Hebrews 5:11-6:12 If God Permits
Today our author scolds his audience for not moving beyond the basics of the faith. He wants to take them further in the word but he has to follow God’s leading and timetable. They will get to the “solid food” of the word, if God permits.
How many times have you heard, or even said yourself, “You ought to be big enough to know…”? We all learn concepts sequentially. I remember watching as my children learned to dress themselves. It was comical at times when items of clothing were worn incorrectly, but at least they were trying. At some point though they all learned how to fully dress themselves, including putting their shoes on the right feet and tying them.
Barring any extreme illness or mental status change, once learned, you don’t have to relearn how to dress yourself. They have the basics and they can go on building on that foundation. They can even help their younger brothers and sisters learn the basics too.
The position of mastery over the basics of faith in Jesus is where our author believes his readers should be. They should be ready for the deeper things of God. But they are not. They are still having trouble with the basics.
I noticed in a LOT of Paul’s letters that he had to touch on the “basics” over and over again. I will admit to getting frustrated with trying to find some new nugget each time we were given basic truths in our reading. Today’s author list some of those same basics that Paul pounded into our hearts; repentance; salvation by faith in Jesus, not works; baptism; the resurrection; and eternal judgement. These are MAJOR issues of importance and have to be in place as a foundation for everything else can be put on top of them.
The author wants to go on, but will wait until God says to move on. That is ALWAYS a wise choice!
The next few verses don’t seem very “basic” to me. Maybe the original readers understood who it was directed at better than we do today. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the original writers also wrote our commentary and study helps? Then we would know for sure the original and later heart condition of the ones who had “fallen away.” The Holy Spirit is the original author and authority on all scripture, so we should turn to Him for answers. Problem there is that I’m not always sure my “pipeline” is free of distortion. I know I’m no expert and I don’t honestly believe ANYONE is a complete authority on EVERYTHING in the bible. So where do we go from here? I guess the safest thing for me to do is lay out what I believe our author means and leave you to agree or disagree as you see fit.
I don’t believe it is possible for someone who has truly given their life to Christ to lose their salvation. I also believe that there are a lot of people who try to walk the Christian faith without really being in relationship with Jesus. I went to my favorite answer place to see what they had to say on the issue; Gotquestions.org. I looked up our Hebrew passage as well as looked up if it was possible to lose one’s salvation. I fully agree with their discussion on both.
I’m glad I don’t have to be the judge of who is beyond repentance and who isn’t. We can certainly tell where someone is by their “fruit” but not where their final ending point will be. Only God knows for sure, so my advice to you (and to myself) is to pray for restoration and salvation, no matter what.
Father God, I’m afraid of where my children fall on this point. They grew up in church learning all about You. They professed to have given You their lives. But right now I don’t know if any of them are living like they should. I know at least three of the four claim to have changed their minds about their faith. Does this mean they never really had a real relationship with You or are they being the “prodigal” children for now? My heart breaks for their return to You! If they were really “saved” then I know they are Yours for eternity. If not, that puts them awfully close to the “beyond redemption” group mentioned today. Only You know their hearts. I saw their works as children and young adults. I’m going to continue bringing them to You no matter what and trust You to do the rest.
Holy Spirit, take me in “deeper waters” of the word. Show me God’s own heart as we meet together each day. Thank You for laying a strong foundation and repeating it until I REALLY got it. I trust You not to let me drown as we move onto deeper things. I’m ready. Here we go!