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For [it is impossible to restore to repentance] those who have once been enlightened [spiritually] and who have [a]tasted and consciously experienced the heavenly gift and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted and consciously experienced the good word of God and the powers of the age (world) to come, [b]and then have fallen away—it is impossible to bring them back again to repentance, since they again nail the Son of God on the cross [for as far as they are concerned, they are treating the death of Christ as if they were not saved by it], and are holding Him up again to public disgrace.

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Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 6:4 This is the same Greek word that is used in Matt 27:34 regarding Jesus’ tasting the wine mixed with gall during His crucifixion. After tasting what was being offered to Him He refused to drink it. Perhaps the use of this word in this passage (vv 4-6) refers to those who superficially “tasted” the gospel and outwardly appeared to embrace the Christian experience, but inwardly never committed in full surrender to Christ. In this case, the act of “falling away” was simply the public expression of their true position and their rejection of Jesus as Messiah regardless of the evidence.
  2. Hebrews 6:6 This passage is one of the most difficult to interpret in Hebrews. Four major views have been suggested: 1) some interpret the passage to teach the possibility of loss of salvation, 2) some see the text as hypothetical, with the author using an illustration of what would occur in the case of apostasy, but which, in fact, cannot occur, 3) some suggest the passage refers to apparent believers who are in the church, but who are not truly saved. These commit apostasy, depart from the fellowship, and thus give evidence they were not genuinely converted, and 4) the loss of rewards view that suggests that the context indicated the people described in vv 4-6 are genuine believers who commit willful sin and fail to press on to maturity. These are disciplined by God in this life, and lose rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ along the lines of 1 Cor 3:11-17.

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