Growing is Not Optional

Hebrews 6:1-8

Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.

4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; 8 but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.

At the end of chapter five, we saw a strong admonition to grow in grace, to move from milk to solid food.  Chapter six starts with “therefore.”  In other words, because it is clear that we should be on the solid food of grace and not the milk of the law, let’s not spend time repeating the basics constantly.  There are things that we should understand as Christians, and once we understand them, going over and over them isn’t necessary.

Notice that repentance from dead works is the foundation.  Dead works are efforts to obtain righteousness.  For example, do we go to church because we love God and His people, or because we feel that we must go in order to be “right” with Him?  Faith toward God is also a basic concept.  We are saved by grace, through faith.  Baptism is basic as well, of both water and Spirit.  The laying on of hands is used in many settings, such as the impartation of gifts, the Holy Spirit, and healing.  And we know that eternal judgement awaits those who choose not to put faith in Jesus.  A thorough reading of your New Testament will enlighten you in all of these areas.

The reason the author of Hebrews doesn’t go through these concepts in depth is because the believers addressed in this letter have already been well exposed to them.  There is no need to review them again because according to verses four through six, those who have already been enlightened to these principles and yet have chosen to cast them aside will not be renewed by further discussion.  It is a dangerous thing to taste the fullness of God and spit it out.  For example, Judas Iscariot walked with Jesus, participated in the miracles of the Holy Spirit, and was fully enlightened regarding the Messiah, yet he chose to give it all away.  He saw and experienced, but he didn’t receive.

Receiving is so important.  It is the determining factor of our relationship with God.  Sadly, some just will not receive and we need to be aware that the sacrifice of God’s Son is not something to take lightly.  A great price was paid.  We ignore it at our eternal peril.

Even the earth knows how to receive God’s blessings, as we see in verse seven.  That’s why Romans 5:17 says that it is those who “receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness” that go on to reign in life through Christ Jesus.  When we strive, we don’t receive.  But the earth just sits there, receiving sun and rain.  The result of receiving grace is the production of fruit useful for the Gardener.  Don’t strive today.  Brave grace, and rest on the firm foundation of Christ.

Day 14 – Confident of Better Things