6 So we should be finished with the beginning lessons about Christ. We should not have to keep going back to where we started. We began our new life by turning away from the evil we did in the past and by believing in God. That’s when we were taught about baptisms,[a] laying hands on people,[b] the resurrection of those who have died, and the final judgment. Now we need to go forward to more mature teaching. 3 And that’s what we will do if God allows.
4-6 After people have left the way of Christ, can you make them change their lives again? I am talking about people who once learned the truth, received God’s gift, and shared in the Holy Spirit. They were blessed to hear God’s good message and see the great power of his new world. But then they left it all behind, and it is not possible to make them change again. That’s because those who leave Christ are nailing him to the cross again, shaming him before everyone.
7 Some people are like land that gets plenty of rain and produces a good crop for those who farm it. That kind of land has God’s blessing. 8 But other people are like land that grows only thorns and weeds. It is worthless and in danger of being cursed by God. It will be destroyed by fire.
9 Dear friends, I am not saying this because I think it is happening to you. We really expect that you will do better—that you will do the good things that will result in your salvation. 10 God is fair, and he will remember all the work you have done. He will remember that you showed your love to him by helping his people and that you continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to be willing and eager to show your love like that the rest of your life. Then you will be sure to get what you hope for. 12 We don’t want you to be lazy. We want you to be like those who, because of their faith and patience, will get what God has promised.
13 God made a promise to Abraham. And there is no one greater than God, so he made the promise with an oath in his own name—an oath that he would do what he promised. 14 He said, “I will surely bless you. I will give you many descendants.”[c] 15 Abraham waited patiently for this to happen, and later he received what God promised.
16 People always use the name of someone greater than themselves to make a promise with an oath. The oath proves that what they say is true, and there is no more arguing about it. 17 God wanted to prove that his promise was true. He wanted to prove this to those who would get what he promised. He wanted them to understand clearly that his purposes never change. So God said something would happen, and he proved what he said by adding an oath. 18 These two things cannot change: God cannot lie when he says something, and he cannot lie when he makes an oath.
So these two things are a great help to us who have come to God for safety. They encourage us to hold on to the hope that is ours. 19 This hope is like an anchor for us. It is strong and sure and keeps us safe. It goes behind the curtain.[d] 20 Jesus has already entered there and opened the way for us. He has become the high priest forever, just like Melchizedek.
- Hebrews 6:1 baptisms The word here may mean the baptism (brief ‘burial’ in water) of believers in Christ, or it may mean Jewish ceremonial washings.
- Hebrews 6:1 laying hands on people This act was a way of asking God to bless people in a special way—to heal them, to cause the Holy Spirit to come into them, or to give them power for a special work.
- Hebrews 6:14
Quote from Gen. 22:17.
- Hebrews 6:19 curtain The spiritual curtain in the heavenly temple, which was symbolized by the physical one that separated the inner sanctuary (and God’s presence) from the other room in the Holy Tent and in the Jerusalem Temple. See “curtain” in the Word List. Also in 10:20.