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Our goal is spiritual maturity

Therefore, let us leave the elementary teaching about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, faith in God, teaching about ritual washings, laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And we will do this if God permits. Hebrews 6:1-3 CSB

In light of the immaturity of the readers, the author tells them what they need to leave behind in order to grow. They must “leave the elementary teaching about Christ and go on to maturity.” As we have seen previously, their basic understanding of Christ was limited by their own previous religious beliefs, as seen by the way they elevate Moses, Aaron, and the angels over Christ. Instead, they are told to go on to maturity, to leave behind the basics and push forward, being fully committed to their spiritual growth. In this introductory part of the chapter, the author included himself when he said “let us” in this process of maturity. What follows are three couplets that they should mature through and progress in understanding. First pair focuses on faith and salvation. They need to move away from “repentance from dead works,” meaning salvation through works, and go towards “faith in God,” through Jesus Christ. Second pair focuses on two rituals: “washings,” and “laying on of hands.” In their custom, ritual washings were often part of their spiritual routine. By the author addressing this, it seems that they were too focused on this aspect to the point that they neglected other aspects of the Christian walk. The “foundation of repentance” has already been established when they had repented of their sin and received God’s forgiveness by the washing of His blood achieved through His death at the cross. “Laying on hands” is an act in the New Testament which focuses on affirming special gifts or praying for another as they are sent to the mission field, as seen in Acts 13:3, “Then after they had fasted, prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them off.” As with the ritual washing, they may have been too focused on the ritual of the laying on hands aspect where it distracted them from their own spiritual growth. The final pair are the “resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.” Yes, both aspects are key doctrines to the Christian faith, but they were focused so much on these two doctrines, that they were neglecting their own spiritual growth. The readers were formerly adherents of Judaism and familiar with the teachings of the Old Testament regarding the resurrection of the dead, Isaiah 26:19, “Your dead will live; their bodies will rise…and the earth will bring out the departed spirits,” also in Daniel 12:2, “Many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to eternal life, and some to disgrace and eternal contempt.” The Lord Jesus Christ already declared in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life,” therefore, He said, “those who believes in me, even if he dies, will live.” The apostles made the resurrection of the dead foundational in their teaching, “God has raised this Jesus; we are all witnesses of this” (Acts 2:32). In order to grow, there must be a need to move onto more deeper aspects of the Christian walk after grasping the basics. This push to grow does not come naturally. It is only possible with God’s help. Once again, the desire to proceed to deeper teachings for maturity should be the goal of every believer and the writer included himself in this process, “We will do this if God permits.”


Isaac De Guzman


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