Ezekiel 10:1-22; Hebrews 6:1-10; Psalms 105:1-7; Proverbs 22:24-25
NT: “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. For it is impossible to renew to repentance those who were once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift, who shared in the Holy Spirit, who tasted God’s good word and the powers of the coming age, and who have fallen away. This is because, to their own harm, they are recrucifying the Son of God and holding him up to contempt.” (Hebrews 6:1-6 CSB)
In this passage, the writer of Hebrews laid out what the elementary and foundational teachings of faith in Christ were and continue to be. Those are: repentance from sin and dead works, faith in God, baptism in water, laying on of hands, the resurrection from the dead, and eternal judgement. In order to be a stable and functioning believer of the faith and follower of Christ, there needed to be applied understanding of those six things. Foundations must be soundly established before building can begin – and if building occurs on a faulty or weak foundation, it is much harder to go back and lay the foundation again. Apparently, among the Hebrew audience of this book, there was a lack of solid foundational understanding – and it was preventing the Hebrews from building on that foundational understanding and progressing toward maturity.
There is a saying among the church that in spiritual matters, there is no such thing as sitting in neutral – you are either pressing forward, or you are getting pushed backward. That is why discipleship is so important… and that is probably why Jesus gave us a commission of preaching the gospel AND making disciples. If someone does not have a solid foundation in the faith through discipleship, not only will they not be able to progress toward maturity, they will probably get pushed into constant cycle of back sliding or even fall into apostasy. The warning given in this passage is not referring to people who back slide, but people who have fallen into apostasy – rejecting the faith and “recrucifying Christ” – which is a possibility and sometimes a reality for people who respond to the gospel message, but never build a solid foundation in the faith and progress toward maturity.
Psalms: “Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; proclaim his deeds among the peoples. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell about all his wondrous works! Boast in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wondrous works he has done, his wonders, and the judgments he has pronounced, you offspring of Abraham his servant, Jacob’s descendants — his chosen ones. He is the Lord our God; his judgments govern the whole earth.” (Psalms 105:1-7 CSB)
Part of a good and solid foundation in Christ is faith in God. Faith in God begins by hearing about God through His word. Faith grows as we understand who God is, what He has done, and express that understanding through praise and thanksgiving. A well-established disciple of Christ will be a person of great praise and thanksgiving – constantly and consistently praising God the Father and His Son for who They are, and constantly and consistently giving thanks for what they have done. Praise and thanksgiving is one of the ways we push against the forces that push against us and press forward to maturity in Christ.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for the foundational doctrines of the church that not only keep me rooted and grounded in You, but equip me and enable me to progress forward to maturity in You. I also thank You for Your Holy Spirit who reminds me of Who You are and what You have done, and keeps me rooted to You in faith. Keep me in You as I keep Your word in my heart and press forward by grace through faith. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.