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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible

Hebrews 6



Other Authors
Verses 1-20

In the previous chapter, Paul was writing to some who ought to have been teachers, but who needed still to be taught the first principles of the gospel; they were such babes in grace that they needed the milk of the Word, —the very simplest elements of gospel truth, — and not the strong meat of solid doctrine. The apostle, however, desires that the Hebrew believers should understand the sublimer doctrines of the gospel, and so be like men of full age who can eat strong meat. In this chapter he exhorts them to seek to attain to this standard.

Hebrews 6:1. Therefore leaving the principles —

The rudiments, the elementary truths, —

Hebrews 6:1. Of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; —

Let us go from the school to the university, let us have done with our first spelling-books, and advance into the higher classics of the kingdom.

Hebrews 6:1. Not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

Let us make sure that the foundation is laid, but let us not have continually to lay it again. Let us go on believing and repenting, as we have done; but let us not have to begin believing and begin repenting, let us go on to something beyond that stage of experience.

Hebrews 6:2. Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

Let us take these things for granted, and never dispute about them any more, but go on to still higher matters.

Hebrews 6:3. And this will we do, if God permit.

We must keep on going forward; there is no such thing in the Christian life as standing still, and we dare not turn back.

Hebrews 6:4-6. 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, —

Note that Paul does not say, “If they shall fall;” but, “If they shall fall away,” — if the religion which they have professed shall cease to have any power over them, — then, it shall be impossible —

Hebrews 6:6. To renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

If all the processes of grace fail in the case of any professors, what is to be done with them? If the grace of God does not enable them to overcome the world, — if the blood of Christ does not purge them from sin, what more can be done? Upon this supposition, God’s utmost has been tried, and has failed. Mark that Paul does not say that all this could ever happen; but that, if it could, the person concerned would be like apiece of ground which brought forth nothing but thorns and briers.

Hebrews 6:7-8. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

If, after having ploughed this ground, and sown it, and after it has been watered by the dew and rain of heaven, no good harvest ever comes of it, every wise man would leave off tilling it. He would say, “My labour is all thrown away on such a plot of ground as this, nothing more can be done with it, for after having done my utmost nothing but weeds is produced, so now it must be left to itself.” You see, my dear hearers, if it were possible for the work of grace in your souls to be of no avail, nothing more could be done for you. You have had God’s utmost effort expended upon your behalf, and there remains no other method of salvation for you. I believe that there have been some professors, such as Judas and Simon Magus, who have come very near to this condition, and others who are said, after a certain sort, to have believed, to have received the Holy Spirit in miraculous gifts, and to have been specially enlightened so as to have been able to teach others; but the work of grace did not affect their hearts, it did not renew their natures, it did not transform their spirits, and so it was impossible to renew them to repentance. How notice what Paul says: —

Hebrews 6:9. But, beloved, we are persuaded better thing of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

Harsh as the apostle’s words may seem, they are not meant for you who are really believers in Christ, and in whom the Holy Spirit has wrought a complete change of heart and life; Paul is not speaking of such as you.

Hebrews 6:10. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

If you have proved by your works that the grace of God is within you, God will not forget you; he will not leave you, he will not cast you away. You know the contrast in the speech between different persons concerning this doctrine. One will wickedly say, “If I am a child of God, I may live as I like.” That is damnable doctrine. Another will say, “If I am a child of God, I shall not want to live as I like, but as God likes, and I shall be led by the grace of God into the path of holiness, and through divine grace I shall persevere in that way of holiness right to the end.” That is quite another doctrine, and it is the true teaching of the Word of God.

Hebrews 6:11. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

Keep it up; be as earnest today as you were twenty years ago, when you were baptized and joined the church: “Show the same diligence unto the end.” Still, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

Hebrews 6:12-15. That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made promise to Abraham because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

Wherefore, brethren, you and I also are patiently to endure, to hold on even to the end, and God’s sure promise will never fail us.

Hebrews 6:16-18. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

It seems a great change in this chapter from the sad tone at the beginning to the joyous note at the end; but, indeed, there is no contradiction between the two. Paul is but giving us two sides of the truth, — both equally true, — the one needful for our warning, the other admirable for our consolation. God will not leave you, my brethren, he has pledged himself by covenant to you, and he has given an oath that his covenant shall stand. Wherefore, be of good courage, and press forward in the divine life, for your work of faith and labour of love are not in vain in the Lord; so let us “lay hold upon the hope set before us:” —

Hebrews 6:19. Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

Sailors throw their anchors downwards; we throw ours upwards. Their anchor goes within the veil of the waters into the depths of the sea; ours goes within the veil of glory, into the heights of heaven, where Jesus sits at the right hand of God: “within the veil;” —

Hebrews 6:20. Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Hebrews 6:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". 2011.

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