Can someone explain these passages in a teen fashion:)

Hebrews 6:1-6 reads like this:

"1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.

“4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6 if they 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.”
Can you explain this to me in a simplistic manner if possible:)
Thanks and
God Bless you!

It just means, believe what you have been taught about the Sacraments, and persevere in your faith.

Treat your faith like a priceless treasure; don’t lose it or take it for granted, since Christ died for you once on the Cross for your sins - don’t throw that away by committing more sins after Baptism, because there is no other way for you to be saved.

He is using hyperbole to make a point; obviously you can go to Confession if you sin after Baptism, but he is saying, don’t be presumptuous about it, or careless.

You picked an interesting passage, StephenL, as this section gives scriptural warrant to three of the Catholic sacraments that many Protestants deny: Baptism, and we believe the “laying on of hands” refers to Confirmation (as the term is used the same way in Acts 8:14-17 and Acts 19:4-7), and there is a clear reference to Confession (or Reconciliation, as you crazy teens call it these days):slight_smile:

If I recall correctly the context is that the audience is demanding advanced theology, and in verses one through three the author is saying “ok, if you think you are ready for it, let’s leave off these basic subjects we have talked so much about and move on to a more advanced topic” (the priesthood of Christ, as it will turn out).

Verses four through six have confounded so many interpreters. It seems to fly in the face of what we believe about free will and repentance. Interestingly it also challenges the theology of Calvinists in a different way, since they deny the possibility of falling away, so really there are almost no Christians who don’t find this challenging at first glance.

I suppose there are probably two main things that have to be remembered.

The first is that it may be hyperbole (exaggeration to make a point). The author may be referring to the practical impossibility of converting apostates, not asserting an absolute impossibility for any of them returning.

The second point is that the author may still be talking about why he is consenting to address such an advanced theological concept as this. The faithful insist they are ready for such “meat”, and on the other hand it would be a waste of energy for him to address the members of the community who have fallen away since they have tasted the sweetness of the Gospel and rejected it anyway. Therefore he will go ahead and discuss this advanced topic of Christ’s priesthood.

Just some ideas.

Arizona Mike; Baptism, and we believe the “laying on of hands” refers to Confirmation (as the term is used the same way in Acts 8:14-17 and Acts 19:4-7), and there is a clear reference to Confession (or Reconciliation, as you crazy teens call it these days):slight_smile:

I read Jimmy Akin’s take on these passages and I didn’t get it. I believe in all these things I am just curious how you got that out of these passages. Could you please explain?:wink:

FWIW - from what I remember from our Catholic bible study of this, they said the author was specifically addressing Christians who renounced their beliefs to avoid martyrdom (while, of course others of the group were being put to death for their fate). Under those circumstances, I could understand why “it is impossible for those…to be brought back”.

Of course, since all scripture speaks to us today as much as it does to the intended audience, I’d take it as an admonishment to not take the gift of God for granted, and that my behavior should reflect publicly the love of God.

Actually someone who out of fear renounced Christianity to avoid martyrdom was very likely to repent and desire to come back to the Church. There were disputes over this in the early centuries, and the Catholic Church sided with those who said such people should be welcomed back mercifully. At the time Hebrews was written though such martyrdom was only a sporadic thing at least outside the city of Rome. More likely John is referring to the kind of apostates we see today, who have completely voluntarily rejected the Catholic Faith.

Interesting :slight_smile: Thank you for the info.

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