We go on to Hebrews 6:1-6
v1: Therefore: On account of this call to be mature.
- Leaving: Pressing on, going to new ground, not getting into a comfort zone.
- The elementary principles of Messiah: This is the gospel. We do not forget about the gospel, or discard it, but it is a foundational/elementary principle. It is not the sum total of what Christian life is about. There are additional things that G-d wants believers to move onto. Things that only believers can understand.
- Go on to perfection (completion): Messiah’s last words on the cross were: “It is finished” (John 19:30). This meant it was over, it was done, it was complete, there was nothing lacking – it was perfect. G-d wants to move us to this point of completion. We need to be growing, maturing, and moving toward perfection in our deeds, perfectly following the will of G-d in our lives. We fall short of this, but this is the hope – that we fall less short of it tomorrow then we did today. We need to be on that upward call (Phil 3:14). Led by the Holy Spirit we will be enabled to do this in a way that is praiseworthy.
- The foundation: The elementary teachings of the faith – dead works, repentance for sin etc. We are called to be ministers of life i.e. those who serve the coming Kingdom.
v2: These are all examples of elementary teachings:
- The doctrine of baptisms: Baptism means to be dipped or to be immersed. People, as well as vessels, are immersed in Judaism. Immersion changes their status – taking that which is common and setting it apart. Baptism teaches us that we have been set apart for a purpose and it is a call to service. Baptism is also a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah.
- Laying on of hands – This has to do with one who has been anointed and called to a purpose. He lays hands upon one whom he has discipled, and that same anointing, power or authority goes onto that other person. There is power in the laying on of hands.
- The resurrection of the dead: The resurrection of the dead happens prior to the establishment of the Kingdom. It is also known as the rapture/our blessed hope.
- Eternal judgment: An elementary doctrine that many avoid teaching altogether. G-d is a righteous Judge and is going to judge this world.
It is only when we understand these elementary doctrines of our faith that we are able to press on to maturity/something more.
v4: As believers, we are not just saved – we are eternally saved (Heb 5:9). We have eternal life (John 5:24). Salvation means that the barrier of sin between G-d and man has been removed, so that there can now be intimacy with G-d. Having received eternal life, we do not have the power to reject it. When someone denies eternal security (once saved always saved) it is an affront to Messiah. It is saying that His work – what He did – is not sufficient, because what He offers is eternal. If it can be altered, changed, done away with then it cannot be called eternal life because it becomes conditional. It is because we have been given eternal life that we can have assurance that our salvation is not dependent upon ourselves (our good or bad behaviours). We can be secure in the perfect and sufficient work of Messiah that purchased for us eternal salvation.
- Enlightened: i.e. They are truly believers, they have been eternally saved, have eternal life
v6: Fall away: The writer is giving us a hypothetical situation that is not based in reality.
- (Impossible) to renew them again to repentance: If it is possible to lose our salvation it would be impossible to renew our repentance.
- They crucify again for themselves the Son of G-d: We are saved because of what Messiah did on the cross (everyone agrees that the New Testament reveals this). If we can lose our salvation what would Messiah do for us for the second time? If Him dying upon the cross did not really save us – if the argument is that we can lose our salvation – what good would it do for Him to go back to the cross if it did not save us the first time? If it did not keep us safe the first time, why would we do it again? His work on the cross was sufficient, and complete, to give to us what He promised – eternal life.
In John 10:9-16 Yeshua is the Great Shepherd. A Great Shepherd saves the sheep. In John 10:27-29 it is revealed to us that we are in Messiah’s hand and cannot be plucked out of it. Not only that, but it is also revealed to us that we are in the Father’s hand. A double hold. This New Covenant is dependent upon G-d to maintain it and not us.