Leaving the Elementary to Go on to Maturity (Hebrews 6:1-3)

Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so" (Hebrews 6:1-3)

One of my favorite things to do is visit big cities. I love walking around town, taking in the skyscraper scenery and experiencing the hustle and bustle of big city life.  New York is perhaps the most impressive of cities that I have ever visited. Every square inch is occupied by tall buildings and skyscrapers. Anything less than twenty stories dwarfs in comparison to what makes up New York City skyline. Considering the fact that all of this is housed on a tiny island, it makes sense that what you see above the surface is relative to what lies beneath. To support dozens of floors, each skyscraper must have footings that go deep into the earth. The foundation must be built right or the building would never support the addition of height.

The same is true for believers. Our foundation must be well constructed. We must know and understand certain things first in order to receive the deeper things of God later. The foundation always comes first. The cornerstone of this entire belief system is built on Jesus. Then as we get to know Him and read His Word certain principles are laid, solidifying the base we are building. What is being formed will support the many deep and wonderful truths of God in the future. But to build the sixteenth floor the foundation has to be in place first.

This passage of scripture is a call to start moving in the direction of maturity. The writer of Hebrews is still on the same thought as the ending of chapter 5. He begins this chapter with 'therefore' and as the saying goes, any time you see this in scripture you need to pause and find out what it is “there for”. He ended chapter 5 rebuking the people for their laziness in understanding important beginning truths. They still needed the milk showing their infancy, not willing to grow and train themselves to understand even the base principals of God. Because of this, he is saying it is time to move on to spiritual maturity. They need to take the foundation of what they'd been taught and strive for more understanding.

This list of elementary truths should be the foundation of our lives. These doctrines are important to know so well we could teach them to others. Understanding these things concerning repentance, faith, baptisms, laying on of hands, the resurrection and eternal judgment are the base things of God, they are beginning truths. But having these as our foundation of faith assures that the principles built on them will be secure and supported. This is why the writer says it is time to move on toward completeness and perfection belonging to the spiritually mature. And now, he aims to do just that. The next principles discussed in Hebrews can be hard to understand, but we will be proceeding into advanced teaching leaning on our foundational understanding to support these deeper truths.

Just as each floor of a New York skyscraper is built on the preceding one until the entire building is completed, we are to continue growing in the Word until the very end. It is not a onetime read. Each time through brings more understanding and more revelation than the time before. As we plant these seeds in our hearts we can expect much return on our investment. David said we will be like a tree planted by the streams of water yielding fruit in season and prospering (Psalm 1:2-3).


Juli Camarin

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