Hebrews 6:1-2 (NLT) – So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
The writer of Hebrews gives an expectation of the concepts that the Christian (who has been in the faith for a while) should already have a handle on. In other words, the things listed are of the “basic teachings,” which should be a part of the believer’s understanding to the point that they do not need to go over them “again and again.” The writer is not saying that repentance, faith, baptism, giving blessing or a commissioning for a particular responsibility, resurrection, and judgement are not important. Just the opposite. These things are extremely important. So important in fact that they are considered by the author to be of “fundamental importance,” which the people in view “don’t need further instruction about.”
This leads to a question…
If these concepts are described in such way, what then is it that followers of Christ should be focusing on?
The previous verses tell us..
Hebrews 5:12-14 (NLT) – You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.
The believer is considered to be “mature” when they “have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.” A great exercise for each of us would be to take a serious inventory of how often we find ourselves “again and again,” rehashing the basics, rather than moving on to maturity.
So, how is that maturity gained?
Through the “training” of each other. A few verses later, the Hebrews writer shows what that looks like by encouraging the continued demonstration of love that has already been happening amongst his readers…
Hebrews 6:11-12 (NLT) – Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.
“As long as life lasts,” we today must also continue to “keep on loving others,” so that we… “will not become spiritually dull and indifferent.” Becoming dull and indifferent in a spiritual sense is the losing of the wherewithal to recognize the difference between right and wrong, which is the opposite of what becoming a mature believer is all about.
What should we do if we ever find ourselves becoming this way?
We must instead…
“…follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.”
Godspeed, to the brethren!
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