555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

510. What Is Meant by "Crucify the Son of God Afresh"?

Heb. 6-4-6 is interpreted to refer to those who having begun the spiritual life, instead of persevering toward perfection, allowed themselves to fall away or backslide. Such having already had knowledge of the word of truth and having experienced a measure of peace in the pardoning love of Christ and the bestowal of the gift of the Holy Spirit (though not in all fulness) were doubly to blame for falling away. Paul did not assert that the Hebrews themselves had yet so fallen, but he warned them that if they did not persevere in going on to perfection, they would retrograde and would need to be "renewed" over again. It is the deliberate apostate, however, who sins in the light of knowledge and crucifies Christ anew whom he holds up as an object of execration. The elect abide in Christ and do not fall away, and he who abides not is "cast forth as a withered branch." The marginal reading of verse 6 in the Revised Versions makes this passage harmonize with the whole spirit of the Bible. It is impossible to renew them to repentance "the while they crucify the Son of God afresh."