The last part of this passage (Hebrews 6:4-6) says, “… 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.” The connection between this and the actions of the children of Israel at Kadesh Barnea is still in play with this last phrase. They flagrantly and publicly rejected God’s offer of the Promised Land wherein there was rest from all their enemies. Paul said that to add anything to the full sufficiency of Christ is to nullify God’s grace. In Galatians 2:21 he writes, “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” When good works, sacrifices, rituals, religious practices, and even devotion replace the work of Christ, we disgrace God’s work in Christ and hold Him up to public ridicule. As Paul says, we “nullify” what Christ has done, thus if God would permit your works to replace Christ’s works on the cross it would mean that Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t enough and therefore God would need to offer another sacrifice which He will not do. Thus, to your own harm, through your lack of full, mature faith in Christ, it’s impossible for you to be restored to repentance from dead works.

I believe it’s this understanding that led Girdwood to write, “Those who fall away cannot be restored so long as they persist in their flagrant and public rejection of Christ.”[1] There is only one sufficient sacrifice for our sins! There is only one way to enjoy “rest” with God and rest for our souls. It’s through unwavering and complete confidence in Christ’s work alone, that one can be sure of where they stand with God. No amount of good works or sacrifices or any rituals of any kind can take the place of or add to the fully sufficient work of Christ. When he said “It is finished,” He meant that. Jesus is the one and only way to peace with God.

The difference between Jesus’ milk drinkers and Jesus’ meat eaters is that the meat eaters have their senses trained to see Christ in the entire Bible. They are nourished by God’s Word in everything they read, and grow stronger and stronger with each meal. Paul prayed for the Ephesians when he explained why he wanted them to grow. He said in Ephesians 3:17-19, “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Let me repeat Guzik’s words. He writes, “The idea is not that ‘if you fall away, you can’t ever come back to Jesus.’ Instead, the idea is ‘if you turn your back on Jesus, don’t expect to find salvation anywhere else, especially in the practice of religion apart from the fullness of Jesus.”[2]

[1] James Girdwood and Peter Verkruyse, Hebrews, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press, 1997), Heb 6:4–8.

[2] David Guzik, Hebrews, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible (Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik, 2013), Heb 6:4–6.