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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 6

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12Let us stop discussing the rudiments of Christianity. We ought not to be laying the foundation all over again: repentance from the deadness of our former ways and faith in God, by means of instruction about cleansing rites and the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgement. Instead, let us advance towards maturity; 3and so we shall, if God permits. 4For when people have once been enlightened, when they have tasted the heavenly gift and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5when they have experienced the goodness of God's word and the spiritual power of the age to come, 6and then after all this have fallen away, it is impossible to bring them afresh to repentance; for they are crucifying a 6:6 crucifying: or crucifying again. to their own hurt the Son of God and holding him up to mockery. 7When the soil drinks in the rain that falls often upon it, and yields a crop for the use of those who cultivate it, it receives its blessing from God; 8but if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and a curse hangs over it; it ends by being burnt.

9Yet although we speak as we do, we are convinced that you, dear friends, are in a better state, which makes for your salvation. 10For God is not so unjust as to forget what you have done for love of his name in rendering service to his people, as you still do. 11But we should dearly like each one of you to show the same keenness to the end, until your hope is fully realized. 12We want you not to be lax, but to imitate those who, through faith and patience, receive the promised inheritance.

13When God made his promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater to swear by he swore by himself: 14‘I vow that I will bless you abundantly and multiply your descendants.’ 15Thus it was that Abraham, after patient waiting, obtained the promise. 16People swear by what is greater than themselves, and making a statement on oath sets a limit to what can be called in question; 17and so, since God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of his promise how immutable was his purpose, he guaranteed it by an oath. 18Here, then, are two irrevocable acts in which God could not possibly play us false. They give powerful encouragement to us, who have laid claim to his protection by grasping b 6:18 They give … grasping: or They give to us, who have laid claim to his protection, a powerful encouragement to grasp. the hope set before us. 19We have that hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure. It enters the sanctuary behind the curtain, 20where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner, having become high priest for ever in the order of Melchizedek.

Notes:

a 6:6 crucifying: or crucifying again.

b 6:18 They give … grasping: or They give to us, who have laid claim to his protection, a powerful encouragement to grasp.

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