New Testament Commentary - Hebrews Chapter 6

by Don R. Hender

Scriptural Text [& Editorial]
Commentary & Explanation
Footnotes ~ References ~ JST
              CHAPTER 6

Let us go on to perfection—Sons of perdition crucify Christ afresh—God swears with an oath that the faithful shall be saved.

Advancing on beyond the foundational articles of adoption we are to go on in the strait and narrow path unto perfection—Sons of perdition crucity Christ afresh as part of the unpardonable sin—God swears with an oath and covenant that the faithful shall be saved.

Pressing Forward To Perfection

Because of the false interpretation of certain Traditional Christians of 'leaving' the basic principles of the doctrine of Christ in the sense that they are no longer needed, the Prophet Joseph Smith has taught concerning such false interpretations of Paul's word that, "Heb 6th contradictions 'Leaving the principles of the doctrine of crist. [Christ] if a man leave the principles of the doctrine of C. how can he be saved in the principles? a contradiction. I dont believe it. I will render it therefore not leaving the P. of the doctrin of crist. &c. Resurrection of the dead & eternal judgement. one thing to see the kingdom & another to be in it. Must have a change of heart to see the kingdom of God. & subscribe the articles of adoption to enter therein." (The Words of Joseph Smith, p. 256) Not that Paul was incorrect, but that certain have rendered the wrong interpretation. Nephi has basically stated the same thing as Paul and Joseph Smith when speaking of the Doctrine of Christ and the need to continue on beyond it to perfection when he states, "And now, my beloved brethern, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save. Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." (2 Nephi 31:19-20 see all of Chapter 31 for a complete discusion of the Doctrine of Christ)

  1 THEREFORE aleaving the principles of the adoctrine of Christa, let us go on unto bperfection; not laying again the foundation of crepentance from dead worksb, and of faith toward God,
  2 Of the adoctrine of bbaptisms, and of claying on of dhands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
  3 aAnd this will we do, if God permit.

Doctrine of Christ 
Paul sets out well the basic foundation of the 'Doctrine of Christ'. In one sense it is that basic understanding which one has upon entering the gate, yet upon another, it also sets out the principles and process by which one continues along the path. What is the basic foundational Doctrine of Christ? Let's not from Paul, it is faith and repentance, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and repentance for the remission of sin. It is the doctrine of baptism or the coming of new life by birth of taking upon one's self the name of Christ, becoming his son or daughter. And it is the laying on of hands for the reciept of the Holy Ghost, which will teach a man all that he will then need to know to continue on, to walk the path to eternal life. It is the understanding that by, in and through Christ we do live again in the resurection of the dead and that we will be eternally judged, and this according to our continued life of endurance to the end in living by the word of God, his commandments as confirmed to us by the Holy Spirit.
It begins with the first principles and ordinances of the gosepl, which principles never cease but are to be exercised unto life eternal for they are the process of receiving by faith, repenting and turning to God in all things line upon line, precept upon precept, renewing our life in him on to perfection as we learn what more we are to do as set forth by the witness of the Holy Ghost, who teaches us all things that we must do.(See also 2 Nephi chapter 31 which speaks also of the Doctrine of Christ)
 1a the principles of the doctrine of Christ The first four principles of the 'doctrine of Christ' are faith in God/Jesus Chrsit, Repentance, Baptism/rebirth, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. That is the fundamental 'system' of man's progression unto salvation in hope of the resurrection unto God's glory according to the judgments of Christ.
 1b repentance from dead works Now Paul is NOT preaching against the performance of good works, keeping the commandments and righteous living. 'God forbid. What Paul has reference to is that the mere keeping of the rules and commandments of the Jews in and of themselves are but 'dead works'. That is not works performed according to that first great work of faith in Christ, are dead unto salvation. For there is no other way but by Christ. Thus one's works must be performed 'in Christ' unto salvation. 'Dead works' are those performed without faith in Christ, without the gate of Christ, which Paul is speaking of here as the doctrine of Chrsit, the very 'foundation' to one's salvation, that is 'faith in God, repentance, baptism and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. This is Paul's context. All 'works' to be 'living works' must be perform inconjunction with one's 'faith in Christ'. Else they are but 'dead works' not having the Savior's stamp of approval unto salvation. There is 'NO OTHER WAY' but by Christ. Works in and of themselves, without it, are but 'dead works' and afford man nothing.
  4 For it is impossible for those who were once aenlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
  5 And have atasted the good word of God, and the powers of the bworld to come,
  6 If they shall afall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they bcrucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open cshame.
  7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs ameet for them by whom it is bdressed, receiveth blessing from God:
  8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto acursing; whose end is to be burned.
  9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
  10 For God is not aunrighteous to forget your work and blabour of clove, which ye have shewed toward his dname, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
  11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same adiligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
  12 That ye be not aslothful, but followers of them who through bfaith and cpatience inherit the dpromises.
  13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could aswear by no greater, he bsware by himself,
  14 Saying, Surely blessing I will abless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.
  15 And so, after he had patiently aendured, he obtained the promise.
  16 For men verily swear by the greater: and an aoath for confirmation is to them an end of all bstrife.
  17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his acounsel, bconfirmed it by an coath:
  18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to alie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for brefuge to lay hold upon the chope set before us:
  19 Which hope we have as an aanchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the bveil;
  20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an ahigh priest for ever after the order of Melchisedeca.
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