Moving On to Deeper Truth
1Now is the time for us to progress beyond the basic message of Christ # 6:1 Or “the Word [Logos] of the beginning of Christ.” and advance into perfection. The foundation has already been laid for us to build upon: turning away from our dead works # 6:1 Or “useless deeds.” “Dead works” are the attempts of people to please God through religion, keeping religious laws and traditions, and serving others to gain influence with God. There was one “work” that brings life to all, that was the work of Christ on the cross. to embrace faith in God, 2teaching about different baptisms, # 6:2 The New Testament speaks of seven baptisms, including the baptism of fire, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the baptism of suffering (Jesus’ cross), the baptism into the cloud, the baptism into Moses, the baptism of repentance, and water baptism. impartation by the laying on of hands, # 6:2 This was done in the Old and New Testaments to heal, to bless others, to impart the Holy Spirit and his gifts, to identify with a person (or sacrifice), and to release others to their calling and ministry. resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3So with God’s enablement # 6:3 Or “If God entrusts it to us.” The Aramaic uses here the title for God “the Lord YHWH.” we will move on to deeper truths.
A Warning to Never Turn Away
4It is impossible to restore an apostate. # 6:4 That is, one who has abandoned their faith. Because of the extraordinary length of the Greek sentence, this summary statement implied in the text is given here at the beginning of the paragraph for the sake of English narrative. To say it is impossible does not mean that God cannot bring them to repentance, but that he chooses to leave them in their hardened state, much like Pharaoh who hardened his heart to God. The Aramaic is very clear, “they cannot be renewed to conversion.” For once a person has come into God’s light, and tasted the gifts of the heavenly realm, and has received the Holy Spirit, # 6:4 Or “has been in [business] partnership with the Holy Spirit.” 5and feasted on the good Word of God, and has entered into the power of the age that is breaking in, # 6:5 Or “the age that is about to come.” 6if he abandons his faith, there is no use even trying to lead him to repentance. By their sin of apostasy # 6:6 As translated from the Aramaic and implied in the Greek. they re-crucify the Son of God, # 6:6 Or “it is impossible to crucify the Son of God again for them to change their own minds!” and have publicly repudiated him. # 6:6 Or “have made a public spectacle of him.” The Aramaic can be translated “insulted the Son of God.”
7For men’s hearts are just like the soil that drinks up the showers which often fall upon it. Some soil will yield crops as God’s blessing upon the field. 8But if the field continues to produce only thorns and thistles # 6:8 These are the consequences of sin from the time of Adam. See Gen. 3:18. a curse hangs over it and it will be burned.
9Even though we speak like this, beloved, we are fully convinced that there are more beautiful and excellent things, which flow from your salvation. # 6:9 Or “things which cling to salvation.”
10For God, the Faithful One, is not unfair. # 6:10 The Aramaic can be translated “God is not evil.” How can he forget # 6:10 He won’t remember our sins, but will remember our works of loving service to others. the beautiful work you have done for him? He remembers the love you demonstrate as you continually serve # 6:10 The Greek text implies financially providing for others. his beloved ones # 6:10 Or “saints” (or “holy ones”). for the glory of his name. 11But we long to see you passionately advance until the end and you find your hope fulfilled. 12So don’t allow your hearts to grow dull # 6:12 The Greek word for “dull of heart” is nothros, which is taken from a root word meaning “illegitimate child.” The implication is that we don’t see ourselves as a child of illegitimacy, but as a child of intimacy, and that keeps our relationship fervent and passionate. or lose your enthusiasm, but follow the example of those who fully received what God has promised # 6:12 The Aramaic can be translated “to those who were heirs of the royal proclamation.” because of their strong faith and patient endurance. # 6:12 The Aramaic can be translated “because of their faith and the outpouring of the Spirit.”
God’s Faithful Promise
13Now when God made a promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater than himself, he swore an oath on his own integrity # 6:13 See Gen. 22:16–17. to keep the promise as sure as God exists! 14So he said,
“Have no doubt, I promise to bless you over and over,
and give you a son and multiply you without measure!”
15So Abraham waited patiently in faith and succeeded in seeing the promise fulfilled. # 6:15 That is, through the birth of Isaac. The Aramaic is fascinating, for the name of Abraham is not in the Greek text in this verse: “And he [God] bestowed his Spirit and he [Abraham] received the kingdom.” 16It is very common for people to swear an oath by something greater than themselves, for the oath will confirm their statements and end all dispute. 17So in the same way, God wanted to end all doubt and confirm it even more forcefully to those who would inherit his promises. His purpose was unchangeable, so God added his vow to the promise. 18So it is impossible for God to lie for we know that his promise and his vow will never change!
And now we have run into his heart to hide ourselves in his faithfulness. This is where we find his strength and comfort, for he empowers us to seize what has already been established ahead of time—an unshakable hope! 19We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat # 6:19 Implied in the text and made explicit as that which is found inside the innermost chamber. in the heavenly realm beyond the sacred threshold, # 6:19 As translated from the Aramaic, which is literally “beyond the faces of the door.” 20and where Jesus, our forerunner, # 6:20 Or “trailblazer.” Jesus has blazed a trail for us to enter into the sacred chamber and seize the hope that has been fulfilled in his eyes already, to have a company of king-priests who will dwell with him in the holiest of holies and minister from there out to the nations of the earth. The clear implication of vv. 19–20 is that he takes us in to share his throne and his ministry as the royal Priest. has gone in before us. He is now and forever our royal Priest like Melchizedek. # 6:20 Or “in the order [likeness] of Melchizedek.”