Hebrews 6:4-6 KJV
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
Of this text John Gill writes,
“…such are meant, who are so enlightened as to see the evil effects of sin, but not the evil that is in sin; to see the good things which come by Christ, but not the goodness that is in Christ; so as to reform externally, but not to be sanctified internally; to have knowledge of the Gospel doctrinally, but not experimentally; yea, to have such light into it, as to be able to preach it to others, and yet be destitute of the grace of God…”
We would be wisest, I believe, to view chapters three through six, and perhaps further, as one unit dealing with the doctrine of eternal security. These are not isolated lessons, but progressive ones. Each piece builds upon another to describe the condition of the true believer versus that of the false professor. Though the author, whom I believe to be Paul, is convinced his audience is saved, he still gives warning that the end of the false professor is to be burned.
Perfection in the gospel is to, borrow from Gill,
- See the evil that is in sin
- See the goodness that is in Christ
- Be sanctified internally
- Know the Gospel experimentally and
- Possess the grace of God
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