Hebrews Chapter 6
:4 “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, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 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.”
The word “if” is a subordinating conjunction. Frequently it is used in a line of reasoning. It is used above to show the impossibility of one who has been born of the Spirit to fall away from the work that is performed on him.
We know that the ones under consideration have been born of the Spirit of God because of the statements made about them:
1. They have been enlightened. Jesus told Nicodemus in John 1:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
2. They have tasted of the heavenly gift. A person could not have tasted of the heavenly gift if they do not possess the heavenly gift.
3. They were made partakers of the Holy Ghost. A person who is not born of the Spirit of God cannot be a partaker of the Holy Ghost: 1 Cor. 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
4. They have tasted the good word of God. The Lord showed us that only those who are of God can hear his word: John 8:47 “He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”
5. They have tasted the powers of the world to come. Those who have not been born of the Spirit cannot taste the powers of the world to come.
One school of thought suggests that born again children of God can fall away from the true worship and service of God in the Lord’s church kingdom. While it is true that they can fall away from the fellowship of the Lord’s church kingdom, it is also true that they can be renewed unto that fellowship and service. The man who was guilty of fornication in 1 Corinthians chapter 5 and was
put away from the fellowship of the church was later restored to that fellowship was restored to that fellowship as we read in 2 Cor. 2:6 “Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. 7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.” Likewise, the prodigal son in Luke chapter 16 who had lost
fellowship with his father was later restored to that fellowship after repentance.
Plainly the above passage is teaching that if a born again child of God could fall away from being a born again child of God it would be impossible to renew him to the position he had before he fell away. To renew him would mean that the work of Christ was insufficient to save him the first time and thus bring Christ to an open shame. Moreover it would mean that Christ would have to
be crucified afresh in order to save him from his sins.
The principle Paul is teaching here gives rise to the statement, “once saved always saved.” This statement is true with regards to the eternal salvation of the elect family of God.