It seems to me that Christians over get confused over what is elementary and what is beyond, what is maturity. Usually we think of the ‘basics’ as how you get saved, the news the Jesus died for you and you need to believe in him. The ‘mature’ things are harder doctrinal issues, textual criticism, or even more of the laws and rules that inform daily living.
That model makes sense in terms of complexity, but it fails an important test: what Scripture says.
I’m referring to an interesting and informative passage in Hebrews. Let’s take a look at Hebrews 6:1-2:
Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
Interesting. The “elementary doctrine of Christ” is the foundation of three couplets: repentance from dead works and faith toward God, instruction about washings and laying on of hand, and resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.
Whoa! Those don’t seem elementary. Well… maybe not at first blush. But think. All of these are a revealing of your need. That’s one of the very basic points of the Old Testament, and one of the very basic points of Christianity.
You need to see your need for repentance from your own dead works, and you need to trust Yahweh, God. You need to see that you need cleansing, washing… you need healing, laying on of hands. You need to see that resurrection will happen, and you face eternal judgment.
These are all statements of your need. And you get that from the Old Testament.
So what he’s saying is – you precious people, you are caught in arguments about yourselves. Your own need. That’s the basics. How good your work is, how sick you are, how much cleansing you need… even if there’s a resurrection. You’re focusing on you.
And then he says – we need to leave that. You need to see your need and get deeper.
You need to leave the elementary doctrine of Christ – elementary doctrine of MESSIAH, you know, your need for a Messiah… and into the specifics of Jesus.
That’s what Hebrews is going after. Getting maturity is getting deeper into the realities of what Jesus Christ has done. Jesus is the incredible high priest according to the order of Melchizedek, Jesus is the better blood, the better sacrifice, and he mediates a better covenant.
These things are the ‘going on to maturity.’ If you see your need, if you’ve had your eyes opened to the great need you have, the maturity is Jesus.
Our maturing is not advancing beyond Jesus, needing him less and less as we improve in practical living. Our maturing is growing in our depth of understanding of who Jesus is and what he has done. Let’s see our need… and dive into Jesus.
3 And this we will do if God permits.