Does Hebrews teach that salvation can be lost if a believer sins?

Some passages in Hebrews seem to indicate that believers can fall away. Please explain these passages.

Three passages typically raise this issue in the "warning passages" in Hebrews: 3:14 (with verse 6); 6:4-6; 10:26-27.

   1. "For we are made ("have become," Young's Literal Translation) partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end" (3:14). This is logically the same as saying that those who had not become partakers of Christ would not remain faithful to Him. What had happened in the past determined their future. Those who had been saved would demonstrate their salvation, by continuing steadfastly. Those Hebrews who at first claimed to accept Jesus as Messiah, but turned away from Him, were not actually partakers with Christ; they had never been saved.
   2. "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance;" (6:4-6). Their involvement with the Spirit, the Word of God, and the miracles of the Messianic age ("powers of the world to come") links them with those who say, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works" (Matthew 7:22)? The Lord's answer, "I never knew you" (verse 23), shows they were never saved. Sadly, although enlightened, these Hebrews also were never saved, but fell away, never to be brought to the place of repentance they once claimed.
   3. "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation..." (10:26, 27). These are the "enlightened," having clear understanding of the truth about Christ. Turning from Him and returning to Judaism was sinning "willfully." Since Christ offered the "one sacrifice for sins" (verse 12), they were without a sacrifice for sins. In light of the prophecies of the destruction of Jerusalem (Daniel 9:26; Matthew 22:7; 24:2), to return to Judaism meant facing the fiery indignation which took place in 70 A.D. What tragedy awaited in those who thus spurned Christ, despised the privileges into which the blood of the new covenant brought them, and insulted the Spirit of grace!

Throughout the "warning passages," it is valuable to note the use of "we" for all the Hebrews who claimed a relationship with Christ, "you" for those whose fruits showed they were genuine believers, and "they" for the individuals who turned away, thus showing that they were never saved.

D. Oliver