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Hebrews Chapter Six


I. Content of the Chapter


Let us Go on to Perfection

A.  Let us leave the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ (v.1-8);

1. Let us not lay again the foundation (v.1-3);

2. Let us not fall away from the truth (v.4-8);

B.  Let us hold fast the hope that lies before us (v.9-20);

1. Let us manifest the faith, hope and love with diligence (v.9-12);

2. Let us hold fast the two immutable things of God (v.13-18);

3. Let us cast anchor to the High Priest who has entered into the Presence (v.19-20);


II. Verse by Verse commentary


Heb. 6:1 “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,”

YLT: “Wherefore, having left the word of the beginning of the Christ, unto the perfection we may advance, not again a foundation laying of reformation from dead works, and of faith on God,”

Meaning of Words: repentance”: change of heart, reversal of decision, compunction for guilt;go on to”: be brought into; “perfection”: growth;

Literal Meaning: “therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ”, “leaving”, it is not “forsaking”, but “keeping on going” instead of remaining in the original position. “The elementary principles of Christ”: the elementary words of Christians’ belief, including the six basic aspects of truth listed in the first two verse of this chapter;

  “Let us go on to perfection”, “let us go on to”, in the original, it carries a meaning of “let us be led to go ahead”, that is, obeying the guidance of the Lord; “perfection” is the same word as “be of full age” (see Heb. 5:14), which means reaching maturity. The whole sentence means let us be led to maturity.

  “Not laying the foundation”, “foundation” shares the same meaning with “beginning”. “Not laying the foundation”: not always linger in the preliminary stage of faith; the foundation had been early laid and other foundation can no man lay.

  “Of repentance from dead works”, “of”, it is only one important example, not the whole; “repentance” refers to compunction or the change of one’s heart; “dead works”: the works that make man in dead conditions, which according to the Scriptures include: 1) works of sins (Eph. 2:1); 2) works of the mind of the flesh (Rom. 8:6); 3) works bound by the letter (customs or regulations) (2Cor. 3:6);

  “And of faith toward God”: the faith toward and obedience to God;

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    He who does not “leave” cannot “go to…”. Spiritual growth shall be started from leaving. And it is difficult for the one who is unwilling to leave to go to perfection.

2)    Believers of the Lord often take the beginning as the destination, and stumble because of the preliminary grace.

3)    Going ahead, as the only good way for believers to be kept from returning back or stumbling, requires for the cooperation of our determination and practice.

4)    Believers’ immaturity is not because of the foundation, but their lack of diligence of going on to perfection.

5)    “Go on to”, it is “being brought to” in the original. We can go on to perfection by the power of the Spirit.

6)    The Lord will guide us ahead, and we shall obey His guidance. This is our willing cooperation with His gracious work.

7)    Going ahead does not rely on our effort, but more the utter obedience to the power of God working in us. Once we obey, we shall be brought ahead (see Eph. 3:20; Phil. 2:13).

8)    In the experience of our spiritual life, there are both the Lord’s works and our pursuit. Though the Lord will bring us to maturity, we have to still cooperate with Him and go on to perfection.

9)    In the life of Christians, there are several aspects of truth which are changeless foundation. The foundation has laid already, so it is needless for believers to lay foundations repeatedly. The elementary principles of Christ include repentance, and faith, and baptism, and lying on of hands, and resurrection and judgment.

10) The Hebrews at that time would lay the foundation again when they had already got the foundation. They always circled round the matter of foundation. And the condition of Christians at present is that they have gone ahead when they are still unclear about the foundation. Just like the building of house, if one lacks the foundation, he has to deal with the problem and then build upon the foundation.

11) The first experience of a Christian after his being saved is turning from himself to God and relying on the living God instead of dead works.

12) True repentance must lead to true faith. And true faith must bring true repentance. True repentance is begotten by true faith, and true faith increases because of true repentance.

13) Works and faith are conditions for believers in the beginning. Passively, we true away from dead works. Positively, we enter into God by faith.

14) The chief thing for believers in daily life is hourly reliance on God. The walking of Christians is not according to men’s judgment, but God’s judgment.


Heb. 6:2 “of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”

YLT: “of the teaching of baptisms, of laying on also of hands, of rising again also of the dead, and of judgment age-during,”

Literal Meaning: “the doctrine of baptisms”: the customs of the baptism of the Hebrew believers and various washing (see Heb. 9:10; Mark. 7:4). Note that the Hebrew believers at that time were different from the Gentile believers who had been delivered from the customs in the Old Testament (see Acts 15:10, 19, 28-29) and they still kept many ceremonies, e.g. the ceremony of purification (Acts 21:23-26) etc.

  “Laying on of hands”, many cases of laying on of hands are recorded in the New Testament, including in the blessing (Matt. 19:13-15), in the distribution of ministries in the church (Acts 6:6), in the baptism (Acts 8:16-17; 19:5-6), in healing and reception (Acts 9:12; 28:8), in the sending out for works (Acts 13:3), in the delivery of gifts (1Tim. 4:14; 2Tim. 1:6) etc. There are two meanings of laying on of hands: one is union and the other is the transmission of blessings, both of which are fellowship. Concerning fellowship, it on one hand unites the one who lays his hands and the one upon whom the hands lay, and on the other it delivers the power of the one who lays his hands into the one upon whom the hands lays. Therefore, the apostle Paul exhorted Timothy not to lay hands quickly on any man nor partake in others’ sins (1Tim. 5:22).

  “Resurrection of the dead”, all will rise in the end. Those that are righteous, to resurrection of life, and they that are evil, unto the resurrection of judgment (John 5:25-29; 11:25; 2Cor. 4:14; Rev. 20: 5-6);

  “Eternal judgment”: the judgment in the future, including the judgment on believers before the judgment-seat of Christ (2Cor. 5:10), and the judgment on all sinners before the great white throne (Rev. 20:11-12).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The dead must be buried. If we are buried with him in baptism, we have also been raised with Christ (Col. 2:12).

2)    We have entered into the body of Christ by laying on of hands so that we have entered into the fellowship with all the members in the body of Christ and enjoy all the fullness of the Head.

3)    We are united with Christ by baptism and with all the children of God by lying on of hands. We shall have fellowship with both Christ and all the children of God.

4)    If the dead do not rise, let us eat and drink, for death folds up all. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are most miserable of all men (1Cor. 15:19, 32). However, we do have the risen hope. Therefore, let the word of the Lord abound today, forasmuch as we know that labor is not in vain in the Lord (1Cor. 15:58).

5)    The time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God (1Pet. 4:17). We believers shall not ignore the judgment, but fear and trouble more and serve God in fear and piety (Heb. 12:28).

6)    No Christian can forget the last day, for we have to meet God then. The views of men to oneself is insignificant, but the view of God upon oneself is rather important.

7)    The six aspects of truth in the beginning can be divided into three pairs: the first is from externality to internality, and the second is from what is old to what is new, and the third is from the present to the future.


Heb. 6:3 “And this we will do if God permits.”

YLT: “and this we will do, if God may permit,”

Literal Meaning: it is a common word among believers at that time, which indicates the reliance on the will of God (see 1Cor. 16:7; James 3:15). Here, it shows that God is willing to bring us to go on to perfection without laying again any foundation.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Only when God permits us, have we got the chance. If God does not permit, it is useless even though we are diligent. Especially in spiritual things, if God does not permit, man can do nothing (see v.6).

2)    Believers have to rely on God’s strength and grace to go on to perfection. Only God can open man’s mind and make man grown up in spirit.

3)    “God permits”, it also suggests the stagnant condition of Christian in spirit may be caused by his inner heart ---- which is not accepted by God, so God prevents his growth.


Heb. 6:4 “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,”

YLT: “for impossible for those once enlightened, having tasted also of the heavenly gift, and partakers having became of the Holy Spirit,”

Meaning of Words: tasted”: eaten, experienced;

Literal Meaning: “those who were once enlightened”, “enlighten”: be enlightened by the true light of the gospel (2Cor. 4:4, 6); “were once enlightened”, it in the original contains a meaning, that is, once man is enlightened, he will always be kept in that light.

  “And have tasted the heavenly gift”, it refers to all the spiritual things when we repented to believe the Lord, e.g. remission, righteousness, the life of God, peace and joy etc.

  “And have become partakers of the Holy Spirit”, the Spirit is the Spirit of promised given by God in His gospel (Gal. 3:14). All the divine nature of God has become our enjoyment in Spirit. And all the works of God will be fulfilled in us through the Spirit.

Controversial Clarification: the five verses from four to eight are hard to explain. Bible scholars hold different opinions, which can be divided into four types as below:

1)    The view that salvation may be lost (see Gal. 5:4); those who agree with this view think it is still possible of losing salvation for a real believer. It is indeed that the nature of salvation is eternal (Heb. 5:9), but only those who always “obey” can enjoy it to the end. Just like salvation is prepared for all (1Tim. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9), only those who believe will be enabled to have part in it. There is no problem with God’s salvation. The problem lies on man’s side. If man is disposed to surrender to corruption, God will give them up. This is the principle of God’s works. Those who hold this view actually lower the reliability of God’s salvation, holding that salvation is determined by man’s attitude. Such roller coaster salvation goes against the constant truth in the Scriptures, and is rejected by the majority of the orthodox Bible scholars.

2)    The view of supposition (see v.6 “if” in the beginning of verse in Chinese Union Version): it does not aim at fact, but a supposition. And since such supposition can never happen, men do not have to be worried. They hold that this paragraph is merely a warning to the Hebrew believers at that time that they shall not forsake the faith to come back to the Judaism, lest they should cause terrible consequence. More than half of those who keep this view agree with the biblical truth of “once saved, always saved”, but they cannot explain the contradiction between this paragraph and “eternal salvation”. Therefore, they only explain this paragraph as a “supposition”. However, many apostates from Christianity appeared in the history who had committed such sin in verse six. Moreover, the word “if” only appears in Chinese Union Version, it is an added word in translation.

3)    The view of unbelief (see 1John 2:19): common traditional Bible exegetes agree with both this view as well as that of “once saved, always saved”. The transgression of the word in this verse (v.4-8) will be due to “the wicked heart of unbelief”. The transgressors will be recognized as nominal Christians, whose apostasy proves that their faith is not real. Besides, they also relate many failures in the Scriptures with unbelievers, e.g. the foolish virgins and the servant who has one thousand talents (Matt. 25:11-12, 30). Therefore, they explain verse four to five of this chapter (“who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come”) as a preliminary and superficial receiving instead of a real one, and therefore they are not real believers. Those who hold “the view of unbelief” can not give reasonable and plausible explanation of the above-mentioned four and five verses nor verse six (“renew them again to repentance” see v.6). If these unbelievers have never really repented, why do they “renew” them again to repentance?

4)    The view of losing reward (Heb. 10:35-39): supporters of this believe that all real Christians will be saved for ever, but have different rewards before the judgment-seat of Christ (2Cor. 5:10) and the differences of all believers lie in the rewards of the kingdom. I agree with this view for the reasons as follows:

a)    The receiver of this epistle is the Hebrew believers (see v.9). No matter warnings, or exhortations or explanations, they are all spoken to believers. The author shall in no wise “warn” unbelievers and encourage “believers” at the same time.

b)    The supporters of “the view of unbelief” hold that all the five paragraphs of warning in this epistle aim at unbelievers. And they even declare that it conforms to the principle of “consistent hermeneutics”. However, in this five paragraphs of warning, the author purposefully includes himself by the word “we” (Heb. 2:1, 3; 3:14; 4:11; 6:1, 3; 10:26, 30, 39; 12:25). Does he identify with unbelievers?

c)    The supporters of “the view of unbelief” also hold that the words appearing in this paragraph do not equal to being saved, e.g. be enlightened, taste the heavenly gift, become the partakers of the Spirit, taste the good word of God and the power of the age. There word can also used to describe the experiences of unbelievers like Judas, Balaam, the Pharisees, the magician Simon etc. If so, it can also be used to describe the experience of Satan before the fall. How ridiculous!

d)    The positive arguments which prove that this paragraph is warning to believers are recounted in each verse.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    We were sitting in darkness and in shadow of death. However, since the Lord shines upon us, He has guided our feet into way of peace (Luke 1:79).

2)    We can taste the heavenly gifts on the earth. Heaven starts from the earth. Through the heavenly gifts, we are enabled to lead a heavenly and superior life.

3)    Our being saved cannot be separated from the Spirit. Anyone who has not the inspiration or working of the Spirit or who ignores the Spirit can in no wise be saved (see Matt. 12:31-32).


Heb. 6:5 “and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,”

YLT: “and did taste the good saying of God, the powers also of the coming age,”

Meaning of Words: word”: rhema (the transient word of God);

Literal Meaning: have tasted the good word of God”, “the good word of God”: the beginning of Christ’s truth (see v.1), namely, the spiritual milk that the Hebrew had tasted when they believed the Lord (2Pet. 2:2);

“And the powers of the age to come”, “the powers”: the divine powers; “taste the powers of the age to come”, there are two aspects of meaning: 1) experience the great powers of the Spirit; 2) know the 定命and reward of God to the age to come. In fact, if a man is saved, it is the result driven by the powers of the age to come.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The word of God is not only for us to understand but also to eat and enjoy (Matt. 4:4; 1Pet. 2:2; Jer. 15:16). Therefore, we shall read the word of God by understand as well as in spirit. 

2)    The divine power that will establish the kingdom will revive and renew all things (Matt. 19:28). When believers are born again, they taste such divine power and are revived and renewed (Titus 3:5).


Heb. 6:6 “if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.”

YLT: “and having fallen away, again to renew to reformation, having crucified again to themselves the Son of God, and exposed to public shame.”

Meaning of Words: fall away”:; “renew…again”:;

Literal Meaning: “if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance”, “fall away”: obey the heretics on purpose and forsake Christ utterly; “renew them again to repentance”, it is unnecessary and impossible.

  “Since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame”, “crucify again”, if someone falls away from the faith and forsakes the Lord, it shows that he thinks the Lord is worthy of death and ought to be crucified. “Put Him to an open shame”: make the people despise Christ and put him to a shame before all;

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The foundation of believers are established when they believe the Lord, including repentance and faith. If one falls away from the Lord, whenever he turns back, he just stands up and goes ahead without any other foundation (see v.1).

2)    If believers have no good testimonies before all, it is not only a shame to them but also to the Lord. Therefore, it is a serious thing.


Heb. 6:7 “For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God;”

YLT: “For earth, that is drinking in the rain many times coming upon it, and is bringing forth herbs fit for those because of whom also it is dressed, doth partake of blessing from God,”

Literal Meaning: “for the earth”, “earth” can be regarded as believers; we are God’s husbandry (2Cor. 3:9).

“Drinks in the rain that often comes upon it”, “rain” refers to the five kinds of good things mentioned in verse four and five, especially the good word of God (see Eph. 5:26).

“And bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God”, “herbs” include various crops and fruit trees. “Bears herbs”, it indicates that believers go on to perfection with diligence (see v.1). “Whom it is cultivated”: God; “blessing from God”: every spiritual blessing in the heavens (Eph. 1:3)

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Believers are God’s husbandry for the purpose of manifesting Christ (Phil. 1:20). The best way is to grow up by receiving and enjoying the word of God.

2)    One has to bear the fruit of life after he has believed the Lord so as not to be worthy of God will (see John 15:1-2).


Heb. 6:8 “but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.”

YLT: “and that which is bearing thorns and briers disapproved of, and nigh to cursing, whose end for burning;”

Meaning of Words: rejected”: cast away, unapproved;

Literal Meaning: “if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected”, “thorns and briers”: both of them are the consequences of God’s curse because of man’s fall (Gen. 3:18). Therefore, “bearing thorns and briers” shows that the condition of man is not approved by God. “It is rejected”: be counted as useless;

  “And near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned”, “near to being cursed”: not approved by God; “burn”: the land can never be burned, but what is produced on it will be burned. Believers are the husbandry of God and will never be burned. However, if we do not walk according to the principles of God and let wood and grass and straw grow, they will be burned (1Cor. 3:9, 12).

  Once believers are saved, they will not be cursed. However, if we do not go ahead but keep things that God does not please, it is near to be cursed and we will be chastened by God (see Heb. 12:7-8). It is different from the eternal perdition. The former is “near to being cursed”, and the latter is real curse. 

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The same pouring out of the rain bear different fruits: some herbs (see v.7) and some thorns and briers, manifesting the difference of men’s heart.

2)    Once man’s heart is not upright, no matter how much rainwater there is, there only bears many thorns and briers, for this is because God does not allow those who only rely on them instead of God to grow up. Only the principle of faith makes believers obtain from God.

3)    If we waste the grace of the Lord and live in the flesh, what we bear must be production of curse ---- thorns and briers.

4)    If someone has openly declared he is a Christian, but he still remains as what he was and does not understand the significance of his faith, his end is miserable (see v.1)


Heb. 6:9 “But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.”

YLT: “and we are persuaded, concerning you, beloved, the things that are better, and accompanying salvation, though even thus we speak,”

Meaning of Words: accompany”: with, following;

Literal Meaning: “but we are confident of better things concerning you”, “confident of”: judgment drawn from experience; “better”: it is a comparison with verse eight;

  “That accompany salvation”, “salvation” refers to the perfect salvation of God (see Heb. 2:3). “That accompany salvation”, it can be seen from their works that they have been saved.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    A preacher shall know how to give “warning” and “exhortation” together rather than rebuke always or give praising words only.

2)    One is saved by grace, through faith, not works (Eph. 2:8-9). However, after one is saved, he has to seek works out of the new life (Eph. 2:10). True faith must produce works. 


Heb. 6:10 “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”

YLT: “for God is not unrighteous to forget your work, and the labour of the love, that ye shewed to His name, having ministered to the saints and ministering;”

Meaning of Words: minister”: serve, be an attendant;

Literal Meaning: “for God is not unjust forget”, it suggests that the righteous God will surely remember our works out of true faith.

“Your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name”, “your work”: all the works of God (Phil. 2:12-13); “labor of love which you have shown toward His name”: the love of ministering the saints;

“In that you have ministered to the saints”, “have ministered to the saints”: supply the saints who are wanting in materials, e.g. aiding the poor, show hospitality etc. “Have minister”: they did in the past and do this till now.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The love of believers toward God should be manifested in daily life, especially in works (see 1John 3:18).

2)    He who has the love toward the Lord will surely love men. If one desires to love men, he has to love the Lord first, for the Lord is the wellspring of true love.


Heb. 6:11 “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,”

YLT: “and we desire each one of you the same diligence to shew, unto the full assurance of the hope unto the end,”

Meaning of Words: show”: manifest, indicate, prove, and demonstrate; “full”: sufficient, abundant, sure; “hope”: expectation; “until the end”: to the end (both temporally and spatially)

Literal Meaning: “we desire that each one of you show the same diligence”, “show”: the present tense shows that they shall continually show such diligence. “The same diligence”: the same work of faith and service of love mentioned in verse ten;

  “To the full assurance of hope until the end”, this verse points that our hope is being satisfied by constantly showing faith and labor of love and then waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promise with long patience and perseverance.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    It is indeed we are perfectly saved by free grace, not our works at all (Eph. 2:8-9). However, the spiritual fulfillments after we are saved are by no means reaped without sowing. Instead, we have to pay the price and seek with diligence.

2)    In spiritual things, diligence is the secret of being blessed. We have to work with diligence while it is day so that we shall be enabled to embrace the Lord’s second coming with joy.

3)    God does not use a lazy man. A lazy man avails God nothing.

4)    “Diligence”, “hope”, “unto the end” ---- the three elements are the important signs for Christians to establish the faith. “Diligence” brings about full hope; “hope” makes us not lose heart and yet keep unto the end; only will those who are diligent “unto the end” truly enjoy the effect of faith.


Heb. 6:12 “that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

YLT: “that ye may not become slothful, but followers of those who through faith and patient endurance are inheriting the promises.”

Meaning of Words: sluggish”: insensitive, lazy, dull, slothful;patience”: long-suffering;

Literal Meaning: “not become sluggish”, the original of “sluggish” is the same with “become dull of hearing” (Heb. 5:11). It is that let us not become dull of hearing the words in chapter five and let us not become sluggish in doing the words.

  “But imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises”, “faith”: make sure that the promises of God are true and reliable; “patience”: it is long-suffering in the original, which means that they seem to be unable to inherit the promises according to the seeming circumstances, so they have to wait with long-suffering; “those who inherit the promises”: in following text, the author sets Abraham as an example;

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    If believers are sluggish in hearing of the words, they may become also sluggish in doing the words.

2)    The greatest function of faith is “letting us inherit the promises”. A true faith makes us not count on our own merits, but count on grace ---- namely, the grace of receiving the promises of God by faith. 

3)    We catch the promises of God by “faith”, and obtain the results of faith by “patience”.

4)    The biggest trial of faith is patience, for the capacity and spirit of faith will be abundantly manifested in patience.


Heb. 6:13 “For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,”

YLT: “For to Abraham God, having made promise, seeing He was able to swear by no greater, did swear by Himself,”

Literal Meaning: “for when God made a promise to Abraham”, it indicates that God promises to give Abraham many descendants (see Gen. 22:17-18).

  “Because He could swear by no one greater”, “no one greater”, for God is the only true God, King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16); “swear”, it is to emphasize the promise is immutable (see v.18; Gen. 22:16).

  “He swore by Himself”, swearing is often the product after man’s fall, for man’s words trustless. God’s swearing is for the purpose of yielding to man’s infirmity. The word of God is absolutely reliable, so God’s swearing makes His word more reliable. The promises of God become firmer because of His swearing. God regards Him as the third party, who serves as the mediator or witness between Him and men.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    If man swears out of sincerity and does according to the swearing, he is restricted by the external authority. God’s swearing is certainly relying on the ultimate and perfect authority of Him. The swearing of God is limited by His own authority. How trustworthy!

2)    The more we know the perfect faithfulness and blessing of God, the more patiently will our heart believe and wait for God in our. The promise of God is our guarantee of our hope.


Heb. 6:14 “saying, "Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you."”

YLT: “saying, `Blessing indeed I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee;'”

Meaning of Words: multiply”: increase, grow;

Literal Meaning: “surely blessing I will bless you”, the word in this verse is quoted from the Book of Genesis (Gen. 22:17). God promises to bless Abraham to make him and his seed inherit the world (Rom. 4:13), namely, the eternal inheritance of God (see Heb. 11:10, 16).

  “And multiplying I will multiply you”, God promises to multiply the seed of Abraham like the stars in the heaven ---- which refer to the heavenly seeds ---- believers, and the sand which is upon the shore ---- which refer to the earthly seeds ---- the people of Israel.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The greatest blessing of God to us is to let us obtain Christ by faith and grant us all the heavenly and spiritual blessings hidden in Christ (Eph. 1:3-6).

2)    God desires best that man shall be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (Gen. 1:28). May all believers understand the will of God and preach the gospel diligently and obtain more spiritual children.


Heb. 6:15 “And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.”

YLT: “and so, having patiently endured, he did obtain the promise;”

Meaning of Words: obtain”: gain, reach;

Literal Meaning: “and so, after he had patiently endured”, “patiently endured”: wait in affliction for long; it took at least twenty five years of Abraham from his obtaining the promise to his begetting Isaac (Gen. 12:2-4; 21:5).

  “He obtained the promise”, it relates that he begot his son Isaac (Gen. 17:19). Isaac typifies Christ (Gal. 3:16).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Promises can be obtained by faith as well as patience, and long-suffering. Therefore, faith and patience are the secret for us to taste the blessings of God’s promises.

2)    Faith produces patience after trial, and let endurance have perfect work that you may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing (James 1:3-4). Therefore, when we fall into various temptations, let us count it all joy (James 1:2), for it will bring us true blessings (see Rom. 5:3-5).


Heb. 6:16 “For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute.”

YLT: “for men indeed do swear by the greater, and an end of all controversy to them for confirmation the oath,”

Meaning of Words: end”: limitation, extremity;

Literal Meaning: “for men indeed swear by the greater”, we can see here that swearing is common among men.

  “And an oath for confirmation”, “confirmation” is a legal term, which refers to a lawful proof.

  “For them an end of all dispute”, the purpose of swearing is to put all dispute an end and let those who vainly speak the oath is unreliable shut up.


Heb. 6:17 “Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath,”

YLT: “in which God, more abundantly willing to shew to the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, did interpose by an oath,”

Meaning of Words: thus”: in which…; “abundantly”: more; “confirm”: interpose, ratify;

Literal Meaning: it points that man proves the reliability of his words by swearing so as to make others believe and deal with all the disputes perfectly (see v.16). Likewise, God indeed pleases to prove that His promises are utterly reliable to us who shall inherit the promises, for they are according to the immutable will of God. Therefore, He humbles Himself to prove the credibility of His words by swearing like the common people do.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    God gains the trust of us here by swearing so that we shall obtain more definite proof and be confident of the word of God. Oh! God really appreciates our faith. The normal relationship between God and man is built upon man’s faith.

2)    Faith gives the exact position to God. Faith honors God. They that honor God, God will honor (see 1Sam. 2:30).


Heb. 6:18 “that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.”

YLT: “that through two immutable things, in which impossible for God to lie, a strong comfort we may have who did flee for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before ,”

Meaning of Words: refuge”: refuge city; “lay hold of”: seize; “consolation”: encouragement, comfort;

The Background: in the ancient times, if one thing shall be “legalized”, there should be two witnesses to confirm.

Literal Meaning: “that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie”, “two immutable things” refer to the promises and oaths of God (see v.17). The promises of God are absolutely trustworthy, and His swearing more guarantees that promises. God Himself is the One who promises as well as the One who guarantees. Such dual bases have sufficiently proved the immutability.

  “Who have fled for refuge”, “have fled for refuge”: escape to the place for refuge (see Acts. 14:6); “refuge”, it mentions in verse twenty that the Lord Jesus has ascended into the heavens, that is, the holiest behind the veil. In Him, there is the heavenly harbor as our refuge, and we now enter it by the Spirit (see Heb. 10:19).

  “We might have strong consolation … to lay hold of the hope for us”, “have strong consolation”, Abraham can only expect the promises, and yet we have seen the fulfillment of these promises (Heb. 11:13; John 8:56).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    God swears and promises for our consolation that we shall set our hope without movement.

2)    Christ is the refuge of believers. Only in Christ can we escape from the entanglement of sins and the world and Satan.


Heb. 6:19 “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,”

YLT: “which we have, as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and entering into that within the vail,”

Meaning of Words: sure”: certain, safe; “steadfast”: stable, firm, of force;

The Background: “the anchor of the soul”, at that time, there was a habit among the inhabitants of the sea. Sometime, when a ship drove into a harbor, it could not enter into the harbor safely because of the low tide or other reasons. Then, those who were in the ship would cast the anchor over the sand and into the safe harbor. Thus, the ship would bear the striking of the waves. After a time, as the tides rose up, the ship would be able to drive into the harbor and unloaded the goods and completed its task.

Literal Meaning: “this hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast”, “anchor” shows that if we have no anchor of hope when sailing in the stormy sea, the ship would be broken (1Tim. 1:19). Anchor is the symbol of stability and safety. The hope of Christians is as reliable as the anchor, for it is from the holiest in the heaven. Our hope in Christ keeps our safety, just like the anchor fixes the ship in a safe position. Anchor is the sign of hope. Meanwhile, we can see the meaning of “believe” and “seize”. To believe that He has entered into the depth (the holiest) is to hold Him closely. Beyond all doubt, this anchor means that the Lord Jesus is High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek (see v.20)

  “And which enters the Presence behind the veil”, “veil”: the heavens that the Lord Jesus has passed through, namely, the holiest behind the veil today; our hope enters into the veil, like the anchor which is safe and steadfast. Today, we are able to enter into the veil in spirit (see Heb. 10:19-20). The veil is a layer of veil between the hold and the holiest of all in the tent of meeting. “Enters the Presence behind the veil”, enter into the holiest of all and come to the presence of God; God is the foundation of believers’ hope. The anchor of the ship reaches into the bottom of the sea, but the anchor of Christians goes into the true holy place in the heaven and ties us to God.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    We are men of hope. However, our hope is not out of ourselves, but of the Lord.

2)    “The hope is as an anchor of the soul” ---- when we Christians fall into the stormy circumstance, our hope will keep the safety of our soul.

3)    The hope of Christians is not a kind of vain dream ---- it is sure and steady no matter in trouble or adversity, for it is based upon God’s promises.

4)    We may often be faced with temptations or troubles in the world. However, we have an anchor entering into the veil to obtain the safety and rest of God’s presence.

5)    The seaman in the world casts the anchor into the water and seizes the land. And the heavenly seaman casts the anchor into the heaven and holds the heaven. The hope of Christians is not on the earth, but in the heaven.

6)    Christ exists forever as the anchor. He is always before the Presence of God and sits upon the throne so that our faith and hope are firmly steadfast.

7)    The anchor is not cast into the ship, but into the water so that the ship will not be floated away. Likewise, faith does not mean we believe us, but believe the Lord. The more we see us, the more will we be discouraged. However, if we cast the anchor of our faith to the Lord, we will have peace.


Heb. 6:20 “where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”

YLT: “whither a forerunner for us did enter -- Jesus, after the order of Melchisedek chief priest having become -- to the age.”

Meaning of Words: forerunner”: precursor;

The Background: “has enter for us”, the high priest in the Old Testament brought the blood of the sacrifice once a year on the Atonement Day and went through the veil between the holy temple and the holiest of all and entered into the holiest of all (where God was there) to make atonement for the people (Lev. 16).

Literal Meaning: “the forerunner…Jesus”, Jesus is the High Priest who first enters into the holiest of all in the heaven and sits at the right hand of God. He is the forerunner who opens the way for us.

  “Having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”, “the order of Melchizedek”, it indicates that the order of the Lord Jesus as the High Priest is different from “that of Aaron”. According to chapter seven of this epistle, there are at least seven differences between the two orders. For details, please see the commentary of chapter seven (7:11). “Become High Priest”, it means that his priesthood is not hindered by death (see 7:23), for he is ever living (see 7:24-25).

  “Has entered for us”, the mercy-seat where God sits is behind the veil of the holy temple which only the high priest is permitted to enter into. However, Christ leads us into the holiest of all so that we can enjoy our possessions there ---- through whom we are enabled to have perfect fellowship with God.

As the forerunner, the Lord Jesus had early gone across the stormy sea and entered the heavenly harbor refuge and became High Priest for us according to the order of Melchizedek. Such a forerunner is the creator of our salvation. As the forerunner, he opened the way to glory. And as the creator, he has already entered into glory (Heb. 2:10).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The way that we are treading on is the way that the Lord has walked through. He deeply knows all the conditions on the way. As long as we ask for Him, He shall be our seasonable help.

2)    Since Christ is a “forerunner”, He opens the way for us so that we will also enter as Him (see Heb. 7:19; 10:19).

3)    Our hope is not on any system, or group, or possession or lifestyle. Christ is our sole hope. Once we have Christ, we have hope. Without Christ, we have no hope at all.

4)    Our hope is built upon Jesus Christ, the eternal High Priest, who removes all the hindrances between God and men.


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


The Elementary Principles of Christ

A.  The internal transformation of faith ---- repentance from dead works and faith of God (v.1);

B.  The external witness of faith ---- the doctrine of baptisms and laying on of hands (v.2a);

C.  The eternal end of faith ---- resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment (v.2b);


The Foundation of Christians’ Life ---- From Passive Conditions to Positive Conditions

A.  Repentance from dead works ---- turn away from dead works; faith of God ---- enter into God Himself (v.1);

B.  The doctrine of baptisms ---- deal with and end all the passive things; laying on of hands ---- be untied with and have fellowship with divine things (v.2a);

C.  Resurrection of the dead ---- from death; eternal judgment ---- enter into the eternal doom (v.2b);



A.  The essentials of growth (v.1-3);

1.  Not stay in the elementary principles;

2.  Not overthrow the original foundation;

3.  Go on into perfection with diligence to the present foundation;

B.  The necessity of growth (v.4-8);

1.  Growth is the natural phenomenon;

2.  If there is no growth, there will be dire consequences.

C.  The encouragement of growth;

1.  We have the hope of growth (v.9-12);

2.  God puts the hope before us by promises (v.13-20);


Three “Not”s and Three “Shall”s of Christian

A.  Three “not”s:

1.  “Not” lay again the foundation (v.1);

2.  If one is fallen away, he can “not” him again to repentance (v.6);

3.  If one has received blessing from God, he will “not” bear bad fruit (v.7-8);

B.  Three “shall”s:

1.  One shall manifest the diligence in good works (v.9-12a).

2.  One shall imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (v.12a).

3.  One shall keep the hope lying before us him (v.18-19).


Five Spiritual Experiences

A.  Be enlightened (v.4a);

B.  Taste the heavenly gift (v.4b);

C.  Become partakers of the Holy Spirit (v.4c);

D.  Taste the good word of God (v.5a);

E.  Taste the powers of the age to come (v.b);


Three Kinds of Converse Conditions v. 7-8

A.   Bear herbs or bear thrones briers;

B.   Be useful for those by whom it is cultivated;

C.   Receive blessing from God or be cursed;


Signs of True Spiritual Life and Secrets of Growth

A.  Love shown because of the name of God (v.10b);

B.  Minister the saints with diligence (v.10c);

C.  The full assurance of hope until the end (v.11);

D.  Wait for the fulfillment of God’s promises and be full of faith and patience till that day (v.12);


Three Things that Believers Have to Pay Attention to

A.  Show the labor of “love” (v.10-11a);

B.  Have the full assurance of “hope” (v.11b);

C.  Imitate the examples of “faith” (v.12);


Three Firm Safeguards

A.  Refuge (v.18);

B.  The anchor of soul (v.19);

C.  Jesus as the forerunner (v.20);


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Mary Zhou