We resume our series on Statements of Persuasion by Pastor Olawunmi Abraham Marcel
Pastor Olawunmi Abraham Marcel is the Pastor of God’s DreamWorld Ministries.
Statements of persuasion from Hebrews (10).
In the last post, we established that the throne of Grace is the moment of Salvation. It is where the high priesthood of Jesus becomes effective for a man upon believing. Today, we proceed further to yet another statement of persuasion from the beautiful book of Hebrews. Hebrews 6:1-2, ‘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, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.’
This is a very interesting portion of Scripture. Let’s see two major terms here; ‘Principles of the doctrine of Christ’ and ‘perfection’. For the first, some have inferred it to mean ‘basic Christian doctrine or foundation school teachings’. Let’s examine if this is true. The word ‘principle’ comes from a Greek word which means ‘first, the beginning’. He says the beginning of ‘the doctrine of Christ’. Let’s see a similar expression that communicates the same thought. Hebrews 5:12, ‘For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which [be] the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.’ ‘The first principles of the oracles of God’. The word, ‘Principles’ is from a word which means ‘rudiments’. ‘Oracles’ are ‘prophetic utterances, words uttered by prophets’.
Let’s see something in Hebrews 1:1-2, ‘God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;’. God spoke to the Jewish patriarchs by the prophets in time past and in these last days spoken in his son. Whom he hath appointed ‘heir of all (all doesn’t have a generic application here, it is purpose specific) things’. ‘Heir’ refers to ‘the one to whom all things pertain’ ..’all’ in context refers to what was spoken by the prophets. In other words, Jesus is the focus of all the prophecies of the Old testament. All points to him.
Hence, they are his ‘first principles of the oracles of God’ and the ‘principles of the doctrine of Christ’. Here, the author talks about the Christocentric nature of the Old testament revelation. Let’s look at these principles; ‘repentance from dead work and (which is) of faith towards God’ as prophesied in the old testament (Habakkuk 2:4).
The doctrine of baptisms doesn’t refer to the plurality of water baptism and Holy Ghost baptism. Rather, it refers to washings under the law. The exact same word is used in Hebrews 9:10, ‘[Which stood] only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed [on them] until the time of reformation.’ The laying on of hands refers to how the priest put his hands on the animals for sacrifice on account of the sins of the people. Leviticus 16:21, ‘And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send [him] away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:’.
The resurrection from the dead refers to the facts of Christ’s resurrection. Psalms 16:10-11, ‘For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence [is] fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures for evermore.’. Peter explains this in Acts 2:30-31. Then, eternal judgement- Jude 14-15.
To move on to perfection is to put faith in the sacrifice of Christ. Perfection is in what Jesus did. Hebrews 10:14, ‘For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.’ He is the author and finisher (perfector) of faith. It’s in faith in the sacrifice of Christ that perfection comes. The author calls them to look away from the practices of the Old testament to their object and focus the redemptive work of Jesus. We’ll continue later.. ?#?Dunamis?