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What exactly does "fall away" mean in Heb 6:6?


Hebrews 6:6

ESV - 6 And then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

Clarify (1) Share Report Asked March 18 2017 Mini Debra Wilson

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Mini James Kraft 74 year old retired pipeline worker
I believe the writer is saying that it is impossible to fall away and be renewed unto repentance because Jesus died only once. Since Jesus died only once, we can only be saved once. And once we have received Jesus as our savior, we can not fall away because He keeps us saved. John 6:37-40.

I have heard believers say they have fallen into sin, and had to be saved again. That is impossible because once we have received Christ as our savior He has covered us from all sin. Where sin abounded grace much more abounds.

If Gods grace was not sufficient for all our sin, then no one could be saved because we are all sinners.

And then, What about King David when he committed adultery and premeditated murder. If we read that verse that way then he would not have been able to be saved. But God said He was a man after His own heart.

Did King David get saved again? No, because Christ died only once. We are saved from all sin when we trusted Christ to save us. We can no more fall away because Christ died only once for all sin.

So taking this verse in light of all other scripture, it has to mean that it is impossible to fall away because of sin, because Jesus paid for all sin.

Before we accepted Christ as our savior, all of our sins would send us to hell because they were not paid for. But after we have received Jesus as our personal savior, all of our sins have been paid for, and we can no longer be condemned. John 3:18 Believers can not be condemned, but unbelievers are condemned already.

God hates our sin, but He loves us. That is why Jesus went to the cross. He loved us so much that He knew the only way for us to be saved was for Him to die in our place and take the punishment we deserve for our sins. It is the only way we could be saved from the wrath of God. 

We are saved by grace, through faith, without works, so that no one can boast. No one can say I saved myself by keeping from sin or living a holy life.

Only Jesus can save us when we put our faith and trust in Him and His finished work on the cross plus nothing from us.

We can only be justified before God by faith alone, and not by our works, what we do or do not do. Romans 4:5

We are justified sinners by faith alone in what Jesus did for us on the cross, and since He paid our sin debt in full, we can no longer be lost because he died for all our sin, not our only, but the sins of the whole world to them that believe. We can not justify ourselves by anything we do, but we are justified by Christ by what He did for us. John 6:40 and 47.

March 20 2017 10 responses Vote Up Share Report

Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious
In Heb 6:1-6, the author is speaking to Christians seeking to grow into maturity (Heb 6:1-3). 

They have seen the light (II Cor 4:6), ate of the heavenly gift (John 6:33), shared in the Holy Spirit (I Cor 12:13, II Peter 1:4, Eph 3:6, Heb 3:14, Col 1:12, Phil 1:7, Eph 4:4, etc), tasted the goodness of the word of God (Psalm 34:8) shared in spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:4), and have repented (Acts 2:38).

These believers *should* have had a good handle on their Christian faith by now (yet are still struggling with the basics). As such, the author gives them a dire warning: that there is no "do over" if one repents and is baptized in Christ, but then later rejects Christ, effectively returning to slavery to sin and rejecting all the promises of God.

In Heb 6:4, the word for 'fall away' is 'parapipto.' Parapipto literally means 'to fall from close beside,' that is, to desert something you were once a part of or to apostatize.

It is also important to note the exact sequence of the verses here in Heb 6:4-6. The warning to the believers is about others who were, like them, believers - but fell away. Specifically, "For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit....and then having fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to a state of repentence."

There is nothing hypothetical in this warning - for those who had received the Holy Spirit and were believers, but then "having fallen away," it is impossible [at least for preaching] to renew them to repentance. 

[Side note: Beware of translations adding the word 'if' to Heb 6:6, such as 'if they should fall away' - as there is no 'if' or other conditional in the Greek manuscripts.]

To defect from Christ, falling away from a position of relationship with Him, is nothing short of the willful rejection of faith in the covering blood of Christ. It's not merely struggling with sin, addiction, selfishness, rebelliousness, stagnating, backsliding, doubting God, being angry with God, or other pitfalls Christians often fall into, but rather deliberately rejecting salvation by faith and in so doing reverting to our former state before Christ - without the spirit, slave to sin, under condemnation. 

Jude 1:22, I Tim 1:18-20, Luke 15:11-31, Luke 8:13, Heb 10:26-31, and other passages give examples of these 'temporary' believers. II Peter 2:20-22 goes so far as to say that it would have been better for these people to have never had true knowledge (relationship) with Christ then it is for them to have escaped the world by knowing Christ only to turn their backs on the gospel and return to the world. To receive Christ, but then later reject Him and trample underfoot Christ's blood (Heb 10:26-9), is to fall away from faith, relationship with Christ, and all the promises of God through the Holy Spirit.

These former believers, once begotten again in Christ as new creations (1 Peter 1:3, Gal 6:15) deliberately died to Christ, uprooting themselves from the source of life.

There are several reasons a believer might defect from Christ back to the world, such as love of sin or fear of persecution, but the in Heb 6 was that some converts were seeking to return to being under the law, rather than under grace. However, for a Christian to reject the idea that faith in Christ is what saves and instead seek the fulfillment of God's promises through the law can only bring condemnation, for the law has no power to save. (Heb 7:18-22.) Under the law, we all stand condemned.

If someone enters, but then rejects, the new covenant, then they also reject the seal of the Holy Spirit and Jesus as their guarantor. They cannot claim any of the promises of God, such as eternal life, for they no longer have faith, and God only wills that those who believe (continuously, not in the past) in Christ receive eternal life (John 3:13-18.)

March 20 2017 22 responses Vote Up Share Report

Eced7a1f c81d 42f4 95ea 9d5719dce241 Singapore Moses Messenger of God, CEO in IT industry, Astronaut, Scientist
The word "Fall away" is from the Greek: parapipto (G3895), to fall aside; apostatize; fall away. (Heb. 6:6)

It means to throw overboard all faith in the experiences of the gospel and to deny them. People are here warned that such is possible. How could they fall away from the experiences of Heb. 6:4-5 if they never had them? The language is past tense and factual so it cannot be denied that the ones referred to did at one time have experiences.

March 29 2017 6 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Grant Abbott Child of Father, Follower of Son, Student of Spirit
In my view Jesus clearly explains this term in the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:5-15). He is illustrating what happens when people hear the Word of God (the gospel message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ). Jesus describes 4 different kinds of people who interact with his message and the impact it has on their lives. Before looking at each group i would like to set two plumb lines to evaluate the responses people have.

Firstly, In Romans 10:9-10 Paul says "If you declare with your mouth 'Jesus is Lord', and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved." Public profession of faith is essential to salvation, see Luke 12:8-9. To believe with our heart is to have faith. Romans 10:14-17 says "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?... Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word about Christ." We look at the outside appearance like a profession of faith for evidence of belief but God looks at the heart. In 1 Samuel 16:7 God says "...The Lord does not look at things people look at. People look at the outside appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. But Jesus did say we could know the condition of a heart by the fruit it bears. In Luke 6:43-45 Jesus said "No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognised by its own fruit.... A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Secondly, before faith can develop in our hearts we need to be a overcomers. In 1 John 5:4-5 we read that everyone who is born of God overcomes the world and this victory comes through our faith. We have three spiritual enemies: 1) the evil Satan, 2) the corrupt world, and 3) our sinful flesh. All three are doing everything they can to stop faith from developing in our hearts. Therefore we need to be feasting on the Word of God to have the spiritual power to overcome them. Jesus is our supreme example of this. In Matthew 4:1-11 we read of Jesus temptation in the wilderness. He was tempted three times; 1) you're hungry - make bread, tested his flesh, 2) creating a spectacle by jumping off the temple is the world's way, 3) bowing down to Satan is the lie and deception. After Jesus had overcome he began his public ministry, producing a huge crop of the good fruit of righteousness that would last forever.

Now back to the Parable.
Group 1 - those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. It is Satan's lies and deceptions that people buy into. They do so because they do not know the Word of God and are not convinced it is true. So they choose to believe the lie.
Group 2 - Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. Their temporary belief is evident on the outside but there has been no heart transformation. 
Group 3 - the seed among thorns is those who hear but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures and they don't mature. They go back to the world's ways.
Group 4 - the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

In my view, Groups 1,2,3 were never saved, they "fell away" from the path to salvation. The failure of each group was caused by their neglect of the word of God (See Heb 5:11-14,). They can't fight the devil, flesh or world without the weapons God has given to overcome.

March 21 2017 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Matthew Beerman Supporter
This passage of scripture has always intrigued me as well. It is important to keep reading down to verse 9, where the writer of Hebrews says "...in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things - things that belong to salvation." This puts the preceding verses into the correct context...we cannot lose our salvation once we are truly saved. This passage describes those who come very close to salvation, i.e. enlightened, tasted of the heavenly gift etc. 
Because God alone is the author of our salvation, it is impossible for those who are truly saved to somehow lose their salvation.

March 23 2018 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Craig Daniels
In this scripture the term fall away comes from a Greek word which means apostasy. This term shows an abandoning from something. In this scripture the abandonment comes in the form of someone who was truly saved and no longer holds the doctrines of the teachings of Christ and the sufficiency of His blood sacrifice as truth. They no longer believe in Jesus as being the instrument of God's saving grace. 

When Jesus was crucified He asked the Father to forgive those who did it because they knew not what they did. In the case of those that these scriptures are referring to after them being truly saved then going on to deny the efficiency of the true Lamb of God's redemptive power and qualities they have crucified the Lord all over with the knowledge of doing so. This specific spiritual crucifixion comes in the form of their unbelief of the Savior as being the Christ of God. 

Now these are matters of the heart and are known and judged by the One who searches and tries the reins of the heart. Do not be confused. This is not talking about someone who has doubts about the doctrines and truths of Christ the Lord. For we know the enemy of our souls who is the father of all lies comes with all types of deceptions and plants seeds of doubt when possible in the minds and hearts of God's chosen. In this case it is talking about someone who truly abandons the doctrines, relevance, truth, and actuality of the saving power of the Messiah and His sacrifice after being saved. When this sin is truly committed it is attached to the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost. 

After the sin is truly committed there is no more room or chance for redemption. This soul is one to face the undeniable and coming wrath of an Almighty God! This is the same case with the teachings in the 10th chapter of Hebrews which talks of willful sin. Let us remember all scripture is for all of humanity. However, in the case of the book of Hebrews Paul is specifically reaching out to those who knew the law. He is instructing them not to fall away from Christ and back into the sacrificial system which was given to the chosen people of God before the fulfillment of Christ. In other words the Old Testament sacrifices were no longer acceptable in the eyes of the Almighty God. What the Apostle Paul which the book of Hebrews is credited to was showing was the seriousness of that type of specific deception that the enemy of the souls of humanity brought and does bring in even to this very day. 

Look up the word in the Greek. Place it in the correct context of the surrounding message and God willing you will see that this information is correct. May the Lord God open the eyes and ears and hearts and understanding of all those that read and or hear these words in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God! May the Lord God add peace unto your soul! Even so, AMEN!

February 18 2018 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini dale dorsett
I know that God says "I will never leave nor forsake you." God is talking to those who are the redeemed by faith in the Savior - old covenant Savior to come - new covenant Savior Who came.

God's commitment to those who receive the salvation Jesus purchased for them personally (offered to all of Adam's race) is SET and ESTABLISHED. WHY? Because when a person is saved the Holy Spirit of God comes into the person and the person's flawed spirit man is changed - the person is born again of Spirit. The Holy Spirit seals the person's salvation and has NO INTENTION OF LEAVING.

God is committed to us. Remember that our commitment to Him varies but does not change His love for us. 

With salvation our eternal spirit man is born again and made Heaven ready. Our eternal spirit mind is in communion with the Holy Spirit. HOWEVER, our flesh and fleshly earthly mind is NOT so godly. What we have learned and experienced along with carnal fleshly desires even for the most saintly person wars in ways with the mind of the Spirit. 

We study God's Word and listen to the Holy Spirit through the real spiritual us and God relates that to our fleshly mind. This is where conforming of our fleshly mind with the mind of the Spirit occurs. WHEN WE COOPERATE with God and let His Word change us and we REPROGRAM our mind to follow God then we KNOW and EXPERIENCE His powerful presence and know His peace, joy, and walk in the Garden of God with Him. Then when flesh and lack of understanding lead us towards sinful ways and wrong thinking the Holy Spirit patiently works with us to get us to listen to Him and do what is right. We repent of sin and seek God and get back into His Word and letting God will become our will more. 

This is a lifetime growth experience where we will never arrive in this earth suit but will be changed and like Jesus in our glorified body and see clearly Jesus. Then we will not want sin anymore and flesh will not get in the way. Our will will be to love God first and others as self. Heaven will be PERFECT because ME is eliminated and God/us/ others all serve each other. God is God and will be glorified as He should be but loves and serves His Children out of His great love. This does not demean or make God weak at all - God is God - instead it makes God so wonderful and good and worthy of all honor and praise forever.

Back to the FLIP SIDE. The Holy Spirit will not leave us but we CAN leave Him. It is not easy and is a TOTAL MATTER of OUR WILL. If we do not study His Word and change then Lucifer tries to get us to accept evil as good and good as evil. If a person grows in hate of God and accuses God of being evil and loves evil and calls it good then that person will have NO SENSITIVITY and NO COOPERATION with the Holy Spirit. God becomes evil and Lucifer becomes good. God becomes a hindrance and disgust and rebellion grows to the point of UNINVITING GOD. The Holy Spirit NEVER WILL override our will and if we have no desire for God He WILL LEAVE.

So few do this but more as the end comes. If a person has any sense of shame or awareness of wrongdoing then God is dealing with the person and they have not rejected the Holy Spirit. They are miserable but still His because they have an open door.

One unfounded deception I hear of is how God no longer loves a person in their mind because of a 'contract with Satan/Lucifer'. God can restore a person and save ANYBODY and the only thing Satan/Lucifer can do is try to take the person out or make the person miserable - if he lost them to Jesus they belong to Jesus. There is NO human that Jesus did not die for on the cross. None! We either turn to God as the criminal on the cross next to Jesus and say "take me with You to Your Kingdom Jesus" and hear "today you will be with me in Paradise/Heaven (Jesus resurrection took Paradise and its inhabitants to Heaven) or we reject so great a salvation believing the lies of Satan or only focused on ME/SELF and end up with an eternity of "me": Hell!

March 25 2018 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Sean Adams
Fall away here is about a specific sin and not about backsliding or sin in general. It is specific to apostasy and in context a warning toward Jewish Christians who might revert back to Judaism. If they went back to the Law they would be falling from Grace, making Christ of no effect to them any longer. Paul uses this same warning toward Gentile Christians in Galatians 5 who may be falsely convinced they must be circumcised to be saved. This literal cutting of the flesh would be cutting them off from Christ. The Law would be their judge. So Hebrews 6 carries this same message. Jews reverting back to the Law would be cut off from Christ. For them to return they would literally have to crucify Christ again. This is also connected to blasphemy of the Spirit which is unforgivable. Scripture is consistent about this topic

January 12 2019 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

I believe the writer of Hebrews is emphasizing the fact that Jesus is the only way. If the original readers of the letter that the writer was addressing chose to give up, then HOW could they be saved. There is only redemption through Christ. It is almost like the writer is saying "good luck" on finding another way to salvation if you have tasted the Lord and seen that He is good, but yet, chose to not follow Him.

July 25 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Lovance Whittle
In Hebrews the audience is the Hebrews. One of the issues with some of the Hebrew Christians was they were going to church and to the tabernacle for the same reason, trying to reach God. We can see such also looking at Hebrews 10:26. We don’t have to go back to the temple or go and get baptized again. Nor do we have to keep asking Jesus to do something he already did. Going back and forth from temple to church or from sin to repenting seemed to have been a bad habit for some Christians in that day, making Jesus look like what he did wasn’t enough.

If you want to show Jesus as King in your life, make Galatians 2:20 a fact.

July 26 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini mark T
Very simple. Jesus said if you are offended in Me you have not the Kingdom!

So to not accept the word and or teachings of God are the Falling Away.

March 23 2018 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Keith Davis
As all Scripture is inspired of God and profitable (2nd Timothy 3:16-17), we understand we must interlace the whole of God's revelation, taking into account audience/context. So, the first thing to recognize about Hebrews 6's reference to falling away is that the Hebrew writer mentions it elsewhere. In 10:26-31, the writer says "For if WE go on sinning willfully, there NO LONGER REMAINS (as if there WERE one to begin with, right?) a sacrifice for sins. The writer also there draws a contrast between the law of Moses and the law of Christ (Ref. 1st Corinthians 9:21), i.e. "if you think setting aside the law of Moses incurred strict condemnation for the Jews, the CHOSEN people under the Mosaic law (Ref. Also 1st Corinthians 10:1-12), just consider the judgment awaiting God's PRESENT chosen people, Christians, if they fall away." Later, in chapter 10:38-39, the writer says, "But my RIGHTEOUS one shall live by faith, and if HE [the RIGHTEOUS one], shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him; but WE are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but have faith to the preserving of the soul." 

Let's understand that a) Hebrews 6:9 & 10:39 DO end grave admonitions with optimistic encouragement and b) the fact that they end upbeat, with a view to reminding us readers that, really, there's no reason to fall away, DOES NOT diminish the fact that they both plainly say that it's possible for one ACTUALLY SAVED by the blood of Christ to walk away from the family of God and lose their inheritance with the saints (Hebrews 12:15-17). 

James 5:19-20 corroborates this understanding, as well, for it speaks of a BROTHER wandering FROM the Truth and requiring once again covering for his sins and salvation from death. Just as one cannot fall away from a grace wherein they never stood (Galatians 5:4; Romans 5:2), one cannot wander FROM a Truth they never walked IN in the first place. 

There are passages throughout the NT that plainly teach a Christians can fall away; the ones in Hebrews and James are sometimes "refuted" by saying these letters were actually written to unrepentant Jews. This cannot be, as Romans 10:1 shows us Paul saying his brethren according to the flesh were then lost, that the unrepentant Jews by the time of these writings were well-rooted in their rejection of Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). 

To sum up, while it is TRUE that some instances of apparent apostasy are simply someone never having been saved to begin with (Matthew 7:21-23), not EVERY example of apparent apostasy is simply an illusion; some blood-bought Christians actually walk away from the Faith.

March 24 2018 7 responses Vote Up Share Report

Some apply this verse today to superficial believers who renounce their Christianity or to unbelievers who come close to salvation, then turn away. Either way, those who reject Christ, will not be saved. Christ died once for all. He will not be crucified again. Apart from his cross, there is no other possible way of salvation.

January 09 2019 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

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