Hebrews Chapter 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. 3 And this will we do, if God permit.”
Foundations are extremely important. Every house is built on a foundation. Also, learning new things are built on foundations. A young child must first build a foundation of understanding a few basic words and then build upon it before that child can mature into a knowledgeable adult. Isaiah spoke of a foundation for doctrine: Is. 28:9 “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall
he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:” Everything that we learn is precept upon precept: line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” Likewise, learning the major teachings of the bible and of those things pertaining to the
Lord’s church kingdom are precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little, there a little.
Paul speaks of the principles of the doctrine of Christ as the foundation for going on unto perfection (maturity) in the service of God. Paul include in that foundation of the principles of the doctrine of Christ:
1. Repentance from dead works. Notice that he did not say, “Repentance from evil works.” There is a difference between evil works and dead works. Dead works were the works that the Jews were observing when they continued to observe the Old Testament “law service” which had been completed in Christ Jesus. Moreover, the Jews of that day had
perverted the law service and tried to make it do something that it was not designed to do. They tried to make it a legalistic system whereby a person through observing and keeping the law could get right with God. Once the Lord had satisfied the law and redeemed his people from their sins, there was no more a need to observe the “law service.” Those were now dead works. When John came preaching he said,
“Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” What John was teaching is that the time had come to turn from the “law kingdom” and turn to the “kingdom of heaven” in their worship and service. Likewise, the call to repent was made on the day of Pentecost, when the people cried out, “men and brethren what shall we do?” The answer was “Repent, and be baptized every one of you…” Moreover, the doctrine of repentance
from dead works or erroneous works is a basic tenant in the Lord’s church today. People who come need to repent of the worldly legalistic system of salvation by their actions and turn to the truth that salvation from sin is by the grace of God alone.
2. Faith towards God. Faith toward God is more than just a belief in God. Moreover, it is a belief also in the word of God. Faith towards God involves walking in the teachings of God’s word and trusting in God that he will keep his promises. Paul later on states it this way in Heb. 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he
that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” If we have faith towards God we will believe that he is and that he will reward us when we diligently seek him and keep his words.
3. “Of the doctrine of baptisms.” There are several baptisms that are taught in the scriptures, but those concerning the church kingdom of God there are two: baptism of the Holy Ghost and water baptism. Both of these are foundational. In the early church when Christ had completed setting up the church he dedicated it on the day of Pentecost: Acts
2:2 “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Moreover, He did this also with the Gentiles at the household of
Cornelius: Acts 11:15 “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. 16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.” All this was similar to what we find in the Old Testament when the tabernacle was finished and the cloud filled the tabernacle and the scriptures declare that the glory of
the Lord filled the tabernacle. Likewise, when the temple was completed, the cloud filled the temple and the scriptures declared to us that the glory of the Lord filled the temple.
The baptism of the Holy Ghost was foundational in both identifying the Lord’s approval of the church and of its worship and service to Him in the world.
Likewise, water baptism is foundational as the first step of a child of God in becoming a disciple of the Lord in his church. In the book of Matthew we read of the command that the Lord gave unto the apostles when he told them: 18-20 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Water baptism signifies the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ which is our motivation for the desire to serve him in His church kingdom on earth. To the disciple it begins with water baptism and
then goes on into learning and doing all things whatsoever the Lord teaches us in his word.
4. Laying on of hands. The laying on of hands of the presbytery is a function of the New Testament church. The preaching of the gospel is foundational to the New Testament church. Therefore, it is necessary that those who preach the gospel are qualified and sound in the fundamental doctrines and practices laid down for us in the New Testament. To
insure that the church would not drift into error by subsequent generations and by designing men, the Lord gave us a protection against the devices of unsound and designing men. He gave us the practice of judging the soundness of a man to preach the gospel and to maintain the government of the New Testament church. The presbytery the Lord established was to be made up of those who already had proved themselves as
being sound in doctrine, practice, and government to judge the qualifications and readiness of a young preacher to go forward as an ordained elder in the New Testament church.
Moreover, to assure that the widows and needy in the church were not neglected in the daily ministration and that the elders of the church were not overtaxed or overburdened, the Lord gave the office of the deacon to the New Testament Church and instructed the church to choose out men who would meet certain qualifications and set them as deacons in the church. This too is done through
examination by a presbytery and the laying on of hands.
5. Resurrection of the dead. This is a bedrock foundational principle of the doctrine of Christ. Paul spent a whole chapter in 1 Corinthians Chapter 15 addressing this issue. To deny the resurrection of the dead is to deny the hope of a child of God. Christ’s resurrection is in separately connected to the resurrection of the elect family of God
at his coming. To suggest that all that will be in glory are the souls and spirits of the elect makes a mockery of the death of Christ.
6. Eternal judgment. The doctrine of eternal judgment through the shed blood of Christ for the elect and of a future eternal judgment for the non-elect is foundational to our eternal life and is a foundational teaching of the word of God. The whole purpose and utility of the scriptures fail without this foundational truth.