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Moving on to Maturity

Hebrews  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Hebrews 6:1–8 NKJV
Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.

I. We must beware of the danger of falling back. Vs.4

A. Is the danger real or hypothetical?

The text presents a real situation and not hypothetical as some suppose.
The problem is that it’s realism is unfamiliar to us.

B. Does it mean a loss of salvation?

A theological bias will force an erroneous exegesis.
When we have a bias about a particular theological position, we will interpret the scripture according to our bias and not seek to see what the scripture is saying.
Example:
The Scofield reference Bible notes on this passage, says that these people are not actual believers, but those who have only had their appetite whet for salvation.
In fact, if you are relying on your Study Bible’s notes, you will not be able to discern for yourself. The notes should only be a guide, but in some cases, can be misleading.
And, whether you realize it or not, every believer in this room has a bias!
And as long as your bias directs your interpretation of scripture you will remain stuck!
Some people believe they can loose their salvation for any or even a continuation of habitual sin. But according to this passage, if that were true, they could not be saved again.
Some say you can never loose your salvation. That if you are once saved your always saved, regardless of the evidence in the individuals life.
Still others, understand it to be not quite as simple as either of these positions.

C. Does God provide a means of recovery from this falling away?

Again our theological bias will play into the answer.
Most of us would say that we are saved once for all by the power of God, so then there is always provision for any sin.
This sounds right doesn’t it?
Well, let’s break down this thought process.
True: there is no sin greater than Christ’s sacrifice.
True: He will not turn away any that come to Him.
Yet: salvation and it’s appropriation, is solely of God and not man, because grace is a gift of God and not of works.
No one can come to Christ unless the Father first draws him.
These foundational truths are irrefutable!
These foundational truths are irrefutable!
Yet, each has its respectable place in the whole of Biblical doctrine.
And so, although we teach that salvation is simple, how it works out in the life of a believer is complex and humanly unintelligible.
So we come back to the question at hand: Does God make provision for those who have fallen away?
No and Yes!
No, because anyone who has at once and finally turned from the grace and mercy that they experienced in Christ, remaining in a state of apostasy cannot repent again unto salvation.
Because they were already saved, they cannot be saved again! (renew them again unto repentance)
This does not seem to be the popular answer among evangelical Christians today, but the scripture will not pander to our predispositions.
This does not seem to be the popular answer among evangelical Christians today, but the scripture will not pander to our predispositions.
We need to understand that no where in scripture does it say that grace cannot be withdrawn.
This I find to be most interesting and disturbing!
In Christian circles, we console ourselves with a belief that we can be excused from all kinds of disobedience because grace cannot be retracted.
But listen to the Apostle Paul:
Galatians 5:1–4 NKJV
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
(NKJV): Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
(NKJV): Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:1–2 NKJV
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
You see, we live under grace by something, the Bible calls it faith!
For the just shall live by faith!
It is apparent that believers can fall from grace because of a lack of faith.
I don’t know that this means loss of salvation, but I don’t really want to find out either!
The scriptures are clear that the importance is placed upon fruit in a believers life.
Examples: , the parable of the sower. , the branches and the vine. etc.
Matthew 13 NKJV
On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ” Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.” All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.” Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all these things?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there. When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
So in this respect, it seems He provides no provision from this apostacy, but in another way He does.
So in this respect, He provides no provision, but in another way He does.
That brings us to the second point…

II. We must move from infancy to maturity. Vs.1

The remedy for apostasy or any form of disobedience, is to grow in The grace of our Lord, and to avoid at all costs falling back!
And here the Apostle shows us what that looks like.
Leaving the discussion of the elementary principals of Christ.
Doesn’t the Christian church have enough babies that are always whining about the same things.
We never move on to maturity because we are always arguing about the same things.
Judging others because they don’t measure up to our standard of Christianity.
Judging others because they don’t measure up to their standard of Christianity.
Choking on the milk of the word, when we should by now digesting a porter house steak!
We’re like toddlers in a daycare crying because someone else is playing with the toy we want to play with!
There is a problem in our house!
Sometimes it seems like we’re running a daycare rather than a church!
Frankly I’m sick of what I see in the church today.
We have been in a 2 year old temper tantrum for far too long!
When are we going to move on to maturity!!!
Why must we argue about faith, ceremonies, baptism, the end times, or any of the foundational principals of Christ, when there are...
People who are hurting that we’ve been called to comfort.
People sick that we’ve been called to heal.
People lost that we’ve been called to find.
A world that needs to hear and see the love of God.
Does this sound harsh? Is it too much?
well, this is what the writer is saying in this passage.
It is not a delicate little cautious statement, but a loud and raucous warning to avoid at all costs what too many have already succumbed to. And unless we get this and move on to perfection and continue to grow in grace, we open ourselves up to the same fate!
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