4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age— 6 and then have fallen away—to be restored to repentance, because they themselves are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to open shame.
As you can see with the verses above, a person can partake in the ministry but they at one point in time, decide to apostatize (walk away), making up their minds to reject Jesus Christ.
Look at the words and phrases which express not being committed yet to the Lord.
- Tasted heavenly gifts
- Shared in the work of the Holy Spirit
- Tested the goodness of God’s Word
These words show a person who at one point in his life took the Bible for what it said, saw the spiritual gifts in action, the works of the Holy Spirit, and how good God’s Word is to people, bringing them from death to life.
So, the words: tasted and shared can be understood in the life of Judas Iscariot who belonged to the devil, as he was going to betray Jesus, and yet this man was enlightened, tasted and shared in the ministry of Jesus Christ even though Jesus called him a devil in John 6. Tasting and sharing is a person who’s getting their feet wet if I can use that analogy. The person is not all the way in the water. They have just gotten their feet wet but not the whole body, symbolizing salvation through immersion.
There are some people who like what Christianity teaches but haven’t, in their hearts and minds, given themselves wholly to Jesus Christ. That is a person who is in danger of falling away because they still don’t have the Holy Spirit.
For those who are genuinely saved, the Holy Spirit will never ever leave that person. A person who leaves Jesus shows that there was always a vacancy of the Holy Spirit in their heart.
The Permanency Of The Holy Spirit Dwelling In A Person At Conversion
15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you do know Him, for He abides with you and will be in you.John 14:15-17 BSB
Those Who Never Had The Holy Spirit And Walked Away, But At One Time Professed To Be A Christian
They went out from us, but they did not belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But their departure made it clear that none of them belonged to us.1 John 2:19 BSB