Hebrews 6 is a challenging chapter. Several of my friends and I are reading through this chapter each day this week (our Bible study is described here) and then, on Sunday, we will write each other a brief email highlighting something we got out of the chapter before we move on to Hebrews 7.
I want us to focus this morning not on the possibility of one losing his or her salvation, but on the benefits of being in the family of God. Here are the verses I’m thinking about:
There is much here, but I want to list and briefly discuss each of the five benefits of salvation highlighted here by the author of Hebrews. The text speaks of
THOSE WHO HAVE —
1. ONCE BEEN ENLIGHTENED
2. TASTED THE HEAVENLY GIFT
3. SHARED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
4. TASTED THE GOODNESS OF THE WORD OF GOD
5. TASTED THE POWERS OF THE COMING AGE
Although I don’t believe the Bible teaches that a genuine believers can lose his salvation, these expressions sure sound like true salvation, don’t they? If this is not a description of a born-again person, it certainly seems to be true of one incredibly close to the family of God.
Let’s think about each of these descriptions for a few moments. This person has —
1. “once been enlightened”– Would you describe your coming to Christ with those words? You’ve been “enlightened”? God, by His grace, opened your eyes and you saw your sin and His holiness and you fled to the Lord Jesus for forgiveness? Light broke into your soul and you saw the truth!
2. “tasted the heavenly gift” — How fascinating that the writer uses the sense of taste to describe one’s salvation. What is the “gift” to which he refers? The gift of salvation? Forgiveness of sins? A place in God’s family? And notice please that this gift is “the heavenly gift.” We don’t earn it; it is not of this earth. It is direct from heaven to us through the Incarnate Son of God.
3. “shared in the Holy Spirit” — As some of you know, I’ve been working on a book on the Spirit of God and how we can and should develop a “relationship” with Him. What do we “share” in the Holy Spirit? We share our bond in the Lord Jesus. We share God’s purpose in reaching the world for Christ. We share in the gifts the Spirit gives to build up Christ’s Body, the Church. The unbeliever does not have the Holy Spirit, is not indwelt by the Holy Spirit, cannot have fellowship with the Holy Spirit. And consequently has nothing to share.
4. “tasted the goodness of the Word of God” — This is the writer’s second reference to tasting. How fascinating! We “taste” the goodness of God’s Word. We are challenged in Psalm 34:8 to “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” If we are feasting on God’s Word, we are tasting of its goodness, its relevance, its incredible practicality in our lives.
5. “tasted the powers of the coming age” — This is the writer’s third reference to tasting. I really don’t know what is meant here, to be quite honest. Perhaps it is the idea that God’s power breaks into our present age through miracles and the conviction of the Holy Spirit in changing lives, through the powerful preaching of God’s Word, etc. Are such truths a foretaste of what heaven will be like? Your thoughts on this point?
Conclusion: Again, my purpose in this post is not to argue if a genuine child of God can get lost. I want us to concentrate on and thank God for the five benefits we have in presently knowing Christ. And why would anyone give those up?