed before the LORD.
Resurrection of the Dead
(Dan 12:2 KJV) And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Eternal Judgment
(Hab 1:12 KJV) Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.
Heb 6:3 (KJB)
And this will we do, if God permit.
If God would allow them to live they would proceed to mature in Christ provided that they made serious effort to do just that.
Heb 6:4 (KJB)
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,
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened
The word “impossible” carries with it the meaning of “powerless, weak, or impossible” as it is translated “impossible” in other verses such as Matthew 19:26. The word “enlightened” simply means “give light to or bring to light.” When we look at this sentence instantly two things come to mind: (Mat 19:25-26 KJV) When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? {26} But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
The first term deals with the subject of salvation. In the Hebrews verse we see that it is impossible for a person to come to Christ on their own. Man in his unsaved state is powerless or weak to initiate such a salvation. This is the underlying meaning as we will see it unfold in the next few sections. Salvation is impossible with man but with God salvation is possible.
The second term deals with a person being enlightened. When the gospel is preached, the truths of it are brought to light by someone who is saved. The truths of Scripture are always hidden to the unbeliever. So unsaved man sits in church or listens to the radio in his car and hears the gospel proclaimed. The unsaved man now hears with his ears which means he is being enlightened to the truths such as hell, heaven, or whatever the subject matter may be. The teacher or preacher is enlightening his hearers but he is not saving his hearers.
and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost
This section of Scripture deals with the dissemination of the true Gospel. Let us look at two words in this section: “Tasted” carries with it the meaning of “eat, enjoy or experience.” “Partakers” carries with it the meaning of “sharing or participating.”
The first term deals with the “religious affection” an unsaved person might feel when they are in a spiritual setting. They are enjoying or experiencing the spiritual milieu. Many unbelievers sit in churches every Sunday and hear the gospel, they may even take communion, and that may give them a good feeling as they experience the heavenly peace and learn of Christ who is the Heavenly Gift of the Father.
The second term deals with sharing or participating in the Holy Spirit. This term does not mean “indwelling.” The sharing or participating in the Holy Spirit may be those unbelievers who are involved with believers on some type of project in their church. It may be clothing the homeless or volunteering time to help in another capacity. The unbeliever can partake in spiritual works without being regenerate. They can partake in the fruits of the Spirit.
Heb 6:5 (KJB)
And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
And have tasted the good word of God
The word “tasted” is the same word used in verse 4. Here we have a setting where the word of God is preached and those under its hearing are benefiting from it. The unbeliever may feel good while hearing the truth being expounded. They will not understand everything that is being taught, but they are tasting or enjoying the teaching in that spiritual setting. The word “word” actually carries with it the meaning of “a thing spoken.”
and the powers of the world to come
When a person sits in church or gathers with saved people, they are, in essence, experiencing a little bit of heaven. The true believers, on the last day, will be taken directly to heaven. The congregation that the unbeliever is sitting in, represents the entire body of believers world wide. So they are experiencing the heavenly body of Christ on Earth that will someday live gloriously in Heaven.