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. Chapter 6.

1 Let us then stop discussing the rudiments of Christianity. We ought not to be laying over again the foundations of faith in God and of repentance from the deadness of our former ways, 2 by instruction [Or, according to some witnesses: laying the foundations over again: repentance from the deadness of our former ways and faith in God, instruct ...] about cleansing rites and the laying-on-of-hands, about the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgement. 3 Instead, let us advance towards maturity; and so we shall, if God permits.

4 For when men have once been enlightened, when they have had a taste of the heavenly gift and a share in the Holy Spirit, 5 when they have experienced the goodness of God's word and the spiritual energies of the age to come, 6 and after all this have fallen away, it is impossible to bring them again to repentance; for with their own hands they are crucifying [Or: crucifying again.] the Son of God and making mock of his death. 7 When the earth drinks in the rain that falls upon it from time to time, and yields a useful crop to those for whom it is cultivated, it is receiving its share of blessing from God; 8 [ Gn.3.17-18. ] but if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and God's curse hangs over it; the end of that is burning. 9 But although we speak as we do, we are convinced that you, my friends, are in the better case, and this makes for your salvation. 10 For God would not be so unjust as to forget all that you did for love of his name, when you rendered service to his people, as you still do. 11 But we long for every one of you to show the same eager concern, until your hope is finally realized. 12 We want you not to become lazy, but to imitate those who, through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.

God's Sure Promise Gn.22.16

13 When God made his promise to Abraham, he swore by himself, because he had no one greater to swear by: 14 [ Gn.22.17, Sir.44.21. ] I vow that I will bless you abundantly and multiply your descendants.' 15 Thus it was that Abraham, after patient waiting, attained the promise. 16 Men swear by a greater than themselves, and the oath provides a confirmation to end all dispute; 17 and so God, desiring to show even more clearly to the heirs of his promise how unchanging was his purpose, guaranteed it by oath. 18 Here, then, are two irrevocable acts in which God could not possibly play us false, to give powerful encouragement to us, who have claimed his protection by grasping [Or: to give to us, who have claimed his protection, a powerful incentive to grasp ...] the hope set before us. 19 That hope we hold. It is like an anchor for our lives, an anchor safe and sure. 20 [ Ps.110.4. ] It enters in through the veil, where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner, having become a high priest for ever in the succession of Melchizedek.

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