You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
1 Therefore [dio] leaving [aphiemi] the principles [arche] of the doctrine [logos] of Christ [Christos], let us go on [phero] unto [epi] perfection [teleiotes]; not [me] laying [kataballo] again [palin] the foundation [themelios] of repentance [metanoia] from [apo] dead [nekros] works [ergon], and [kai] of faith [pistis] toward [epi] God [theos],
2 Of the doctrine [didache] of baptisms [baptismos], and [te] of laying on [epithesis] of hands [cheir], and [te] of resurrection [anastasis] of the dead [nekros], and [kai] of eternal [aionios] judgment [krima].
3 And [kai] this [touto] will we do [poieo], if [ean] [per] God [theos] permit [epitrepo]. KJV-Interlinear
1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of instruction about washings, and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this we shall do, if God permits. NASB
Once a person has been saved, he needs to begin the growth process to maturity. Too often people believe in Christ and after that they never get off the ground in their spiritual growth process. Things begin to fall apart for them in life and they wonder why. Where are the promises from God?
The primary problem? They never grew up. They never learned anything more than the fundamental basics of the Christian life, if they ever learned the basics.
A new believer can attend church every Sunday for years and never learn a thing. They might think they have learned doctrines. They might even think they are living the Christian life, but they are not. What has happened in their life is that they have become accustomed to the emotional evangelistic calls, and/or they have come to the conclusion that living a good moral life is really the Christian way of life. Those morals being defined by their pastor, or by politicians, by conservative thinking folks, or things that they have just heard and selectively adopted from society in general (socially, television, radio, movies, etc.).
The truth? They are all wrong.
Believers who do not get off of the basics of doctrine or who improperly apply, to the spiritual realm, the opinions of society never grow up. Even though various topics of discussion in society are valid (Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly), if they are not weighed against the perfect standard of Gods Word, then they become irrelevant and nothing more than fuel for the empty discussions of jungle contestants.
Believers get emotional about various issues in life - politics, social values, environmentalism, abortion, global warming, dancing on Sundays, wearing colors other than black, and so forth. They base their opinions, their beliefs, on personal preferences or emotions rather than on truth.
Even though some issues may be valid (patriotism, honesty, etc.), if God is excluded from the standards of the persons life, then all values eventually become irrelevant in the long run of the individuals life. Why? Because each person has a destiny and it is not related to how they live their good life, but how they grow up spiritually.
Good living does not produce spirituality. Spirituality does however produce good morals and ethics.
Remember that truth is where facts and reality meet and match up perfectly. Opinion more often misapplies facts and begins with its conclusion, then finds facts to support the conclusion. This is typical of the liberal minded person.
In order to get ahead in life, a person has to grow up spiritually. Physically growing up, mentally growing up are irrelevant. Spiritual growth is the key to ones life.
The writer of Hebrews lists some of the basics of the spiritual life. Things that the infant believer should know, but more often doesn't know, or just can't seem to get past. The more we neglect our spiritual growth, the more we become immune to it and the deeper our true spiritual indifference becomes.
We become blind to truth having become consumed by our well entrenched beliefs. When the warnings from God finally do come to us, we don't recognize them and the sufferings intensify until we either wake up, or die, or God relegates us to the role of historical filler.
By the way, the bulk of the world has the role of historical filler. And, in that role there will be lots of positioning for places in the jungle of the world as we see in the world of liberal or celebrity driven politics, as well as great suffering for lots of folks as we have seen over the decades of Aids infected people who just won't change their life style.
Stubbornness in attitude perpetuates all of the problems of the world. The next real threat seems like it will come in the form of this bird flu. It is just hanging out there on the horizon like a stalled threatening storm, but not quite ready to move onto shore.
The fundamentals of the Christian life begin with the gospel. Believe in Christ and be saved. In our country this is not generally a barrier as it is in other countries around the world. Most folks across the planet can't seem to come to the point of belief. But faith in Christ is not our topic here. Our topic here is moving on after you have believed in Christ.
Here many folks just want to believe in Christ this week and again next week and the week after and so forth. It is their emotional high and they center their life on their emotions.
Emotions do not think, they were never intended to think. They are there for appreciation, not decision making. You only need to believe in Christ once and you are saved. Christ went to the Cross only once. Don't crucify Him over and over, again and again.
Likewise, repentance from dead works, faith toward God, instruction about washings, laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment, all these are fundamental subjects which the infant believer should understand.
The first four (dead works, faith, washings, laying on of hands) deal with the concept of the fellowship function of the spiritual life. Dead works are those works of production from the sin nature. Faith is the function of your belief in spiritual matters - not from empiricism, not from logic. Washings is the confession function for regaining your fellowship status. The laying on of hands is the 'picture' of transferring our sins to Christ as He has paid the price for all of our sins. In the Levitical offerings the priest or the offeror, placed his hands on the animal to be sacrificed thus portraying the transfer of his sins to the animal. These are all teaching aids aimed at teaching the fundamental spiritual concepts they are associated with.
The last two items mentioned deal with the hereafter. There will be a resurrection of everyone. Granted these resurrections will come is a specific sequence - Christ was resurrected first, the Royal Family will be resurrected second at the Rapture, Old Testament believers will be resurrected at the Second Advent, the Millennial believers will be resurrected at the end of the Millennium, and last and finally all unbelievers will be resurrected for the Great White Throne. The last resurrection for unbelievers will not be a happy one for them. Their next stop will be the Lake of Fire.
This brings us to the eternal judgments. There are several of those. For believers after each of the respective resurrections, there will be an evaluation - the Judgment Seat of Christ. This is a good judgment to be in.
It is where all believers will receive their just reward for their spiritual growth. Those who grow up spiritually will receive great reward which they will have for all of eternity. Those who do not grow up will receive little to nothing in rewards. And by the way, our subject ultimately in Hebrews is the very real risk you take by not growing up spiritually. The risk of receiving nothing.
And of course there are the unbelievers who will be resurrected for their judgment, and that judgment will be the Lake of Fire.
History is set. History will play itself out in the exact detail which God decreed it in eternity past. Those who will believe, will believe. Those who will not believe, will not believe.
The dispensations of human history will continue on course until Jesus Christ pulls the lever of history and finally ends all of human history.
We are not here to grow up physically, be successful, retire and sit watching the sunset forever. We are here to prepare ourselves spiritually. As for the various events of human history, God controls history directly through the application of His own power, God uses prepared believers to guide history in the direction of His choosing, and God permits certain jungle activities to unfold, limited by the laws of divine establishment.
Your ultimate role in history depends on the decisions you make throughout your life. Today is the time to begin making the right decisions for yourself.
44 'No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. NASB
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.