Hebrews 6

* The Hebrews are urged to go forward in the doctrine of Christ,

and the consequences of apostacy, or turning back, are

described. (1-8) The apostle expresses satisfaction, as to the

most of them. (9,10) And encourages them to persevere in faith

and holiness. (11-20)

1-8 Every part of the truth and will of God should be set

before all who profess the gospel, and be urged on their hearts

and consciences. We should not be always speaking about outward

things; these have their places and use, but often take up too

much attention and time, which might be better employed. The

humbled sinner who pleads guilty, and cries for mercy, can have

no ground from this passage to be discouraged, whatever his

conscience may accuse him of. Nor does it prove that any one who

is made a new creature in Christ, ever becomes a final apostate

from him. The apostle is not speaking of the falling away of

mere professors, never convinced or influenced by the gospel.

Such have nothing to fall away from, but an empty name, or

hypocritical profession. Neither is he speaking of partial

declinings or backslidings. Nor are such sins meant, as

Christians fall into through the strength of temptations, or the

power of some worldly or fleshly lust. But the falling away here

mentioned, is an open and avowed renouncing of Christ, from

enmity of heart against him, his cause, and people, by men

approving in their minds the deeds of his murderers, and all

this after they have received the knowledge of the truth, and

tasted some of its comforts. Of these it is said, that it is

impossible to renew them again unto repentance. Not because the

blood of Christ is not sufficient to obtain pardon for this sin;

but this sin, in its very nature, is opposite to repentance and

every thing that leads to it. If those who through mistaken

views of this passage, as well as of their own case, fear that

there is no mercy for them, would attend to the account given of

the nature of this sin, that it is a total and a willing

renouncing of Christ, and his cause, and joining with his

enemies, it would relieve them from wrong fears. We should

ourselves beware, and caution others, of every approach near to

a gulf so awful as apostacy; yet in doing this we should keep

close to the word of God, and be careful not to wound and

terrify the weak, or discourage the fallen and penitent.

Believers not only taste of the word of God, but they drink it

in. And this fruitful field or garden receives the blessing. But

the merely nominal Christian, continuing unfruitful under the

means of grace, or producing nothing but deceit and selfishness,

was near the awful state above described; and everlasting misery

was the end reserved for him. Let us watch with humble caution

and prayer as to ourselves.
9,10 There are things that are never separated from salvation;

things that show the person to be in a state of salvation, and

which will end in eternal salvation. And the things that

accompany salvation, are better things than ever any dissembler

or apostate enjoyed. The works of love, done for the glory of

Christ, or done to his saints for Christ's sake, from time to

time, as God gives occasion, are evident marks of a man's

salvation; and more sure tokens of saving grace given, than the

enlightenings and tastings spoken of before. No love is to be

reckoned as love, but working love; and no works are right

works, which flow not from love to Christ.
11-20 The hope here meant, is a sure looking for good things

promised, through those promises, with love, desire, and valuing

of them. Hope has its degrees, as faith also. The promise of

blessedness God has made to believers, is from God's eternal

purpose, settled between the eternal Father, Son, and Spirit.

These promises of God may safely be depended upon; for here we

have two things which cannot change, the counsel and the oath of

God, in which it is not possible for God to lie; it would be

contrary to his nature as well as to his will. And as He cannot

lie; the destruction of the unbeliever, and the salvation of the

believer, are alike certain. Here observe, those to whom God has

given full security of happiness, have a title to the promises

by inheritance. The consolations of God are strong enough to

support his people under their heaviest trials. Here is a refuge

for all sinners who flee to the mercy of God, through the

redemption of Christ, according to the covenant of grace, laying

aside all other confidences. We are in this world as a ship at

sea, tossed up and down, and in danger of being cast away. We

need an anchor to keep us sure and steady. Gospel hope is our

anchor in the storms of this world. It is sure and stedfast, or

it could not keep us so. The free grace of God, the merits and

mediation of Christ, and the powerful influences of his Spirit,

are the grounds of this hope, and so it is a stedfast hope.

Christ is the object and ground of the believer's hope. Let us

therefore set our affections on things above, and wait patiently

for his appearance, when we shall certainly appear with him in

glory.

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