In our study of Hebrews chapter six, we will look at the assurance that we are saved and it cannot be lost. How do you respond to someone who says that you can lose your salvation? We will find out through the words that Paul shared with the Jewish believers.
"Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so." NIV translation
"Therefore" lets us know that this chapter is connected to what Paul was saying in the previous chapter. He ended chapter 5 by telling us the purpose of growing and maturing in the faith which was so that we can tell good from evil. Now, he gives us a list of some of the basic teachings of the faith and calls them the foundation. The purpose of any foundation is to support what is built upon it and it implies that something will be built.
"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace." NIV translation
Paul jumps right into building on that foundation by looking at the question of losing your salvation. This passage has been misused and abused to beat down Christians and to stop them from living in the victory that is Jesus Christ. There are many people who use this passage to say that you can lose your salvation if you don't do these things or if you do other things but it is not even talking about salvation.
He is talking to people that have accepted the grace of God through Jesus Christ and so are saved as he speaks of tasting "the heavenly gift". He mentions the fact that they "have shared in the Holy Spirit" which reminds us that one of the purposes of the Holy Spirit is to give us the comfort and assurance that we are saved. So, what does he mean by "if they fall away"? We have to remember that Paul was writing this to Jews that had accepted Christ but were struggling with the grace that they had experienced and the laws and rituals of their past. He is reminding them that grace is a gift and, if you pay for a gift, then it can no longer be considered a gift.