"Let us leave behind the elementary teaching about Christ and go forward to adult understanding. Let us not lay over and over again the foundation truths — repentance from the deeds which led to death, believing in God, baptism and laying-on of hands, belief in the life to come and the final judgment. No, if God allows, let us go on." (Hebrews 6:1-3)
Following hard on the heels of Chapter 5's closing tongue-lashing, we now get this: A charge to stop, in the Church, always talking about the original stuff - and did you catch this? - the "original stuff" is essentially the Gospel! And let me say this too: If these three verses weren't set here in stone in the New Testament canon, there would be plenty of voices all too happy to say that this writer must be some kind of heretic.
But he's not. He simply knows that it is impossible to transact with the living Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit and stay as you are, stay in the same conversations. Jesus is the Way. The Way is movement. We must move.
But we can read those verses and think - let's be honest: "But where are we supposed to go? What's next?"
Well, if we tweak every clause within those three verses and consider what might follow each aspect - sort of the inverse, converse, or contrapositive of each part - I think we get a pretty clear picture of what we're supposed to be after. Give it a read:
“Let us go toward the advanced teaching about Christ and leave behind the childish understanding. Let us build the house that rises from the foundation truths — accepting the holiness and deathlessness fully acquired at the hour of our repentance; believing God for the fullness of His promises, not just for our basic salvation; receiving our totally new life and living only from it; operating only in the power of the Holy Spirit, experiencing the life of Heaven now and not only after death; and living as those utterly free from judgment so that we might set about the rescue of those presently enwrapped by judgment. Yes, since God allows, let us stand firm.”
But we can read those words and think: "Yeah, but that sounds pretty intense, pretty costly; aren't I just as much a child of God if I just kinda stay put?"
But I want to give you an image that was given to me by a friend, years ago, of the difference we're talking about:
Imagine two sons of a king, one a man, one a little boy. Both are equally, deeply loved and cherished by their father; both sit with him at his banquet table as princes...
But when the enemy comes and lays siege to that castle, the little one is stowed away in a cupboard, and the older one is told, "Go put on your armor."
That's the difference we're talking about.
The question is: What kind of son do you want to be?
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