Thursday, January 02, 2014

Stong Meat Hebrews 5 Part 1

As we end the year of 2013, it is fitting for us to look back to see where we have been. It is also fitting for us to look forward, as best we can, to see where we are going.
         In looking back, we do not always see things clearly or accurately. How much more is this the case when looking forward? We cannot see far into the future, maybe only a few steps at a time. We tend to think that we see a great distance but we find that we often have to meander to get to things that seem so close. The meandering is what we call life. But our lives are not impersonal. The meandering is meaningful and in the course of our staggering too and fro, the Lord directs our paths. This ought to be a great comfort for us.
         As we look back, we ought not to simply chronicle what has happened. Sometimes we can do that with some level of consistency. But get two people to tell the story and you will always have two stories. The final story is not necessarily what happened, it is just your agreement on what happened.
         But we are Christians and our desire is to please the Lord in all that we do. This, too, is sometimes hard to ascertain. Did we please the Lord this year? Were our decisions attempts to do what is right in the Lord’s eyes? We justify ourselves in many ways and so we cannot even accurately assess our own past. And to try to do so too closely is a great lesson in futility. So, what ought we to do? How can we know where we have come from and to some degree, determine where we are going?
In some cases, you know you have made headway in your meandering as a Christian, growing in sanctification. You do know where you have come from and are simply desperately trying not to ever go back there again.
         Our lesson today is titled Strong Meat. As Christians, we ought to be moving forward seeking the strong meat of the Lord, attempting to move into the deep things of God. We call this growth in grace, or sanctification. We sometimes cannot see this ourselves and may even feel as if we are going backwards rather than forwards. But if you continue to choose Christ daily, then rest assured you are moving forwards.
In the following lesson, here are some things that the writer says are not strong meat.
Heb.6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,  2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
         I don’t know about you but it seems to me that the things he mentions are more like solid food than milk.  Here they are.
1.    The first principles of the doctrine of Christ- I suppose this would be who is the Christ. He is the Son of God, God in the flesh.
2.    Foundation of Repentance from dead works -That we repent from our dead works. We must have a sense that they are useless to save us.
3.    Faith toward God- We understand that to repent of dead works leaves a void and we must look to God to fill us up. This can only be done by looking to the Lord Christ in faith.
4.    Resurrection of the dead- We will be raised and have everlasting life with God.
5.    Eternal judgment- Those who will not repent and be saved will be judged by God and damned to hell forever.

These things seem both foundational and worth revisiting. What is the apostle getting at? How is it that we should desire meat and not merely milk? What is it to move on to the deep things of God, not spending our time on the foundational principles?

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