Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.
The writer of the book of Hebrews wanted to share some of the heady spiritual truths about Jesus. Some of the exciting insights about the work of Messiah, his eternal priesthood, and the mystical, mysterious priestly order of Melchizedek. Solid food kind of stuff. Real meat.
But he was frustrated that his readers seemed unprepared for the deeper, spiritual lessons. He was ready to go deep, but his readers were still shallow. They didn’t have the basics down. He wanted to feed his readers meat and potatoes but he was afraid they might not be able to digest solid food. They were still spiritually immature, like children still breastfeeding way past the age when they should of been weaned.
Or, if you prefer a different analogy…he was ready to build a beautiful spiritual temple but he was frustrated that the foundation had not yet been laid. What are those foundational teachings? There are 6 listed in this passage:
1. Repentance from dead works
2. Faith toward God
3. Instruction about washings
4. The laying on of hands
5. The resurrection of the dead
6. Eternal judgement
Do you have a good handle on these? Do we have this stuff down? We do not. In fact, I’m sorry to say that 2,000 years later we have less of a clue about these six foundational teachings than the original readers of the Book of Hebrews possessed.
So, we will spend the next couple months wading our way through this little sliver of the Word of God. We will try to lay the foundation again. We will present each teaching from an original, messianic Jewish, first century church perspective because, after all, Christianity was still comprised solely of Jewish people back then and the Jewish writer of the book of Hebrews was writing to Jewish readers.
I’m really excited about this series of messages. I think it’s a timely series for our church as we prepare to lay a literal foundation for a new building on our property. My goal is exactly the same as that of the writer of Hebrews…that we might leave these foundational truths in order to go on to maturity.
And God permitting, we will do so.