You do not own your salvation, that was purchased by Jesus and He gave it to you. You cannot loose what you do not own, but you can give away that which you fully understand is yours.
Hebrews 6:4-6, “4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.”
The greatest debate within the body of Christ is actually the misunderstanding of the word of God and the Wolves in Sheep’s clothing allowing the Devil to twist the gospel of Jesus Christ into thinking one can simply “backslide to the point of losing their salvation”. Stumbling in sin or dying without confessing one’s sins is not going to send someone to Hell. Jesus in John 3:16-19 paints a clear cut path a person can take to become born again and have everlasting life. (See Hebrews 6:2-3) Romans 10:8-10 give us the simple way a person receives the salvation that Jesus’ death on the cross paid for. 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Do you see any confession of your sins to the priest, pastor, or any other religious figure in these verses? Jesus paid the price and ALL we have to do is believe in Him and confess Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:32 that whoever confesses Him before men, He will confess before the Father. Psalms 23:7 tells us as a man thinks in his heart so is he. To think in your heart is to believe.
Once saved always saved is truer than most Christians and religious teachers want to believe. I believe all of this sin consciousness that is going on in the church today is actually from the Devil to keep God’s children thinking and living in bondage instead of the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. So with this foundational understanding let’s look into verses 4-6 to see the five criteria a believer must fit into in order to give up their salvation.
1. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened; PHOTIZO the Greek word for enlightened is to give light, to shine, to illumine, or to shed light on something that exists and make it become clear. In short when a person has their revelation that Jesus is truly real, loves them, and paid their sin debt they have become enlightened. Hence the born again experience or step one in the life of a believer.
2. and have tasted the heavenly gift; GEUOMAI the Greek word for tasted is to taste, try the flavor of, to partake, and to experience something personally. What this verse is saying is that the new born again believer, the one once simply enlightened to the truth of Jesus Christ has moved closer to Christ and has experienced His love for them personally. When a Christian experiences Jesus’ love personally it sets them closer in their own heart to Jesus. Not that He has been resisting them, or they are apart from Jesus in any manor, but they are learning to yield their heart over to the power of His love working in their life. Can you see the progression? The person who has tasted Jesus is also a person stronger in Jesus than a new born Christian.
3. and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit; Here is where most Christians fall short because of the misunderstood teachings about the Holy spirit that has come from the pulpit for century’s. Partakers; METOCHOS is Greek for sharing in, or partaking a partner. Jesus tells us in John 14:16 that He will pray the Father to give us another Helper and that this Helper would abide with us forever. In John 14:26 Jesus tells us this Helper will teach us all things and bring to remembrance all things Jesus has taught us. The Holy Spirit is the one who brings the Word of God to life in the heart of the believer. In John 15:26 Jesus tells us the Helper will testify of Jesus. This is greatly important in the life of a believer since the Devil’s sole purpose in life is to cause enough doubt that our unbelief undermines our faith. If he can cause us to go back into our old lifestyle, or turn to legalism, or man’s doctrine than we are no longer walking by faith where God’s power resides.
This third and progressive stage in a believer’s life is when they are taught and receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit which is the next step in drawing closer in our personal relationship with God through the blood of Jesus. The Christian begins to recognize their walk is more than just another religion, but is truly a revelation of the relationship God wants to have with us personally.
4. and have tasted the good word of God; Here is the same word tasted as in number two. To have tasted the Word of God is to have not only read it, but taken the time to meditate on it and allow it to sink in enough to become a part of who you are. Remembering that even in the natural a person is what they eat. If you eat junk food do not be surprised if you do not have the energy to fulfill your daily tasks or you become over weight. If you eat healthy food your body you can function better. When you digest the Word of God your spirit man becomes stronger, your revelation of truly what Jesus had done on the cross increases and your doubt in His power working in your life is decreased. This is of course providing you have received the Holy Spirit in criteria 3 and are being taught by someone who is also filled with the Holy Spirit. Remember that faith comes by hearing the word of God. Here is something very important to understand.
All scripture is for instruction and is from God, but all scripture does not point directly to the “gospel of Jesus Christ”. Some scripture, especially much of that found in the Old Testament only points out the impossibility of becoming righteous under human actions and therefore teaches the condemnation that comes with living against God’s will. The gospel of Jesus Christ points out His perfect work on the cross, and the complete removal of any requirement against man to be able to boldly come to God and receive His righteousness which is both complete and flawless. Hence, the gospel of Jesus Christ is scriptural, but not all scripture is about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Just because it is preached from the pulpit, does not mean the preaching is the gospel. Once again without fulfilling criteria 3 & 4, the born again Christian is left trying to understand spiritual truths with only natural carnal thinking.
5. and the powers of the age to come, The second half of verse 5 also refers back to the word tasted. Remembering the definition of GEUOMIA (tasted) one must have tried the flavor of, to partake, and to experience something personally. Think of it like this; if you have tasted or experienced the flavor of a Lemon, you know without a doubt what that Lemon tastes like when you see it. You will not look at a Lemon and wonder if it will taste the same as an Orange. The Greek word for powers is DUNAMIS, which not only means strength, but actually includes the ability and inherent power residing in a thing strictly by virtue of its nature. The Holy Spirit is powerful strictly because of who He is. The Greek word for age is AION, which means forever, perpetuity of time, and eternity. The Greek word for come is MELLO which means to be on the point of doing or suffering something. When you put all of verse 5, the final criteria together in its full Greek perspective the writer of Hebrews is stating this: And have experienced the power of the Holy Spirit, which is strictly because of who He is, in your life. And you understand that same power is in your life and is for an eternity starting from the moment you receive it and it will never end.
Can you see the progression of growth needed, for a believer to truly understand what they have? As a Christian you may have been (1) enlightened (about who Jesus is-mine) and (2) tasted the heavenly gift (received Him as your Lord & Savior-mine), but without receiving (3 partakers) of the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to help you (4) taste the good Word of God, and (5) have fully experienced the powers of the Holy spirit in your life, you as a believer are left to your own personal efforts with only natural carnal thinking to live, learn, and understand what you truly have in this life as God’s child.
The word away in verse 6 in Greek is PARAPIPTO means to intentionally deviate or turn aside from something or a specific path.
Ask yourself these three questions; 1. How can a person give away or relinquish something they truly do not possess? I cannot give your spouse, dog, money, home, or anything else away of yours because it is not mine in the first place. I don’t own it. 2. How can a person turn off a specific path if they are first on that specific path? 3. Finally if you truly know you are on the correct path to get where you need to be, and you make the conscience decision to go a different direction will you end up where you originally intended? No you end up somewhere else.
You cannot give away or lose what you do not own. Making the conscience decision to go another direction is not getting lost or stumbling, because it is a decisive action. Hence, for a Christian to stumble in sin or sit down from their walk with Christ because they have little to no strength to go on, is not making the conscience decision to go another way. That is why it is called stumbling. And to sit down is not going in a different direction; it is truly just stopped moving. And you cannot make a conscience decision to turn off of the correct path, if you actually are not on the correct path in the first place. The writer of Hebrews is telling the Jewish converts, many of whom have met all of these five criteria, that if they make the conscious decision to go back under the Law of Moses, there is no other repentance. Why is this truth? To make a conscious decision to turn away from something is to show shame to what you have turned away from. Remember Jesus telling His disciples that if they are not received by a household or a city, to dust off their feet and go on as a testimony against them, Mark 6:11.
The truth is you cannot simply slip away, stumble, or lose your salvation. If you believe in Jesus’ perfect work on the cross with your heart and confess this with your mouth you are saved, Romans 10:8-10. And the power of this statement rests in the words of Jesus as recorded in John 3:16-18.
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