Tue Apr – 23 Pressing On To Fuller Growth

Hebrews 6:1-12(CEB)

1So let’s press on to maturity, by moving on from the basics about Christ’s word. Let’s not lay a foundation of turning away from dead works, of faith in God, of teaching about ritual ways to wash with water, laying on of hands, the resurrection from the dead, and eternal judgment—all over again. We’re going to press on, if God allows it.

4Because it’s impossible to restore people to changed hearts and lives who turn away once they have seen the light, tasted the heavenly gift, become partners with the Holy Spirit, and tasted God’s good word and the powers of the coming age. They are crucifying God’s Son all over again and exposing him to public shame. The ground receives a blessing from God when it drinks up the rain that regularly comes and falls on it and yields a useful crop for those people for whom it is being farmed. But if it produces thorns and thistles, it’s useless and close to being cursed. It ends up being burned.

But we are convinced of better things in your case, brothers, and sisters, even though we are talking this way—things that go together with salvation. 10 God isn’t unjust so that he forgets your efforts and the love you have shown for his name’s sake when you served and continue to serve God’s holy people. 11 But we desperately want each of you to show the same effort to make your hope sure until the end. 12 This is so you won’t be lazy but follow the example of the ones who inherit the promises through faith and patience.


It can be particularly helpful to think about the authorship of the book of Hebrews and the people who were being taught when studying this chapter. It is probable the author was a Jewish Christian, and the readers were a group of people who had faced and continued to face severe persecution for their Christian faith. This would be especially true if their background were Judaism or a mixed community who had come to Christian faith and now were tempted to return to prior beliefs.

We can see in verses 1 and 2 the writer urging the people to move forward from basics, elementary teaching about Christ. Jesus himself chastised the Sadducees for their lack of understanding of the resurrection, doing so by pointing to the Torah (Luke 20:3738). In verse 3, the words, “if God allows it”, remind that only God’s sovereign will enables this.

Verses 4 – 8 make up a very stern warning that allowing oneself to fall away is to be in great danger. So, what do you think is meant here? The author says if such people have fallen away (6:6), it’s impossible to renew them to repentance (6:4). Some might think this means Christians can lose their salvation, but the rest of the Bible clearly teaches our eternal security in Christ (see, e.g., John 6:37-4010:26-29Rom 8:28-39Eph 1:13-141 John 5:13). Think also about one who denied Jesus (like Peter; see Matt 26:69-75) who repented and returned to Jesus.

The author has just urged the readers to “go on to maturity” (Heb 6:1). The perceived problem is that they are in danger of having hardened, rebellious hearts because they refuse to press on in spiritual growth. To persist in this state is to forget what God has done for us.

Is it impossible to renew such unfaithful believers to repent? Perhaps we should ask, impossible for whom? After all, Jesus said, “With God all things are possible” (Matt 19:26). The issue, then, is not God’s inability to bring someone back to repentance; it’s man’s inability to do so. God has to directly intervene.

In the last four verses light shines through. In some translations the first word in verse 9 is beloved.  This term shows a change of audience and a change from a message of warning to a message of encouragement. Even though it was necessary to speak about judgement, believers can be confident of their salvation. God remembers both past and present service of the saints. God’s purpose in saving us was not merely so that we may go to heaven when our days are done. The Lord wants to be in relationship with us and use us here on earth and then reward us in eternity. Our usefulness increases as we grow in spiritual maturity during your pilgrimage from earth to heaven.

A second story about the program, “Feed My Starving Children,” and a local woman in Haddonfield who felt a calling to help starving children headed a small group that grew to assemble hundreds of thousands of  food packages for starving children. Bruce asked this woman what the ability to fill this great need meant to her and whether the experience has changed her? The answer, her wants and life values have changed significantly, and she has felt God’s presence more closely.

by Clarence Beverage

For Pondering & Prayer

Sometimes scripture is not easy to read and understand and maybe off putting. I hope that when you feel that way that that you have special scriptures in your heart like John 3:16, Luke 1:37, Hebrews 11:1 … that bring Jesus’ love into your spirit, strengthens you and you begin again.  

Prayer: Lord God, Thank you for your Word, all of it. We pray for discernment and a spirit to seek your truth and the strength to learn more and share with others. Amen

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