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1: Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of
Christ - That is, saying no more of them for the present. Let
us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of
repentance from dead works - From open sins, the very first
thing to be insisted on. And faith in God - The very next
point. So St. Paul in his very first sermon at Lystra,(Ac 14:15), "Turn from those vanities unto the living God."
And when they believed, they were to be baptized with the
baptism, not of the Jews, or of John, but of Christ. The
next thing was, to lay hands upon them, that they might
receive the Holy Ghost: after which they were more fully
instructed, touching the resurrection, and the general
judgment; called eternal, because the sentence then
pronounced is irreversible, and the effects of it remain for
3: And this we will do - We will go on to perfection;
and so much the more diligently, because,
4: It is impossible for those who were once
enlightened - With the light of the glorious love of God in
Christ. And have tasted the heavenly gift - Remission of
sins, sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. And been
made partakers of the Holy Ghost - Of the witness and the
fruit of he Spirit.
5: And have tasted the good word of God - Have had
a relish for, and a delight in it. And the powers of the world
to come - Which every one tastes, who has an hope full of
immortality. Every child that is naturally born, first sees the
light, then receives and tastes proper nourishment, and
partakes of the things of this world. In like manner, the
apostle, comparing spiritual with natural things, speaks of
one born of the Spirit, as seeing the light, tasting the
sweetness, and partaking of the things "of the world to
6: And have fallen away - Here is not a supposition,
but a plain relation of fact. The apostle here describes
the case of those who have cast away both the power and the
form of godliness; who have lost both their faith, hope, and
love, (Heb 6:10), &c., and that wilfully, (Heb 10:26).
Of these wilful total apostates he declares, it is impossible to
renew them again to repentance. (though they were renewed once,)
either to the foundation, or anything built thereon. Seeing they
crucify the Son of God afresh - They use him with the utmost
indignity. And put him to an open shame - Causing his glorious
name to be blasphemed.
8: That which beareth thorns and briers - Only or
chiefly. Is rejected - No more labour is bestowed upon it.
Whose end is to be burned - As Jerusalem was shortly after.
9: But, beloved - in this one place he calls them so.
he never uses this appellation, but in exhorting. We are
persuaded of you things that accompany salvation - We are
persuaded you are now saved from your sins; and that ye
have that faith, love, and holiness, which lead to final
salvation. Though we thus speak - To warn you, lest you
should fall from your present steadfastness.
10: For - Ye give plain proof of your faith and love,
which the righteous God will surely reward.
11: But we desire you may show the same diligence
unto the end - And therefore we thus speak. To the full
assurance of hope - Which you cannot expect, if you abate
your diligence. The full assurance of faith relates to
present pardon; the full assurance of hope, to future glory.
The former is the highest degree of divine evidence that
God is reconciled to me in the Son of his love; the latter
is the same degree of divine evidence (wrought in the soul
by the same immediate inspiration of the Holy Ghost) of
persevering grace, and of eternal glory. So much, and no
more, as faith every moment "beholds with open face," so
much does hope see to all eternity But this assurance of
faith and hope is not an opinion, not a bare construction
of scripture, but is given immediately by the power of the
Holy Ghost; and what none can have for another, but for
12: Inherited the promises - The promised rest; paradise.
13: For - Ye have abundant encouragement, seeing no
stronger promise could be made than that great promise
which God made to Abraham, and in him to us.
14: (Ge 22:17).
15: After he had waited - Thirty years. He obtained
the promise - Isaac, the pledge of all the promises.
16: Men generally swear by him who is infinitely
greater than themselves, and an oath for confirmation, to
confirm what is promised or asserted, usually puts an end
to all contradiction. This shows that an oath taken in
a religious manner is lawful even under the gospel:
otherwise the apostle would never have mentioned it with
so much honour, as a proper means to confirm the truth
17: God interposed by an oath - Amazing condescension!
He who is greatest of all acts as if he were a middle person; as
if while he swears, he were less than himself, by whom he swears!
Thou that hearest the promise, dost thou not yet believe?
18: That by two unchangeable things - His promise
and his oath, in either, much more in both of which, it
was impossible for God to lie, we might have strong
consolation - Swallowing up all doubt and fear. Who have
fled - After having been tossed by many storms. To lay
hold on the hope set before us - On Christ, the object of
our hope, and the glory we hope for through him.
19: Which hope in Christ we have as an anchor of the soul
- Entering into heaven itself, and fixed there. Within the
veil - Thus he slides back to the priesthood of Christ.
20: A forerunner uses to be less in dignity than those that
are to follow him. But it is not so here; for Christ who is
gone before us is infinitely superior to us. What an honour
is it to believers, to have so glorious a forerunner, now
appearing in the presence of God for them.