The Passion Translation
Moving On to Deeper Truth
6 Now is the time for us to progress beyond the basic message of Christ[a] and advance into perfection. The foundation has already been laid for us to build upon: turning away from our dead works[b] to embrace faith in God, 2 teaching about different baptisms,[c] impartation by the laying on of hands,[d] resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 So with God’s enablement[e] we will move on to deeper truths.
A Warning to Never Turn Away
4 It is impossible to restore an apostate.[f] For once a person has come into God’s light, and tasted the gifts of the heavenly realm, and has received the Holy Spirit,[g] 5 and feasted on the good Word of God, and has entered into the power of the age that is breaking in,[h] 6 if he abandons his faith, there is no use even trying to lead him to repentance. By their sin of apostasy[i] they re-crucify the Son of God,[j] and have publicly repudiated him.[k]
7 For men’s hearts are just like the soil that drinks up the showers which often fall upon it. Some soil will yield crops as God’s blessing upon the field. 8 But if the field continues to produce only thorns and thistles[l] a curse hangs over it and it will be burned.
9 Even though we speak like this, beloved, we are fully convinced that there are more beautiful and excellent things, which flow from your salvation.[m]
10 For God, the Faithful One, is not unfair.[n] How can he forget[o] the beautiful work you have done for him? He remembers the love you demonstrate as you continually serve[p] his beloved ones[q] for the glory of his name. 11 But we long to see you passionately advance until the end and you find your hope fulfilled. 12 So don’t allow your hearts to grow dull[r] or lose your enthusiasm, but follow the example of those who fully received what God has promised[s] because of their strong faith and patient endurance.[t]
God’s Faithful Promise
13 Now when God made a promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater than himself, he swore an oath on his own integrity[u] to keep the promise as sure as God exists! 14 So he said,
“Have no doubt, I promise to bless you over and over,
and give you a son and multiply you without measure!”
15 So Abraham waited patiently in faith and succeeded in seeing the promise fulfilled.[v] 16 It is very common for people to swear an oath by something greater than themselves, for the oath will confirm their statements and end all dispute. 17 So in the same way, God wanted to end all doubt and confirm it even more forcefully to those who would inherit his promises. His purpose was unchangeable, so God added his vow to the promise. 18 So it is impossible for God to lie for we know that his promise and his vow will never change!
And now we have run into his heart to hide ourselves in his faithfulness. This is where we find his strength and comfort, for he empowers us to seize what has already been established ahead of time—an unshakable hope! 19 We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat[w] in the heavenly realm beyond the sacred threshold,[x] 20 and where Jesus, our forerunner,[y] has gone in before us. He is now and forever our royal Priest like Melchizedek.[z]
- 6:1 Or “the Word [Logos] of the beginning of Christ.”
- 6:1 Or “useless deeds.” “Dead works” are the attempts of people to please God through religion, keeping religious laws and traditions, and serving others to gain influence with God. There was one “work” that brings life to all, that was the work of Christ on the cross.
- 6:2 The New Testament speaks of seven baptisms, including the baptism of fire, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the baptism of suffering (Jesus’ cross), the baptism into the cloud, the baptism into Moses, the baptism of repentance, and water baptism.
- 6:2 This was done in the Old and New Testaments to heal, to bless others, to impart the Holy Spirit and his gifts, to identify with a person (or sacrifice), and to release others to their calling and ministry.
- 6:3 Or “If God entrusts it to us.” The Aramaic uses here the title for God “the Lord YHWH.”
- 6:4 That is, one who has abandoned their faith. Because of the extraordinary length of the Greek sentence, this summary statement implied in the text is given here at the beginning of the paragraph for the sake of English narrative. To say it is impossible does not mean that God cannot bring them to repentance, but that he chooses to leave them in their hardened state, much like Pharaoh who hardened his heart to God. The Aramaic is very clear, “they cannot be renewed to conversion.”
- 6:4 Or “has been in [business] partnership with the Holy Spirit.”
- 6:5 Or “the age that is about to come.”
- 6:6 As translated from the Aramaic and implied in the Greek.
- 6:6 Or “it is impossible to crucify the Son of God again for them to change their own minds!”
- 6:6 Or “have made a public spectacle of him.” The Aramaic can be translated “insulted the Son of God.”
- 6:8 These are the consequences of sin from the time of Adam. See Gen. 3:18.
- 6:9 Or “things which cling to salvation.”
- 6:10 The Aramaic can be translated “God is not evil.”
- 6:10 He won’t remember our sins, but will remember our works of loving service to others.
- 6:10 The Greek text implies financially providing for others.
- 6:10 Or “saints” (or “holy ones”).
- 6:12 The Greek word for “dull of heart” is nothros, which is taken from a root word meaning “illegitimate child.” The implication is that we don’t see ourselves as a child of illegitimacy, but as a child of intimacy, and that keeps our relationship fervent and passionate.
- 6:12 The Aramaic can be translated “to those who were heirs of the royal proclamation.”
- 6:12 The Aramaic can be translated “because of their faith and the outpouring of the Spirit.”
- 6:13 See Gen. 22:16–17.
- 6:15 That is, through the birth of Isaac. The Aramaic is fascinating, for the name of Abraham is not in the Greek text in this verse: “And he [God] bestowed his Spirit and he [Abraham] received the kingdom.”
- 6:19 Implied in the text and made explicit as that which is found inside the innermost chamber.
- 6:19 As translated from the Aramaic, which is literally “beyond the faces of the door.”
- 6:20 Or “trailblazer.” Jesus has blazed a trail for us to enter into the sacred chamber and seize the hope that has been fulfilled in his eyes already, to have a company of king-priests who will dwell with him in the holiest of holies and minister from there out to the nations of the earth. The clear implication of vv. 19–20 is that he takes us in to share his throne and his ministry as the royal Priest.
- 6:20 Or “in the order [likeness] of Melchizedek.”