October 17 – Hebrews 6:1-3. Foundations of Faith.

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 17 – Hebrews 6:1-3. Foundations of Faith.

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.

Just about the time you think the author of Hebrews is disgusted with his readers because they haven’t moved beyond milk to solid food, he says something more to them.  Rather than taking the time to go through and re-teach the elementary foundations of the Christian faith, he asks them to allow what they already know to be the foundation for moving toward maturity.  This is good news for them and it can be for us as well.

There are six foundational elements in this passage. These are the things that we need to understand, believe in and act upon as the very foundation of our life in Christ according to Hebrews.

Repentance from acts that lead to death. Turn away from those things which will remove us from God and lead us to death.  Jesus died to conquer death.  The debt has been paid, we only need to stop doing those things.

Faith in God.  If you’ve been reading along with me, you will see that the author is pretty adamant about this.  He pleads with us to not harden our hearts toward God as those who wandered the desert with Moses did.

Cleansing rites.  For us, this is baptism as prescribed by Jesus.  We must be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  That cleansing is a reminder of the power of God flooding through us, removing the old and cleansing us to make room for the new.

Laying on of hands. This really does imply the need for community, for surrounding ourselves with other Christians, those who are willing to reach out and pray for us, to lay hands on for healing, to care for us when we are in need and to worship with us.

The last two – resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment aren’t necessarily things we will actively pursue while we are alive, but we must believe that they are true.  This is what the author believes to be foundations of our faith.  We will rise again and be in heaven. There will be a time when God judges everyone.  Only by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior will we be permitted into the throne room.  He is our advocate and our salvation.