6:1 Therefore leaving the a principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; 1 not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
(a) The first principle of Christian religion, which we call the catechism. (1) Certain principles of a catechism, which comprehend the sum of the doctrine of the gospel, were given in few words and briefly to the poor and unlearned, that is, the profession of repentance and faith in God. The articles of this doctrine were required from those who were not yet members of the Church on the days appointed for their baptism. Of those articles, two are by name recited: the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. (Ed.) 6:4 2 For [it is] b impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have c tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
(2) He adds a vehemency to his exhortation, and a sharp threatening of the certain destruction that will come to them who fall away from God and his religion. 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they d crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put [him] to an open shame.
(b) He speaks of a general backsliding and those who fall away from the faith completely, not of sins committed through the weakness of a man against the first and the second table of the law.
(c) We must note the force of this word, for it is one thing to believe as Lydia did, whose heart God opened in ( Acts 16:13 ) and another thing to have some taste.
(d) As men that hate Christ, and as though they crucified him again, making a mockery of him to all the world, to their own destruction, as Julian the Apostate or backslider did. 6:7 3 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
(3) He lays out the former threatening with a comparison. 6:9 4 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
(4) He moderates and calms all that sharpness, expecting better things of those to whom he writes. 6:10 5 For God [is] not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
(5) He praises them for their charity, by this encouraging them to go forward, and to hold out to the end. 6:12 6 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
(6) He shows in these verses that they need to go forward constantly, for their own good: that is, of charity, and patience; and lest any man should object and say that these things are impossible to do, he asks them to consider the examples of their ancestors and to follow them. 6:13 7 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,
(7) Another encouragement, to push them onward because the hope of the inheritance is certain, if we continue to the end, for God has not only promised it, but also promised it with an oath. 6:14 Saying, Surely e blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.
(e) I will heap many benefits on you. 6:17 Wherein God, willing more f abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed [it] by an oath:
(f) More than was needed, were it not for the wickedness of men who do not believe God, even though he swears. 6:19 8 Which [hope] we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
(8) He compares hope to an anchor because in the same way that an anchor when cast into the bottom of the sea secures the whole ship, so hope also enters even into the very secret places of heaven. He makes mention of the sanctuary, alluding to the old tabernacle and by this returns to the comparison of the priesthood of Christ with the Levitical priesthood. 6:20 9 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, [even] Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
(9) He repeats Davids words, in which all those comparisons that he mentioned before are signified, as he declares in all the next chapter.