A Systematic Expository Study on the book of Hebrews
STUDY 14: PRESSING ON TO PERFECTION
Hebrews 6: 1 - 3
The desire and goal of Paul, the inspired writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews had been to reveal the exalted person, position and perfection of Jesus Christ. Christ had already been revealed as the “appointed heir of all things”, the Creator of the worlds, the brightness of God’s glory, the Express Image of God’s Person who is much better and higher than angels (Hebrews 1:2-4).
The introductory verses of the Epistle point to Christ as the One who “by Himself purged our sins” and” sat down on the right Hand of the majesty on high”. He is the “merciful and faithful High Priest” (Hebrews 2:17). Aaron was appointed the first High Priest under the Old covenant. Christ is a greater, higher and better High Priest. He is ordained “a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 5:6,10). The Apostle had much to say on Melchisedec and Christ’s order of priesthood. He was restrained from immediately revealing the deep, profound, glorious truths concerning Christ because the Hebrew christians had become “dull of hearing” (Hebrews 5:11).
Now the inspired writer took some time to call the christians to maturity and perfection before exposing them to greater revelation. Truth is precious. We must be willing to leave the baby stage of christian experience and knowledge if we desire deeper things from God.
FORWARD MARCH TO GLORIOUS PERFECTION
Hebrews 6:1; 7:19; 10:14; 13:20,21; Ephesians 4:12,13; Colossians 1:28; 4:12; 1 John 4:17; Genesis 17:1; Deuteronomy 18:13; 2 Timothy 3:16,17; James 3:2; Matthew 5:48.
“Let us go on unto perfection”. The Apostle had earlier rebuked the christians for being perpetual babes, for their slow progress towards maturity (Hebrews 5:12,13). He desired that they would grow up, be able to take strong meat, come to “full age” in christian knowledge and experience, become useful in the kingdom, they “ought to be teachers” (Hebrews 5:12-14). Now he throws a challenge to them: “Let us go on unto perfection.”.
Parents want their children to grow up and God wants His children to grow in knowledge, holiness, faith, christian character, endurance, and usefulness. He called Abraham to perfection and in Christ He made provision for every believer’s perfection. God’s Word is to lead us to perfection (2 Timothy 3:16,17) and ministers of the Word are appointed by God and gifted by Christ “for the perfecting of the saints” (Ephesians 4:11,12).
“Let us go on unto perfection.” Paul revealed his resolve to teach the christians divine revelations of Christ to lead them to perfection. He expected them to learn, pray and experience Christ more so that they would come to the perfection He taught. “Let us go” - He by teaching, they by learning and living. Reaching the destination demands rising and moving consistently in the right direction.
FUNDAMENTAL MESSAGE OF GOSPEL PREACHING
Hebrews 6:1,2; Acts 17:30; 20:21; 1 Peter 1:21; John 14:1; Luke 3:16; 12:50; Acts 6:6; 13:3; 1 Timothy 5:22; Daniel 12:2; John 5:28,29; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Acts 17:31.
Foundations are necessary but they do not make the whole building. We need superstructure on the foundation. The foundation even becomes invisible as the building is brought to completion or perfection. Paul here mentions six elements in the foundation of gospel presentation: 1) “repentance from dead works”; 2) “faith toward God”; 3) “doctrine of baptisms”; 4) “laying on of hands”; 5) “resurrection of the dead”; and 6) “eternal judgement”
These fundamental doctrines were still part of “the whole counsel of God” but the Apostle desired that the Hebrew christians would grow up, move on to perfection and know the whole revealed truth rather than knowing only these fundamental truths all through their lives.
Some churches and christians concentrate on a few doctrines of the Bible and neglect the call to higher grounds. They preach and believe salvation but neglect consecration, sanctification, sacrificial love and evangelism, marriage which symbolises the union between Christ and the Church, separation from the world and all its entanglements, holiness and christian perfection. Many christians and churches remain in the baby stage for many years. “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection” (Hebrews 6:1).
FURTHER MINISTRY UNDER GOD’S PERMISSION
Hebrews 6:3; Acts 18:21; Romans 15:32; 1 Corinthians 4:19; 16:7; James 4:13-15.
“And this will we do, if God permit” (Hebrews 6:3). On Paul’s part, he was determined to minister to the Hebrew christians, to teach them the “many things hard to be uttered”, to reveal to them the sublime glories of Christ, to give them “strong meat” and lead them to perfection. Yet he would have to be led of God who alone could remove their “dullness of hearing”. Removal of their dullness of hearing, creating a desire in them to move forward and go on to perfection, would be a concrete sign that God had permitted Paul to teach them more.
“And this will we do, if God permit”. Our will must be so yielded and surrendered to God that we are willing to do ONLY what God permits by His Word and His Spirit. All the plans of our lives must be surrendered to God for necessary correction, cancellation or confirmation.
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