Hebrews 6: 1-6 – The “Difficult” Passage

Heb 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,

So let’s get a running start as the end of the previous chapter connects to the beginning of this one:

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. – Heb 5:12-14

And now our verse: “Heb 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”

So the writer is wanting to get into some serious theological discussions with them about their problems, and he is frustrated that they really are not even ready to hear it. But nevertheless he is going to tell them what they need to hear anyway.

He says that two foundations of the Christian faith here are repentance of dead works and faith toward god. This is basically the gospel message: (Acts_2:38, Acts_3:19, Heb_9:14, Heb_11:6)

The same writer of Hebrews preaches the gospel of salvation using the same words three chapters later:

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.  – Heb 9:14-14

There are really only two religions in the world. There are those that are trying to account for their moral imperfections by their various works and are therefore putting their faith in themselves and how good they can be. And then there are those that have faith in God, who trust not in their works and appeal to God, not on the basis on the things they have done but rather on the merit on the sinless life of another, that is Jesus Christ.

Many people need to repent of their dead works, their appealing to god on the things that they do, or do not do, and seek to understand the gospel, which is that Christ took the wrath of God for your sins so that you could be justified before a holy god.

Perfection

The writer to the Hebrews says that his people must be going on to what he calls teleiotes. The King James Version translates this word perfection. But teleios, the adjective, and its kindred words have a technical meaning. Pythagoras divided his students into hoi manthanontes, the learners, and hoi teleioi , the mature. Philo divided his students into three different classes—hoi archomenoi, those just beginning, hoi prokoptontes, those making progress, and hoi teleiomenoi, those beginning to reach maturity. Teleiotes  does not imply complete knowledge but a certain maturity in the Christian faith. – William Barclay

let us go on unto perfection:

No matter how much parents and grandparents love to hold and cuddle a baby, it is their great desire that the baby grow up and enjoy a full life as a mature adult. God has the same desire for His children. That is why He calls to us, “Go on to perfection!”

Heb 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

Two of my favorite commentators spend this section trying to convince people that these things are Jewish, not Christian in nature. This is a very difficult position, and it is my opinion that they do this because of the difficult verse that is coming up later.

After really trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, also because I would much prefer that this is talking about Jews because it would make this section so much easier I don’t see any reason to suggest that to you, But rather that the writer is simply naming some things that are the basics of Christianity, just as I think the plain understanding of the text implies.

The doctrine of baptisms and the laying on of hands:

There are two baptisms spoken of in scripture. One is the standard water baptism that is symbolic of your repentance and death to the old life and resurrection to a new life in Christ. Then there is the baptism of the Holy Spirit for service where one is empowered to do various things in the service of Christ.

Those who try to make the point that this is not talking about Christian baptism say that the word baptismos here is in a slightly odd construction  is not used to talk of Christian baptisms, but according to Vincent word studies there is no problem whatsoever with this:

“The meaning here is lustral rites in general, and may include the baptism of John and Christian baptism. The teaching would cover all such rites, their relations and comparative significance.” -VWS

The reason for the odd construction of the phrase is because of the odd way the writer is applying it he, in talking of the doctrine of baptisms is speaking of the teaching of baptisms, this teaching like all other Christian teaching are from Christ:

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. – Joh 3:5

The fundamental Christian teaching of a two part baptism is based off the old testament prophecies of the New covenant described Eze_36:25-27

Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. – Eze 36:25-26

So this “doctrine of baptisms” is about as fundamental Christian teaching as you can get from a theological standpoint.

The laying on of hands that is mentioned in the verse is usually tied to the baptism of the Holy Spirit for service, and is also considered a fundamental part of Christian doctrine and is often done at salvation for the receiving of gifts. Like with timothy:

1Ti 4:14  Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

Next the resurrection of the dead is mentioned, and in response to those who try to make this an elementary Jewish teaching as opposed to an elementary Christian teaching I would say that although the resurrection of the dead may be an important aspect of Judaism, it is not a fundamental doctrine, which is evidenced by the fact that the Pharisees and Sadducees differed on the existence of the resurrection of the dead but were considered in fellowship and were on the Sanhedrin council together, so it must not have been that fundamental, no compare that with the fundamental nature of the resurrection in Christianity. For example the Apostle Paul writes:

But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:  And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. – 1Co 15:13-15

And in keeping perfectly in line with this is the next one that is mentioned: “eternal judgment” which is also a fundamental doctrine of the gospel.

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. – Act 17:30-31

So the writer here is clearly expanding here on the same “doctrines of Christ” that he mentioned in the previous verse:

Heb 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,
Heb 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

It may seem obvious to make this point, but some good teachers turn into bad ones during this section of scripture, we will see why they do in just a moment.

Heb 6:3 And this will we do, if God permits.

So he is going to continue on to the harder questions in Christianity despite them not really being ready to handle it

If God permits:

if: Act_18:21; Rom_15:32; 1Co_4:19, 1Co_16:7; Jam_4:15

Heb 6:4 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

I think it would be helpful for you  to know some of the theological conflicts that are going to be at play here before we get started.

The main issue is about the doctrine of eternal security, or once saved always saved. A doctrine that I believe in firmly and think that the book that we are reading the book of Hebrews will do a fantastic job of explaining in detail later on, but there does seem to be a kind of caveat to that doctrine, one that doesn’t not necessarily undermine the doctrine of eternal security as we will see but that nevertheless is there and I as hope to show you is all over scripture and taught expressly by the Lord many times.

The problem with this though is that certain theological positions notably Calvinism has a dogmatic stance that no exceptions to this rule exist, and therefore must make these following verse be speaking of something other than Christians. Some commentators will say that these folks in view in this passage only tasted of the heavenly gifts, the idea being that these people were never actually Christians and therefore these is no conflict with the doctrine of eternal security, but the problem is that the passage coming up as well as the other difficult passages in Hebrews chapter 10 seem to go out of the way to make sure we know without doubt that these were actually saved people.

We will look at all of this in detail but first here are some good quotes from Spurgeon on the issue. These quotes are all the more interesting when you realize that Spurgeon was a Calvinist and realized the problems that the passages in Hebrews here posed.

“We come to this passage ourselves with the intention to read it with the simplicity of a child, and whatever we find therein to state it; and if it may not seem to agree with something we have hitherto held, we are prepared to cast away every doctrine of our own, rather than one passage of Scripture.” (Spurgeon)

ii. “We had better far be inconsistent with ourselves than with the inspired Word. I have been called an Arminian Calvinist or a Calvinistic Arminian, and I am quite content so long as I can keep close to my Bible.” (Spurgeon)

For it is impossible

It will take two more verses for the writer to get to what is impossible to do but this is the phrase that causes all the difficulty.

The “impossible” here means just that in the Greek…”impossible” so there is no way around it, belive me I have tried.

3 things are mentioned about the group that he is talking about:

Those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

I wont spend too much time as some do in proving that these things are talking about Christians because I think that is the plain meaning of this text. If you have once been enlightened and were a partaker of the Holy Ghost, my understanding presupposes that they must have been genuine Christians at one point, the argument that they simply tasted the heavenly gift is often refuted by affirming that the same word for taste is used of Christ in his having tasted death for all (Hebrews 2:9.) And we know that he did die.

partakers of the Holy Ghost

Is a much more difficult thing to explain away, it seems almost unthinkable that the writer would use such language if his intention was not to make clear that these people were in fact saved.

Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

Here again the word taste is important, It is probably true that one could taste of the word of God and not be saved, but more difficult to explain the tasting of the powers of the world to come. I think that either way you look at this these people were more than just casual non-believers.

Again I dont want you to get twitchy that I am going to be speaking against eternal security, I am not, but I do feel that, simply explaining away this verse as not intended for us can be equally detrimental.

There is application here for us and I will explain what I mean by that in full detail in the next verse:

Heb 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.

Ok here it is the big verse in question. Let’s back up and read from verse 4 so we can get the flavor if it:

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.

On one end of the spectrum there are the false teachers saying that this verse and the other like in in Hebrews 10 means that if you slip up and simply sin then you can’t be “renewed to repentance.”

On the other end of the spectrum groups, in an attempt to preserve the doctrine of once saved always saved, will find some way to teach that these verses are not applicable to Christians.

I think the answer is somewhere in between, and that it is firmly testified to in scripture.

Again, I want to say that Im all about the doctrine of once saved always saved, and I think the writer of this letter is too, he sure spends a lot of time explaining it later on, but at the same time, there is a notable exception to this rule it would seem and we would be unwise to ignore the clear teaching of scripture on this point.

So it’s impossible If they shall “fall away”, to “renew them again unto repentance;” We need to know what “fall away” means here and we definitely need to know what “renew again to repentance” means.

Fall away here is talking about a specific type of apostasy. Although the specific word “apostacia” is not used here it is clear that the writer has been referring to it, in various ways all throughout the letter, In Hebrews 3:12 it says:

  “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”

This line where the writer basically declares the intention of his letter, this is the main reason he writes to them, telling them not to depart from Christ during the persecution they were undergoing, a temptation that some of them were succumbing to.

The same word there departing in the Greek is used by the apostle Paul in this way:

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; – 1 Timothy 4:1

Paul was referring to what he in another place clearly calls apostacia

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away [apostacia] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; – 2Th 2:3

And of course I believe he in 2 Thessalonians is only referencing the Lords teaching in Matthew 24 when he says of the last days:

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. – Mat 24:9-1

So the “falling away” used in our verse back in Hebrews is referring to apostasy.

This apostasy is almost always tied to persecution in scripture, In fact I believe that the writer uses the words fall away here harkening back to the parable of the sower, when the lord said

And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. – Mar 4:16-17

Again it is crucial to what I am about to say to understand the context here, these people he is writing were not simply duped by a false teacher, they were that too, but they were also being physically threatened with death if they did not reject Christ and return to Judaism The first few chapters are about the reasons why this cannot be done theologically.

This is a very common theme in the NT in general, (encouragement about ongoing persecutions) in fact it doesn’t seem like there is a letter that Paul writes that does not include something like this line from 2 Thessalonians 2:

So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 2 Thess 1: 4-7

There are so many sections in scripture of Paul or Peter saying “hey good job guys, you are suffering persecutions well.”

In the book of Hebrews however, it is basically a letter to those not suffering and dying well.

There are some other important details about this type of apostasy that seems to always be mentioned in the form of persecution.
But before we look at that we need to move on to the idea of if you fall away in this way it is impossible to be renewed again to repentance.

What in the world does that phrase “renewed again to repentance” mean? it’s kind of an odd phrase.

I have read a lot of commentaries on this and there are so many different opinions that I had literally given up, and instead I simply prayed and re-read the entire book and was like “OK Lord, I will just forget everything I think I know about this, just show me what’s going on here.”

I know bible teachers are supposed to do that all the time, but I guess I don’t do it enough. and I am certainly hesitant to say the “lord showed me this or showed me that” because if I’m wrong It’s my fault, but I gotta say I think the answer as to what this means is explained to us later on in this same letter and it really opens the door to a flood of other relevant scriptures on this issue.

Now before I read this you have to know that in between our verse and the one I’m about to quote 6 chapters later, I think the heart of the writer becomes even clearer. He is trying to show them the steadfastness of the new covenant, and why it should not be abandoned in the face of persecution. He says thing like:

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin…

So he is saying Christ suffered such hostility from sinners and you guys are discouraged and you haven’t even had any blood shed from them yet…he continues and talks about this persecution as if it is from God for their purification.

..and you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “MY SON, DO NOT DESPISE THE CHASTENING OF THE LORD, NOR BE DISCOURAGED WHEN YOU ARE REBUKED BY HIM; FOR WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE CHASTENS, AND SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.” – Heb 12:3-6

The whole theme of the book of Hebrews is about this, these people are openly rejecting Christ to avoid being persecuted and killed

A few verses later he uses Esau in the old testament for an illustration of this and this is where I think the answer to the question “what does the writer of the book of Hebrews mean by “renewed again to repentance” is found:

Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. – Heb 12:16-17

There it is! Esau found no place for repentance although he sought it with tears. This is a perfect picture of the situation we are looking into.

If you don’t know the story of Esau. Basically he had twin brother Jacob, one day Esau sold his birthright to his brother for a bowl of stew. Later when he wanted his inheritance he begged his dad who had already given it to the other brother, and nothing was left for him.

A notable thing that my wife brought to my attention is the reason that Esau sold his birthright in the first place:

And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.” And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?” Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. – Gen 25:30-33

Esau sells his birthright because he is afraid for his life!

Now the repentance he seeks from his father is shown here to be a typological picture. The birthright being symbolic of salvation, and if you look at what the birthright was, it was to be a part of bringing forth the messiah, a birthright that it says Esau despised, but after he sold it when he thought he would starve to death He weeps or repents to his father a type of the heavenly father in this type, but he does not give him back the birthright which he sold.

Now here is where it gets interesting. There are lots of verses that seem to come up in scripture that seem to be talking about this exact scenario, and they are all very challenging to those trying to fit them in a theological “once saved always saved” box, but notice that they all are centered on the same thing! It’s not sin that will make you lose it, but rather rejecting Christ in order to save your life that will.

Matthew chapter 10  is basically instruction for people that are being put to death and tortured for His sake, this is also where you find almost all the difficult verses about eternal security from Jesus, and they are all firmly in the same context. If I were to name this section of scripture I would call it: “Jesus teaches us how to die well, and warns us of the consequences of not doing so.” It starts in Matthew 10:16

 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.  But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved…And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. – Mat 10:16-22, 28-39

Luke seems to understand the Lords teaching here in the book of Matthew the same way I have been explaining it .

Luke basically takes relevant saying of the lord here in Matthew and makes sort of topical section about it in His gospel, as the Gospel of Luke often does, Basically Luke categorizes a lot of the Lords teaching whereas Matthew tends to write the entire teaching in context,

Anyway Luke included the so called “unforgivable sin” about the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, which is another subject altogether sandwiched right in the middle of the lords instruction about apostasy under persecution that we just read, in other words Luke thought these ideas went together categorically in the same place, it says:

“Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God. “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven. “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” – Luk 12:8-12

Now again I am all about once saved always saved but there appears to be an exception to this, but thankfully we will see even this exception is not a hard and fast rule..

The following is an example of being renewed to repentance after a denial of the Lord because of fear of death.

This is such an amazing confirmation of all of this I feel because its like this perfect picture of everything we have been talking about, but something unexpected happens that I think should give those of us a little scared about this idea some comfort. Its found in Luke 22 31

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren. – Luk 22:31-32

Now look how peter understood this:

But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.” Luk 22:33-34

So Jesus tells Peter that he will deny him to save his skin, Peter say that he would never do such a thing.

Jesus says he prays for him though, His prayer is so important here, what is his prayer for Peter?:

“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have converted (KJV) (or returned to Me), strengthen your brethren.”

The word returned or converted as the KJV has it
means to revert (literally, figuratively or morally): – come (go) again, convert, (re-) turn (about, again).

So the lord thought it necessary to pray for Peter so that his faith should not fail, and it is this prayer that apparently made it possible for the repentance of Peter to occur. I think this is an important point. That it is ones “faith not failing” in the context of an apostasy that somehow affects ones ability to turn again or repent. Jesus makes the point that although Peter will commit the very same sin that He warned against in Matthew 10, He has prayed for him ahead of time so that he will be able to return, and in fact adds “when you does return to strengthen his brethren” This must have been a great encouragement to Peter, later on in life remembering that the lord foresaw this and forgave him ahead of time, because we know that Peter wept bitterly after the he heard the roster crow and realized he had in fact denied Christ for fear of his own life.

So my conclusion about this issue is that yes there is a willful sin of denying Christ in the midst of persecution and it seems to be what we call an “unforgivable sin”, but it is very rare and I dont believe even those that do deny him in those circumstance will necessarily be lost because His interceding (praying) for us as He did for Peter in heaven, even today ( Hebrews 9:24 )That being said this is one of the most consistent themes in scripture, a coming last days apostasy in the midst of persecution which will happen on a mass scale.

I believe that many of the mainstream churches will be offered and an alternative to so called fundamentalist version of Christianity will be offered.

This will be in the context of a time of great hatred, even to the point of killing.

I think that we need to be aware of this there needs to be more sermons on this, when is the last time you heard a sermon about preparing a congregation for standing strong under persecution. Like Christ preached in the last half of Matthew 10.

 

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3 Responses to Hebrews 6: 1-6 – The “Difficult” Passage

  1. Great teaching. However, one phrase you use is not a valid argument for your position. You’ve stated that a thing cannot be true because it simply doesn’t make sense. To wit, it would stand that the Gospel cannot be true, because it doesn’t make sense that God would give up his Son for us. I agree with much of what you are saying, but people will need an explanation besides what makes sense to you. God Bless!

  2. Dan Haffke TIDEWATER says:

    Chris,
    I would like to believe once saved always saved, as I have not yet reached perfection, but it does seem that said salvation is possible to lose, or should I say possible to throw-away. I mean, if a person believed and then changed his belief, or rejected it, then their faith would be void. I believe this is why teaching a pre-trib rapture is dangerous. If people have been taught that they will escape “great tribulation” and suddenly find themselves in a situation where they would surely die for their beliefs and are not prepared for that, my thoughts are that, they would deny/reject Christ. And in doing so would become unbelievers. I even had a so-called “pastor” in California tell me straight-out, that he would deny Christ to save his life, but that he would still be saved. I also had a lady in Ohio tell me that if I didn’t believe in a pre-trib rapture, I basically, wasn’t saved.
    My point is, that I believe this teaching and belief system (pre-trib), will have alot to do with many falling-away and their faith becoming shipwrecked.
    Anyway, just my thoughts.
    Grace and peace
    Dan

  3. Billy says:

    Hello, as a former member of the Moody family i thought i would comment on this podcast. I would like to begin by saying that many of your podcasts are very enlightening, and therefore, I do not want to discourage your work for the Lord.

    However, this particular one (because of your OSAS beliefs taught by your church) is way off the mark in several areas. No one, with the exception of a pre-programmed church member that has the scriptures interpreted for them, can read the words of Jesus and arrive at some of these conclusions…
    I will just say that it is absolutely possible to “sin our way out”… to fall away from our salvation, (yes, Judas too). The exact context of this chapter is written throughout the bible, just using different words. This passage means exactly what it implies! It was written in a time of great persecution, (which is why the Galatians were turning back to the rules and traditions of the persecutors and leaving the Lord Jesus behind.) Circumcision was symbolic, just as many other Jewish traditions, it was being re-instituted, along with other things, to relieve themselves of their violent persecutions. Persecutions that Paul not only once delivered, but also later received. If you were not willing to stick your neck out onto the religious chopping block, you were not deemed worthy of Jesus… Again, because of your pre-programed belief system, you will more than likely disagree of context of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. It truly is referring to not only a mind-set, but also a heart-set too. It is stern warning of something even far worse than a “turning away of the mind” from the Lord, but also, the possibility of knowingly and willingly “turning our hearts away” from the Lord, which is unforgivable…
    Also, I can not agree more with what Dan had previously posted.

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