This is the final post in a series of word studies that I am doing to try to reveal the best explanation of a specific scripture:
For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.– Hebrews 6:4-6
I think I’ve written a small book here. 8,515 words and 57 scriptures, not including this post, to explain one sentence in the Bible. I picked this verse because it is potent and filled with life, but it is often used in a way that suffocates the last bit of hope out of the wheezing breath of a failure.
The usual interpretation is that if you really were a Christian you wouldn’t knowingly sin. But, if you do, it’s so much worse. That’s not what this scripture means.
Many ‘believers’ are still living with the belief that Jesus never came. They believe that Adam’s legacy lives and this world is lost, but that’s not the truth. Adam’s legacy died with Jesus and the new legacy was born with His resurrection. The only part of this world that is ‘lost’ are those who don’t know the truth. They need to be told that they’re not lost. ‘Enlightened’ means ‘sight’.
They need to be told about ‘the heavenly gift’. It’s a gift of grace, of life, and of righteousness. You can’t earn grace, you can’t stick your existence in a test tube and expect to produce life, and you cannot, by any means whatsoever, be ‘righteous’ enough. It’s called a gift for a reason. You can accept it or reject it, but rejecting it causes torment and accepting it requires faith. You can’t even have faith without God dishing it out to you. Faith comes from hearing the Truth, that’s how God set it up. The truth cannot even be spoken without God sending someone to speak it. There are many ‘speakers of the truth’ out there, but they are speaking some counterfeit message and claiming it as the Gospel. That’s why people have a hard time accepting the real Gospel when they hear it. Even so, God busts through all the counterfeit crap and shows Himself in a way that rips the doors off their hinges.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? …But they have not all obeyed the gospel. …So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. …”I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.” -Romans 10:14-16; 20
You’re completely helpless without Him and He is unbelievably resourceful when it comes to shaking the lies off of His truth.
Yet, still, in all of your journey of Him calling you and you tripping over yourself, Him loving you and you sabotaging your best intentions, and Him bringing loves into your life and you maiming those loves with your selfishness, He doesn’t quit. Here is the ‘sharing in the Holy Spirit’ part: You know what it is to want to do the right thing, but still do the wrong thing. That is exceedingly crucial for you to pay attention to. You need to be able to tell the difference between your ‘flesh’ and the Holy Spirit. Your mistakes are not evidence that you are separated from God. You wouldn’t even be aware of your failures if He wasn’t working inside of you.
God loves you. He knows you and He loves you. He’ll never give up on you, He’s never surprised by your poor choices, He knew all of it before you were even born and that is why He sent His Son. If you could have done this right, Jesus wouldn’t have died for you. You are never without hope. It’s a ‘strange love story’, you and He.
You don’t ‘fall away’ by your sin. You ‘fall away’ by not accepting the truth. You ‘fall away’ by trying to be righteous on your own and lying in your own defeat when you can’t be good enough.
Sometimes the best way for you to give up your sweaty religion and rely on Him is for you to see just how feeble your own ‘goodness’ is. When God allows you to make damaging choices, it’s not to defeat you, it’s to get you to hold on to something else. He wants you to see Him and hold on to Him. If you have to break for that to happen, He’s going to let you break. When you see the purpose, His purpose, that’s ‘repentance’. Repentance says, “I wouldn’t know You like this if I hadn’t gone through that.” You no longer look at your sin as the black stain in your past, you look at it as the catapult to life. ‘Turning from sin and turning to God.” Look at the power of God when you think of the way He can use your sin. No one can condemn you. No one can take His love from you. Not even you. When He says that you are ‘more than conquerors’, He means it.
No, in all theses things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:37-39
It is impossible to know this and for it to not change absolutely everything. You can’t see all of this in clarity and then revert to your defeat without someone having to come along and re-crucify Jesus for you because, for some reason, you don’t think He got it right the first time.
That’s what this one sentence in Hebrews means. Maybe someone can say it better than I can, and that’s fine, but if you get it then believe it and be free. Stop waiting for the hammer to drop, there is no new evidence against you. You can stop hiding and start living.
We need more real believers to show others where life is.
Are you with me?