This chapter consists of the third appeal and warning. The appeal is that they should leave the first principles and press on to perfection. The things referred to were Jewish, and all have spiritual fulfilment in Christ. Then there occurs the solemn and indeed an awe-inspiring warning.
Much controversy has waged around these verses. There can be no doubt that those described are such as have been brought into living relationship with Christ. Of no unregenerate persons can it be said that they were “enlightened,” “tasted of the heavenly gift,” “tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come.” No person can be a partaker of the Holy Spirit save through faith in Jesus Christ, and all such are born again, and are members of Christ.
The peril described is not stumbling, but falling away, that is, final and positive apostasy. The danger is deliberate, ultimate rejection of Christ.
The supreme illustration of the persistence of faith in the Old Testament is Abraham’s. His encouragement was God’s oath. Ours is that selfsame oath, ratified in the Person of the High Priest who has entered into .the Holy Place as our Representative.