Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Saving Faith- Hebrews 6

I wish I could skip over this passage but I won't.

"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the Word of God and the powers of the coming age, if the fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace."  Hebrews 6:4-6

Read that again without filling in your Christianese "once saved always saved" line.  Read what it says and you'll see this is a hard, hard passage.

It says it is impossible for someone to be brought to repentance if they turn away from Christ.  Those are scary words.  The writer of Hebrews is talking about apostasy.

You may ask, "What about the old line 'once saved always saved'?"  This passage seems to refute that old line.  Let me first say that the phrase "once saved always saved" is found nowhere in Scripture.  However, the promise of a blessed assurance is written all over Scripture; in fact Hebrews 6 talks about a believer's assurance.

So, why does this passage seem to contradict "once saved always saved"?

I'll argue that this passage does not refute the promise of assurance.  I'll argue that the old line should be amended to "once truly saved always saved".  Here's what I mean, saying the believers prayer does not necessarily make you a Christian.  Knowledge of our Savior does not necessarily save you.  Being a church member does not necessarily mean you'll be saved.  There can be faith that doesn't lead to salvation, and then there is saving faith.

What's the difference?  Well, I don't know if I can answer that perfectly.  But here's one thing I know:  If you believe that you need Jesus and His saving work, do you think you could turn your back on Him?  Seriously, if you believe that Jesus is the only way to avoid eternal damnation wouldn't you be certifiably insane to commit apostasy?  I can't perfectly define saving faith, but I do know that saving faith is one that recognizes 1) a need for a savior and 2) that Jesus Christ alone is that savior.

So, what do we do with this tough passage?  "We want each of you to show... diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure."  Hebrews 6:11  As Paul said, "... work out your salvation with fear and trembling."  Philippians 2:12

Again, I wish I could skip over this passage and I guarantee that the next passage from Hebrews 6 will be much more encouraging.  But a mature Christian faith doesn't skip over tough passages.  This is some of the solid food I wrote about yesterday.

Check yourself.  Do you have a saving faith?  If not, ask Jesus to give you saving faith today.

No comments:

Post a Comment