The Law of Sin and Death & the Unpardonable Sin

(Chapter 6)

Fred R. Coulter—July 27, 2002

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Hebrews 6 has some very important things after we covered how people

  • are sluggish
  • had gone backward spiritually
  • had need of milk
  • weren't skilled in using the Word of Righteousness
  • hadn't trained their senses to discern good and evil

That's the whole purpose of using the Spirit of God and growing in grace and knowledge and understanding the things of the Word of God, and understanding how to live in the world while it is evil. Yet, at the same time, you are able to live righteously.

Hebrews 6:1: "Therefore, advancing beyond the beginning principles of the doctrines of Christ, we should go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith in God." Let's just take that one verse and we'll add a few Scriptures to it and expand on it a little bit more.

Here's the way that you grow into perfection, Eph. 4. Growing in perfection is a joint operation of each individual Christian and the ministry. Those that are teaching should also teach themselves. In other words, if the Word of God and the Holy Spirit is able to help each individual Christian grow in grace and knowledge, which it is, then every minister or elder has to diligently apply himself to 'rightly divide the Word of God' and know the Word of God and grow in grace and knowledge himself, and to teach himself so that he can also teach the brethren. The ultimate of what Jesus said is, 'It's sufficient that the disciples become as the teacher.' Since we are all disciples of Christ, what God expects us to do is to grow into the perfection of Christ, Who is the One Who is doing the teaching.

You need a human teacher to teach you, but the One Who is actually doing the teaching is Christ, through His Word and through His Spirit. Therefore, that is why it is a joint operation. If the teachers are not growing in grace and knowledge and teaching the brethren, and also themselves, then you end up in a sandbox situation, and you always stay with just the basics. You can never graduate out of third grade, or never get out of the sandbox!
Ephesians 4:11: "And He gave some asapostles, and some prophets…" Not necessarily foretelling future events. This means they are telling, under inspiration, the Word of God.

"…and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers… [here's the only reason for it]: …for the perfecting of the saints… [that ties right in with Heb. 6:1, go on to perfection] …for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ" (vs 11-12)—for the up-building; from the same Greek word as to build, as in build a building.

That's why in Heb. 6 that Paul is using the foundation, the beginning foundations. If you lay the foundation of a house, you only have the foundation. You've got to go on. You've got to frame it, plumb it, wire it, do the interior, the exterior, and put on the roof. Then after you get it done, as you all know, through the years what do you have? Maintenance! Rebuilding! Remodeling! All of those things go along with it. All of that is likened unto the edifying of the Body of Christ:

  • it has to be built
  • it has to be modified
  • it has to be proved
  • it has to be perfected

Verse 13: "Until we all…" I love that, because that shows that the ministers and the brethren are all brethren, and Christ is our older brother.

"…come into… [it is a process] …the unity of the faith… [it's a process, because you don't have unity of faith all at once] …and of the knowledge of the Son of God… [and you grow in that] …unto a perfect man… [a perfectly spiritually mature individual] …unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (v 13).

This one verse tells us that growing in Christian grace and knowledge and understanding—and all of the things that are defined there—is a lifelong project. Since it is, God has given us His Word, which is a lifelong study book to understand how we come to eternal life. This ties in with Heb. 6:1, that we go beyond the basic principles.

Verse 14: "So that we no longer be children, tossed and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men…"

Let me just say, today we've got more of that than ever before. You've really got to be careful. You have to know! Remember, Jesus said that in the end there would be many false prophets arise, deceive many and even do great signs and wonders insomuch that even the elect might be deceived. That's their whole idea. If you've got the whole world deceived, who does Satan want to go after that he doesn't have deceived?

  • those that have the Spirit of God
  • those that know the Word of God
  • those who are not deceived

Those are the ones he's going to go after. That's why it has to be a constant diligence.

"…in cunning craftiness… [they always figure out a new way to do it] (they lie in wait to deceive [KJV]): …with a view to the systematizing of the error" (v 14). They don't think they're lying in wait to deceive, but they are. They're trying to bring new doctrine and so forth. But if it doesn't square up with the Word of God and if we don't do like the Bereans and 'search the Scriptures whether these things are so,' then deception can creep in, and we've already seen how that has happened.

It's interesting in the Greek—"…with a view to the systematizing of the error" or the deception—which is actually a prophecy of the Christian religious system of this world. Is it not systematized? Is the error not canonized in their own writings and so forth? Yes, indeed! This is actually a prophecy of it.

Here's the solution, v 15: "But holding the Truth in love, may in all things grow up into Him…"

  • to have the mind of Christ
  • to think with the words of Christ
  • to judge things
  • by the Holy Spirit of God in you
  • the Word of God in you

"…Who is the Head, even Christ from Whom all the body, fitly framed and compacted together by that which every joint supplies…" (vs 15-16).

We all have a part to put in it, every single one of us! If you don't think the smallest part needs care, just break your little toe one time and you'll find out. You'll find out that what you consider the smallest or least is really a problem if you don't have it. Or what if you get a little canker sore in the inside of your mouth and every time you speak you bite down on it and pain shoots up and down the side of your mouth. It's the same way with the Body of Christ. I would have to say a lot of it is in bad shape today. I don't know what we can do to help them. I don't know how we can reach out to them to show them the right way, but God will have to open the door and make that possible.

Here's the substance of the whole thing, v 16: "…according to its inner working in the measure of each individual part, is making the increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."

We can see where Christ laid the groundwork for this right in the Sermon on the Mount, which talks about going on to perfection. This shows the goal not only of Christ, but also of God the Father.

Matthew 5:48: "Therefore, you shall be perfect, even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect." That's a tall order! It's not achievable by your own works, but by:

  • the Spirit of God
  • the grace of God
  • the mercy of God
  • the love of God

That's a perfection that we are to reach to.

Paul is telling us back here in Heb. 6 that unless we go beyond the foundation, the beginning principles of Christ, we can't do it. The Apostle Peter in 2-Pet. 1 shows the steps of doing it. I'm not going to expound it because we have the in the sermon series on The Epistles of Peter—how we are to grow into perfection. That perfection is stated here by Peter as the Divine nature. We all have human nature. The goal for perfection is to have the Divine nature, which will not be accomplished fully until the resurrection.

2-Peter 1:1: "Simon Peter a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained the same precious faith as ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ." That's how it is accomplished. That righteousness comes from God the Father and Jesus Christ through:

  • repentance
  • growing and overcoming
  • studying the Word of God

That righteousness then is imputed to us as a gift! We will see how important that is when we come to what is committing the unpardonable sin. God dealing with us in His graciousness, mercy and love, giving of this righteousness is a fantastic thing!

That's why it's very, very important that in dealing with each other we need to forgive and forget just like God does. If you remember past sins and offenses that have been committed against you and the person has changed, then you haven't forgiven. That becomes a stumbling block in your perfection and your relationship with God.

Likewise with your own sins, those sins, which are repentable, you also need to ask God to give you forgetfulness of that, because every time you think of it again you remind God of it again. God being perfect, He can forget it and put it away and remove it from us as 'far as the east is from the west.' That's the righteousness that Peter is talking about here.

Verse 2: "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, according as His Divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and Godliness, through the knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and virtue" (vs 2-3). That's how we're perfected. So, when Paul says 'let us go on to perfection' it has a lot to do with:

  • growing
  • developing
  • using the Word of God
  • being led of the Spirit of God

Verse 4: "Through which He has given to us the greatest and most precious promises…" Understand that no one else in the world has the promises given to them at this time! That's why 'many are called but few are chosen.'

"…that through these… [promises] …you may become partakers of the Divine nature…"  (v 4). That is the ultimate of the perfection that God wants us to have. And obviously being a human being—and as we have learned by going through the book of Job—human works cannot equal Divine nature. The greatest that human works can do are human works. Regardless of how righteous we are, of ourselves we still have sinful human nature. Therefore, there can never be any true perfection by works of themselves. It has to be Christ in you, which is of itself a Divine gift of God.

"…having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And for this very reason also…" (vs 4-5). He gives a step-by-step way to grow to perfection, and the ultimate of that is Godly love.

"…having applied all diligence besides, add to your faith, virtue… [right behavior] …and to virtue, knowledge… [grow in grace and knowledge] …and to knowledge, self-control… [led by the Holy Spirit] …and to self-control, endurance; and to endurance, Godliness" (vs 5-6). So, there's a process that takes place.

Verse 7: "And to Godliness, brotherly love; and to brotherly love, the love of God." This is the goal and the agenda that is set out for us on a lifelong growth in our Christian life and walking in the way of the Lord.

Verse 8: "For if these things exist and abound in you… [they are living, acting and growing] …they will cause you to be neither lacking effort nor lacking fruit in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

That's how to avoid the pitfalls of Heb. 5 of becoming dull of hearing, becoming in need of basic milk and how you learn to exercise your spiritual senses to discern good and evil. It reverts right back to what we're talking about, of what Paul warned of in Heb. 6.

Verse 9: "But the one in whom these things are not present is spiritually blind… [sounds a little Laodicean] …so short-sighted that he has forgotten that he was purified from his old sins. For this reason, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure; because if you are doing these things, you will never fall at any time" (vs 9-10). So, we have an absolute guarantee we won't fail.

The reason I'm going through this is because we're going to cover the unpardonable sin and I don't want anyone to think that, or be fearful that you have committed the unpardonable sin.

Hebrews 6:1: "…not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith in God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment" (vs 1-2). I'm going to just briefly review without referring to any Scriptures:

The doctrine of baptisms is plural

  • by water
  • by fire for the unpardonable sin
  • trial by fire
  • baptism that James and John said when their mother said, 'May they sit on My right hand and left hand.'
  • Jesus said, 'Are you able to have the baptism that I'm going to be baptized with?' They said yes! And He said, 'So be it, you will'—martyrdom. He spared John, but nevertheless, those are the baptisms.

Laying on of hands has to do with the receiving of the Holy Spirit

  • ordaining for those to serve as leaders within the Church
  • for those who are sick
  • for marriage and setting aside
  • for blessing of children

Resurrection of the dead

  • first resurrection to eternal life
  • physical resurrection to physical life
      • before Christ comes—Lazarus and others that Jesus raised from the dead
      • second resurrection at the end of the thousand years—the first phase to receive an opportunity for salvation
      • cast into the Lake of Fire as incorrigible wicked—second phase

Eternal judgment

        • for us—judgment is now on the house of God
        • final judgment—which will determine our reward; sealed when we die

Verse 3: "And we will do this, if indeed God permits." God does permit it! He does go on! Then Paul goes on to explain about the unpardonable sin!

Verse 4: "For it is impossible…" No power available; it's an impossibility. If you put yourself at odds with Christ and reject Him you are in an impossible situation.

"…for those [1]who were once enlightened, [2]and who personally obtained the heavenly gift, [3]and became partakers of the Holy Spirit, [4]and who have tasted the good Word of God, [5]and the powers of the world to come" (vs 4-5).

That's an awful lot. I mean, you have to be a full-fledged bona fide, baptized, receiving the Spirit of God Christian, and walking in the way of God for a substantial period of time in order for all five of these conditions to apply to you.

    • "…for those who were once enlightened…" (Heb. 6:4)

It's quite a profound thing to be enlightened of God, by the Spirit of God. John shows right there in the beginning {note sermon series: Was Jesus God?}. We'll briefly go over those verses because it flows together and shows what it means to be enlightened.

John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The reason that this being enlightened is so important is because that it comes directly from God. In other words, God has moved in your life and God has done something in your life of a profound nature that He hasn't done to other people.

Verse 2: "He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him. In Him was life, and the Life was the Light of men. And the Light shines in the darkness…" (vs 2-5)—showing:

  • Light equals Truth and the Spirit of God
  • darkness equals sin and the world of Satan the devil

"…but the darkness does not comprehend it" (v 5). The reason that the darkness does not comprehend it is because it won't receive it.

John 3:18: "The one who believes in Him is not judged… [that belief must follow with actions and faith] …but the one who does not believe has already been judged because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment: that the Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than the Light because their works were evil" (vs 18-19).

But they think their evil deeds are good in many cases. When Satan deceives the people. Let's use the example of witchcraft, because there are a lot of witches around today: witchcraft and occultism.

Satan doesn't come along and say, 'I want you to commit human sacrifice.' No! Most people would reject that automatically. What does he do? He comes along and says, 'I've got a way that you can have more power.' How so? 'I've got a way you can control other people! I have a way through these rituals that if you do them you can get in contact with the spiritual powers that govern this world! And they will give you more power.' Then he leads them through the stages of occultism or illuminati or whatever, then they get into human sacrifice at the later stage. That's where a lot of these missing children go. 

Men love darkness because their deeds are evil. Here's the key, v 20: "For everyone who practices evil hates the Light…" These are the unconverted in the world. They're not involved necessarily in the unpardonable sin:

  • they are deceived
  • they're cutoff
  • they're eyes were closed
  • they're ears are stopped
  • they can't see
  • God has given them over to this world

They hate the Light! "…and does not come to the Light, so that his works may not be exposed" (v 20).

The difference is this: When you are enlightened by the Spirit of God and you understand the Word of God, and the Law of God and the Word of God convicts you of sin, then you repent and you come to the Light even more so you can have those things removed from you. That's the difference. So, the ones that have had this and then reject it, they put themselves in a terrible position with God.

Verse 21: "But the one who practices the Truth… [living by the Word of God] …comes to the Light…" Constantly coming to Christ because He is the true Light; constantly coming to the Word of God:

  • to live by it
  • to judge your actions
  • to judge your thoughts
  • to judge the things that you do

—by the Light of the Word of God!

"…so that his works may be manifested, that they have been accomplished by the power of God' (v 21). They were done by God, not by you. That's what it has to be for all of us.

1-John 1—We see the same thing here; this defines it further so that we can see the separation and the difference between light and darkness. It is said, 'If the Light be in you is darkness, how great is that darkness?' What is even worse is this: If you once have been enlightened and then you reject that Light. That's a whole different story. We're going to see how profound that is.

1-John 1:5: "And this is the message that we have heard from Him and are declaring to you: that God is Light…" If you're coming to the Light, you're coming to God. If you're coming to God, you're coming to Christ. If you do so, God's Spirit will reveal to you the things that you have to change and grow and overcome; reveal even more to you about your own human nature and your thoughts and things like that. It's all a progressive thing in growing and grace and knowledge. Once you have had that and then turn from that, it's a deliberate thing!

"…and there is no darkness at all in Him. If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in the darkness, we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth" (vs 5-6). What is Truth? Your Word is Truth!

  • you're not practicing the Truth of God
  • you're not living by the Truth of God
  • you're not living by His commandments

Verse 7: "However, if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin." It's continually cleansing us from sin! That's why:

  • if you're loving God
  • if you're keeping His commandments
  • if you're confessing your sins
  • if you are trusting in Christ to forgive your sins and block them out

you have not committed the unpardonable sin! You have your sins forgiven—all of them! There's no forgiveness for the unpardonable sin. We'll see that's more than just a slip of the tongue or something like that.

Verse 8: "If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the Truth is not in us." That is getting close; that's one of the first steps toward the unpardonable sin; saying: 'Well, I'm good. All people are good. They're not inherently sinful. We have no sin. All we need to do is just be better.' That's the first step toward it.

Verse 9: "If we confess our own sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us" (vs 9-10). What is sin?

  • transgression of the Law
  • transgression of the Word of God

Let's see where John shows there's a difference between a sin that is not unto death and a sin that is unto death. Here he's defining sins that are forgivable, which are not unto death vs the unpardonable sin, which is not forgivable.

1-John 5:16: "If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin that is not unto death… [that could even be a grievous sin] …he shall ask, and He will give him life for those who do not sin unto death…. [any repentable sin] …There is a sin unto death… [the unpardonable sin] …concerning that sin, I do not say that he should make any supplication to God." When a person has committed the unpardonable sin, that's between them and God, and God is going to judge them. There is no repentance granted to them.

Verse 17: "All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not unto death…. [can't be repented of] …We know that anyone who is begotten by God does not practice sin; for the one who has been begotten by God keeps himself by the power of God, and the wicked one does not touch him" (vs 17-18).

So, if you reject the Light, Hebrews 6:4: "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened…" Let's take the definition of the unpardonable sin so you'll know what we are talking about. Sometimes people can be like David. Remember when David deceived himself concerning Bathsheba. That took place over quite a period of time. He did quite evil things; so did Manasseh; so did Ahab. But they hadn't seared their consciences. So, a person can be a 'backslider' and be a 'backslider' for a considerable period of time, but they haven't committed the unpardonable sin.

Definition of the Unpardonable Sin: Deliberate, willful choice and rejection of God the Father and salvation through Jesus Christ! Deliberate and willful is the main thing. Here's a complete definition: The unpardonable sin is a deliberate and calculated renunciation of God!

  • It is not an accidental sin
  • It is not a sin unto temptation
  • It is not a sin through weakness

The unpardonable sin is a knowing, determined, calculated, pre-meditated, willful decision and choice arrived at by rejecting any pangs of conscience, leading of the Holy Spirit, pleadings of the Word of God, ministers and brethren. It is a willful determination to reject the gift of repentance, hostile contempt for:

  • the commandments of God
  • the Spirit of God
  • the sacrifice of Jesus Christ
  • the salvation of God

That's pretty heavy-duty—isn't it? Those who have committed the unpardonable sin have

  • no regrets
  • no sorrow
  • no conscience

They have turned their back on God the Father and Jesus Christ and the Word of God! It is impossible:

  • to renew them to repentance
  • for the Holy Spirit to move them to repentance
  • for others to move them to repentance
  • to move themselves to repentance

They have seared their consciences with a hot iron and there is no power—human or Divine—that is able, or has the power, to renew them to repentance.

  • Their choice is final!
  • Their judgment is final!
  • God's judgment against them is final!

That's the full definition of the unpardonable sin!

I've had people call me on the phone and say, 'Oh, have I committed the unpardonable sin?' No! If you're worried about committing the unpardonable sin, you wouldn't even call to ask! What about Catholics or false religions that reject God's way and so forth? They were not enlightened in the first place!

Matt. 13—let's read the condition of most of the people in the world. There will be some few who will commit the unpardonable sin by their rejection of God—such as the beast and the false prophet as we see in the book of Revelation. They will have enough witness by time the two witnesses get done with them. It's very possible that they could commit the unpardonable sin; probably most probable that they will have.

Matthew 13:11: "And He answered and said to them, 'Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been given.'" That is enlightenment! Here's a condition of the most of the world. Most of the world cannot commit the unpardonable sin. Only those who have the Holy Spirit of God can commit the unpardonable sin. That's why he's writing this to those who have been in the Church for decades.

Verse 12: "For whoever has understanding, to him more shall be given, and he shall have an abundance… [that is if he takes care of it properly] …but whoever does not have understanding, even what he has shall be taken away from him."

That's what has happened to the religions of the world. They don't have. They've never been enlightened.Their enlightenment is the darkness of Satan the devil or the occult in most cases, not of God!

Verse 13: "For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing, they see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand." So, God has given them over to their own devices.

Verse 14: "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, 'In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, and in no way perceive; for the heart of this people has grown fat, and their ears are dull of hearing… [Heb. 5] …and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and should hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them'" (vs 14-15).

In other words to enlighten them, to bring them to repentance and so forth. I don't know how Protestants handle this verse in relationship to God is busy trying to save the whole world. So, #1 is you have to be enlightened! That is understand the Word of God and walk in the Light of God.

  • "…who personally obtained the heavenly gift…" (Heb. 6:4)

Repentance

What is the heavenly gift? The gift of repentance! God has to grant you that repentance!

Romans 2:4: "Or do you despise the riches of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering, not knowing that the graciousness of God leads you to repentance?" It is tasting of the heavenly gift.

  • God's Calling

After you repent you have answered the call of God. In other words, part of the heavenly gift is God's calling John 6:44: "No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him…" That is a gift.

Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Salvation

Ephesians 2:8: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this especially is not of your own selves; it is the gift of God."

So, if you've tasted of the heavenly gift of having your sins forgiven; if you've tasted of the heavenly gift by being led to repentance; if you tasted the heavenly gift of salvation through faith—which Christ alone can give—and reject that, then you're in bad shape.

Righteousness

Romans 5:17—let's see the ultimate of the gift of God—the gift of righteousness. "For if by the offense of the one man [Adam] death reigned by the one… [death passed to all human beings in the nature of sin] …how much more shall those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness… [that's the imputed righteousness that God gives you—it is a gift!] …reign in life by the One Jesus Christ."

What a tremendous blessing. Understand that when you repent, when you have been baptized, received the Holy Spirit, God the Father imputes to you the gift of righteousness, which means that He views you as He views Christ. In other words, since the righteousness of Christ is imputed to you, that is the righteous standing that you have before God. When you reject that, there's nothing else you can do. You need to understand that.

This is pretty strong stuff: the rejecting of God and committing the unpardonable sin!

  • "…became partakers of the Holy Spirit" (Heb. 6:4)

Actually receive the begettal from God the Father. That's what's so profound! That's how you partake of the Holy Spirit, if the Holy Spirit is in you. You have the begettal of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told the disciples on that last Passover night that the Holy Spirit was going to come and be within them.

John 14:15: "If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that it may be with you throughout the age: Even the Spirit of the Truth, which the world cannot receive…" (vs 15-17).

Notice that the unpardonable sin applies to those that God has called, that have partaken of the heavenly gift, that have received the Holy Spirit, which the world has not received, and cannot receive it; it's impossible!

"…because it perceives it not, nor knows it; but you know it because it dwells with you, and shall be within you" (v 17).

That's what is the begettal of the Holy Spirit. Once that takes place, if you reject that… We can use an analogy here: It's the same as going to an abortion clinic and having it removed. It's a willful decision. Just like going to an abortion clinic is a willful decision to terminate a pregnancy to kill an unborn life.

We have the Holy Spirit in us. We have been begotten of God and now we are His children. That's why in 1-John 3 it talks about that we are 'the children of God' and how much love God has bestowed upon us.

1-John 3:1: "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God! For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is" (vs 1-2). So, we're the children of God.

In the King James Version v 4 is probably the most misleading verse of all. It's misled a lot of Protestants in the doctrine of born again. The correct translation is:

Verse 4: "Everyone who practices sin is also practicing lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness. And you know that He appeared in order that He might take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Everyone who dwells in Him does not practice sin…"(vs 4-6).

Doesn't mean it's impossible to sin. We just read in 1-John 5 that if you 'see your brother sin a sin not unto death' that would be a direct contradiction of this verse if it meant the impossibility of sinning. This means that whoever had Him dwelling in him "…does not practice sin…"

"…anyone who practices sin has not seen Him, nor has known Him. Little children, do not allow anyone to deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous… [because of the gift of righteousness imputed to that person] …The one who practices sin… [transgressing the law] …is of the devil because the devil has beensinning from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God appeared that He might destroy the works of the devil. Everyone who has been begotten by God does not practice sin…" (vs 6-9).

In other words, you can't live in sin. Why? Because the Spirit of God will prick your conscience to repent! That's why you cannot practice sin. You may continue in a sin for a great period of time, but as long as your conscience is still pricking you and you know you've got to get back to God, you haven't committed the unpardonable sin. Your conscience is telling you that you can't continue this way. What is that? That is the Spirit of God—through the power of God, because you still have the Spirit of God in you—convicting you of that sin in hopes that you will repent. That is leading you to repentance! You cannot practice sin, and here's the reason:

"…because His seed… [the Greek there is 'sperma'—the begettal of the seed of eternal life from God the Father] …of begettal is dwelling within him, and he is not able to practice sin because he has been begotten by God" (vs 9).

Very profound! If you have become partaker of the Holy Spirit, you are in a total different category than other people in the world, even religious people who are deceived. You have had something special given by God individually to you—the begettal of the Holy Spirit, partaker of the Holy Spirit. That is the begettal! You have to grow in grace and knowledge. You have to let the Holy Spirit lead you. All of those things are partaker of the Holy Spirit.

Let's show that after you are begotten of God and you grow in grace and knowledge, you are to let the Holy Spirit lead you. How do you do that?

  • by prayer
  • by study
  • by living by the Word of God

then

  • God's Spirit will lead you
  • God's Spirit will prick your conscience
  • God's Spirit will inspire you
  • God's Spirit will give you the desire to do the will of God

In spite of all your weaknesses! Just like the man who said, 'I believe, Lord, help my unbelief.'

Romans 8:14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God."

Verse 9 is very important to show the distinction, the difference, why the unpardonable sin is a premeditated and pre-determined rejection of God, of unmitigated hatred toward God.

Verse 9 "However, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God is indeed dwelling within you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him." There again, the world does not have the Spirit of God. It's only in those who have been made partakers of the Spirit of God.

Verse 10: "But if Christ be within you, the body is indeed dead because of sin; however, the Spirit is life because of righteousness." Here's how we use the Spirit. This is how we are led of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit works within our mind because the seed of begettal is there.

Verse 11: "Now, if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you, He Who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken… [make alive] …your mortal bodies because of His Spirit that dwells within you. So then, brethren, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh; because if you are living according to the flesh, you shall die… [because you will continue to go on and commit the unpardonable sin] …but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you shall live" (vs 11-13). That's just in summary to overcome human nature.

As you are doing that, v 14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God." So, you have to let the Spirit of God lead you—partaker of the Holy Spirit. This narrows the category down to who are those who could commit the unpardonable sin. It's a pretty high threshold! When it is done, it is absolutely premeditated beyond belief.

Verse 15: "Now, you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit itself bears witness conjointly with our own spirit, testifying that we are the children of God" (vs 15-16). That's what it means to become partakers of the Holy Spirit.

"…have tasted the good Word of God…" (Heb. 6:5)
  • you've studied it
  • you understood it
  • it has cleansed your life

Jesus said if you 'hunger and thirst' after the Word of God, you shall be filled. When you are filled, then you have tasted the Word of God. You've seen what it's done for you.

Psalm 34:8: "O taste and see that the LORD is good…" You don't take a bite out of the Lord; that is through His Word you taste the good Word of God!

"…blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. O fear the LORD, all you saints, for there is nothing lacking to those who fear Him. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing" (vs 8-10)—tasting the Word of God! You understand it.

Have you ever been studying the Bible and all of a sudden something that you wanted to know suddenly becomes clear where it wasn't before. It's kind of like DING! a little light suddenly goes on. That's the best way I can explain what it means to taste of the Word of God and what it does for you. That's why study is so important, coupled with prayer and all the basic things that you have heard. It's like this: If you want to live physically, you have eat food, drink water and breathe air, and then the other things such as sleeping, etc.

If you want to live spiritually, you have to be led of the Spirit, pray, study, grow and overcome. If you don't do these things then you will die. Just like if you don't take care of your body or you mistreat it, it's going to react to you. Then if you don't take care of it from there on, it's going to react up to the end, including death. Spiritually speaking, the same thing can happen. If you avoid all of these things—you go against everything that is here in Heb. 6:4-5—then you're in bad trouble!

"…and the powers of the world to come' (Heb. 6:5)

What do you mean? The power of God intervening in your life! Have you ever lived through something that you know that God had to intervene to keep you from dying a physical death? Such as being in an accident or just missing something bad that happened? That's God intervening! That the power of God, which is going to be common in the world to come.

Hebrews 6:6: "If they have fallen away, to renew them… [v 4 it's impossible—1-5—who] …have fallen away… [it's impossible]: …to renew them again unto repentance; seeing that they are crucifying the Son of God for themselves, and are publicly holding Him in contempt."

Let's see the process of this: From the Biblical Word Commentary—which is generally a good commentary because mostly they just expound on the different words. They don't get into doctrine; they get into the meaning of the words and so forth:

In Hebrews the characteristic terms for sin that display contempt for God are compounds of 'para'—many of which occur nowhere else in the New Testament.

Again, here we have these right in the book of Hebrews.

Heb. 6:6—'paradeigmaizein'—to expose to public humiliation; making a mockery of the sacrifice of Christ. If once you have gone through all of these five steps and you make a mockery of the sacrifice of Christ—that's something!
  • Heb. 3:16—'parapikainein'—to rebel—"For some, after hearing, did rebel… [Of course, they heard the very voice of God from Mt. Sinai. You can't have it any more direct than that.] …but not all who came out of Egypt by Moses."
  • Heb. 3:8—'parapikramos'—rebellion—"Harden not your hearts, as in the rebellion, in the day of temptation in the wilderness." Isn't it interesting that right after chapter three, in chapter four it 'remains therefore, for the people of God, Sabbath-keeping.' So, it's a hardening of the heart! It's really something. Where does that hardening of the heart begin? By not listening to the Word of God!

v 7—"For this reason, even as the Holy Spirit says, 'Today, if you will hear His voice." And everyday we have the opportunity to hear. —"Harden not your hearts, as in the rebellion… [in the] …wilderness."

v 15—"As it is being said, 'Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion.'"

  • Heb. 2:1—'pararrein—to drift away or fall away—"For this reason, it is imperative that we give much greater attention to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should slip away."

That's how the unpardonable sin begins—you begin drifting away, slipping away, a little folding, a little turning of the hand so that your spiritual poverty come upon you. Then you get into a Laodicean condition where you are blind and naked. Then you get into a condition where God is still working with you, He spews you out of the Body [of Christ], spews you out of His mouth and then He's knocking at the door—He's still working with you. If you open the door and repent, then God continues to deal with you.

If you harden your heart, if you slip away, if you let these things just totally carry you away and you go back into the world in hard-heartedness, then you can commit the unpardonable sin.

  • Heb. 13:9—'parapherein'—to carry away. This again shows another process: "Do not be carried about by all kinds of strange doctrines…." Isn't that profound? This tells us one of the first steps that Satan will use to start leading people away will be all kinds of strange doctrines. I suppose that in this day and age I don't think we've heard of all of them, but we've heard probably well over 90% of them.
  • Heb. 12:12—'pareinenos'—being listless. "Therefore, lift up the hands that are hanging down… [What does that generally mean? What does that generally show? An attitude of giving up!] …and revive the weakened knees." What the Apostle Paul is doing here from Heb. 6 to the end of the book of Heb. to show them that they need to look to Christ and avoid the unpardonable sin and how to not get caught in the trap of all of these things!

Let's see how Paul explains it again. The book of Hebrews is written to those who have been in the Church for decades. It is written to them so that they will recover from their weaknesses, their slipping away and their sins so that they will not commit the unpardonable sin. That's why just like the book of Hebrews was for the close of the apostolic age, the book of Hebrews is for the close of the age right before Christ returns.

Hebrews 10:18: "Now, where remission of these is, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices for sin…. [animal sacrifices] …Therefore, brethren, having confidence to enter into the true Holiest… [the Father] …by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He consecrated for us through the veil (that is, His flesh), and having a great High Priest over the house of God, let us approach God with a true heart, with full conviction of faith, our hearts having been purified from a wicked conscience, and our bodies having been washed with pure water. Let us hold fast without wavering to the hope that we profess, for He Who promised is faithful; and let us be concerned about one another, and be stirring up one another unto love and good works" (vs 18-24).

Many brethren are doing that. Reach out to the other brethren that you know that may be slipping away, drifting away, just getting back into the world. Notice, just like Heb. 3-4—rebellion and rejection of the Sabbath—so we have it here:

Verse 25: "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, even as some are accustomed to do; but rather, encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near." If we don't see the day drawing near, we are blind indeed!

Verse 26 ties right in with Heb. 6:4-6: "For if we willfully go on sinning… [practicing sin, living in sin] …after receiving the knowledge of the Truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of inevitable judgment and of fierce fire, which will devour the adversaries of God" (vs 26-27). That's what the unpardonable sin is!

Now, let me read something from the Word Biblical Commentary, which I think defines it pretty good. It says this concerning the sacrifice of Christ:

What is visualized by the expressions in Heb. 6:6 is every form of departure from faith in the crucified Son of God. This could entail a return to Jewish convictions and practices as well as a public denial of faith in Christ under pressure from a magistrate or hostile proud simply for personal advantage. The insertion of 'it is impossible to restore them to repentance' is parallel to the notion of 'laying again the foundation' concerning repentance. In the eschatological perspective of Hebrews… [that means in the fulfilling of the prophecy of Hebrews] …there is no other repentance than that provided by God through Jesus Christ. There is no salvation apart from the purification of sins accomplished by the Divine Son in the final period of God's redemptive activity.

The 'adunatai'—which is the impossibility—is used and is absolute and without qualification in v 4 expressing an impossibility and the apostate repudiates the only basis upon which repentance can be extended.

In other words, to repudiate Christ is to embrace the impossibility—that's what the unpardonable sin is!

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Hebrews 6:1
  • Ephesians 4:11-16
  • Matthew 5:48
  • 2 Peter 1:1-10
  • Hebrews 6:1-5, 4
  • John 1:1-5
  • John 3:18-21
  • 1 John 1:5-10
  • 1 John 5:16-18
  • Hebrews 6:4
  • Matthew 13:11-15
  • Hebrews 6:4
  • Romans 2:4
  • John 6:44
  • Ephesians 2:8
  • Romans 5:17
  • Hebrews 6:4
  • John 14:15-17
  • 1 John 3:1-2, 4-9
  • Romans 8:14, 9-16
  • Hebrews 6:5
  • Psalm 34:8-10
  • Hebrews 6:5-6
  • Hebrews 3:16, 8, 7, 15
  • Hebrews 2:1
  • Hebrews 13:9
  • Hebrews 12:12
  • Hebrews 10:18-27

Scripture referenced, not quoted: Hebrews 5

Also referenced:

Sermon Series:

  • Epistles of Peter
  • Was Jesus God?

Book: Word Biblical Commentary

FRC: bo
Transcribed: 4-22-11
Reformatted/Corrected: January/2017

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