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1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
SUMMARY OF PRINCIPLES.
1. Religion is that system of means by which the breach made by sin between God and man is repaired, and the wound inflicted upon the latter is healed.
2. Man's defilement was first a matter of conscience, and then corporeal. For this cause, his purification is first a cleansing of his understanding, sentiments, and affections, and afterwards, the perfecting of his body by spiritualizing it at the resurrection.
3. An evil conscience is made manifest by the truth, and is evinced by shame, and by "doubts and fears."
4. A good conscience is characterized by a full assurance of faith and hope, founded upon an understanding of the gospel of the kingdom in the name of Jesus, and an obedience to it. The obedience of faith gives the subject "the answer of a good conscience."
5. A seared conscience has no compunctions. It is that condition of thinking flesh which results from the absence of all divine knowledge, and habitual sin. It is incurable.
6. Religion is a system of faith and practice.
7. The faith of religion embraces what God has done, what He promises to do, and what He teaches in His Word; all of which is presented for the elaboration of a Godlike disposition, termed "the divine nature," in the believer.
8. To be of any value religion must be entirely of divine appointment.
9. The obedience of religion is a conformity to "the law of faith," resulting from the belief of "the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ." It is termed "the obedience of faith; for believers only can yield it."
10. The repentance of religion is the thinking contrary to the flesh, and in harmony with the testimony of God, accompanied with an Abrahamic disposition as the consequence of believing it.
11. The morality of religion is the taking care of the widows and orphans of Christ's flock, and "keeping one's self unspotted from the world." Collectively, it is the "fruits meet for repentance."
12. Religion hath its "elements," which are styled "weak and beggarly." These are "days, and years, and months, and times," "meat and drink," sacrifices, ablutions, ordinances of divine service, holy places, veils, altars, censers, cherubim, mercy-seats, holy days, sabbaths, &c., "which were a shadow of things to come; but the substance is of Christ" (Col. 2:17).
13. The elementary doctrinal principles of religion are few and simple, and no other reason can be given for them than that God wills them. They may be thus stated:
a. No sinner can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him; that he should still live for ever, and not see corruption (Psalm 49:7-9).
b. Sin cannot be covered, or remitted, without the shedding of blood.
c. The blood of animals cannot take away sin.
d. Sin must be condemned in sinful flesh innocent of transgression.
e. Sins must be covered by a garment derived from the purification-sacrifice made living by a resurrection.
14. To be naked is to be in an unpardoned state.
15. The proximate principles of religion are "repentance from dead works, faith towards God, doctrine of baptisms, and of the laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment" (Heb. 6:1, 2).
Elpis Israel 2.5.
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the holy spirit,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
Many feel this passage teaches that a backslider in the Truth cannot be saved. Judaism breeds a sense of insufficiency in the cross of Christ, and this is what is at the heart of Heb 6:4,6 - to fall away from the true faith, and embrace another. Such are apostates.
The apostle Paul is not talking about those who through weakness of the flesh become backsliders, but of those who wilfully, and openly renounce Christ and become apostates. This is made clear in Heb 10:26,27,28,29,39.
Note that the context of the previous and following few chapters have to do with those who embraced Christ, but go back to the weak and beggarly elements, the Mosaic Law, thinking they can be forgiven by the blood of bulls and goats, rather than accepting the blood of THE Lamb for the remission of their sins.
Christ would have to repeat the cost of that salvation: the shameful, painful public execution, and the separation from God. In such an unconverted state, apostates cannot be saved.
Sis. Valerie Mello [in isolation, TN, USA] Comment added in 2011
12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself
14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.
15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
The verb "inherit" [v12] is here used indefinitely, and may be past, present, or future, or all together at the same time, according to the nature of the subject. Supposing, therefore, the allusion is to the promise of eternal life and the kingdom of God, it settles nothing as to the question when these are possessed: the scope of the tense would have to be governed by the facts of the case. But the context shows that the allusion was to a past occurrence.
Paul immediately adds, "For when God made promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, He sware by Himself, saying, Surely blessing, I will bless thee, and multiplying, I will multiply thee; and so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise."-(Heb. vi. 13, 15.) The reference is therefore to the promise of a multitudinous posterity, which Abraham began to realise before his death. When the promise was given, Sarah was old and barren, and there was no human probability of his having seed; but after patient faith, the promise was fulfilled.
But that Abraham is inheriting the promises, in so far as they involved eternal life and the kingdom of God, is contrary to Paul's express declaration. "These all (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, &c.,) died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off."-(Heb. xi. 13.)
The Ambassador of the Coming Age, April 1868,
19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
Now such a citizen is in a waiting position. His faith lays hold of Christ within the veil. His thinking concentrates there. On earth bodily, his mind is anchored within the veil (Heb, vi. 19); for the "anchor of his soul" is the hope of Christ's departure from the far country where he now is; and that he may unveil himself, the veil of mortal flesh being no longer a curtain excluding the believer from "seeing him as he is" (1 John iii. 2).
His hope is, the manifestation of Jesus out of heaven. Thus, he is looking, or waiting, for him, that he may come and remodel or transform him in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. xv. 51,52); or, if he may have been previously "laid aside" in the earth, that he may build him up, and convert his mortal remains into "a house not made with hands," that it may become a habitation for God, who shall dwell in it by Spirit (Eph. ii. 22) -- a habitation produced by Jesus Christ, the life-imparting Spirit, at his appearing and therefore styled our habitation from heaven.