We cannot go on to a maturity of growth in God’s plan until the spiritual foundation is laid and secured in a person’s heart.
We are indeed urged by the apostle Paul to “go on unto perfection.” But this cannot come to pass until the foundation, or “first principles of the doctrine of Christ” is laid (Heb. 6: 1).
Now Paul’s exhortation begs some questions. What does “perfection,” or maturity entail? What are these “first principles” of Christ’s doctrine, and how do they serve as a foundation for the glorification of His body to follow?
If Christ’s teachings outlined in this passage are the very foundation of building this “holy habitation,” this “temple of the Holy Spirit,” then what will the finished spiritual edifice look like? If the church is “His body” and the very temple of God, and if we are to “grow up into Him,” then what will He have us doing in this spiritually mature state during these latter days?
Your Ways Are Not My Ways
To get to the answers to these questions, we must look at the spiritual things of God though His perspective. Because His ways are not our ways, we have to see His things through His eyes (Isa. 55: 8). But there is a “catch–22” here. We cannot look through God’s eyes while we still have our old sinful nature.
This is the reason that there are thousands of theologians, pastors, priests, and preachers who just cannot see God’s vision of perfection for us because they have not had the foundation of the first principles of the doctrine of Christ–the first two of which are “repentance from dead works (sin) and faith toward God.”
They cannot see through God’s eyes, whose vision He has elucidated in plain language in the Bible for us. They don’t get it because they have not repented from works that bring forth death in their own lives. In other words, they are still in their sins; they haven’t repented from sin in their lives. In fact, most of them teach that a person cannot be free from sin and sinning.
Repentance from Sin and Sinning a Must for Growth
And why? Because they will not believe that it is possible to be rid of sin and sinning. They don’t believe that God can do it in this life. So they continue to teach and preach that you cannot stop sinning. They teach that you can be saved and go to heaven if you believe in Jesus, but that He cannot save you from sin and sinning. They are called to maturity, but the spiritual temple that they could be cannot “grow up into Him” because of a lack of the righteous foundation that true repentance and faith provides.
This saddens me greatly in writing this, for I know that there are many sincere preachers out there who have not been taught the true doctrine of Christ. They have run with hand-me-down rags of man’s reasonings about Christ and have not been clothed with the true robe of righteousness found in His truth. It saddens me that they have been duped into thinking that whatever biblical training they have received is all there is. In reality they have been fed stale crumbs of doctrine which are unable to nourish them up into full grown men of God! And so Christ’s question to us resounds: “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?” (Matt. 24: 45). What will it take for us to wake up and seek the “meat” of the word?
So these preachers, some very well-meaning, have been purveyors of poisoned promises, which can never nourish the children of God into growing up into the mature spiritual temple. Fed false doctrines, the children of God cannot “grow up into Him,” personally or corporately, because they have not repented from actions that bring forth death–sin, in other words.
Spiritual death hovers over them, and they are lulled to sleep by false promises of “the sweet by and by” on “the beautiful shore” of man’s imaginations of what heaven is. And they never come to grips with the fact that the soon-coming King Jesus/Yahshua “is an austere man,” who expects to find a “glorious church without spot, wrinkle, or any such thing” (Luke 19: 21; Eph. 5: 27). Those “spots” are false teachers, false prophets, and false doctrines (Jude 12; II Peter 2: 13).
A Sad Day
And when He returns to set up His kingdom, He is going to deliver to somebody this terrifying retort: “I never knew you; depart from Me” (Matt. 7: 23). And He will be speaking in that day to people who claim to know Him well. And they will persist and say to Him in that day, But, Lord, did we not prophesy and teach in your name? Didn’t we do great things in the ministry? We built this fine sanctuary and dedicated it to You, and we planted churches and sent missionaries all over the world to help the poor. We saved many lives feeding the poor people of Africa, and we did it to glorify You!
And then Christ is going to say, Yes, but you ran with the wrong vision. I did not send you. You ran with what some natural thinking man said about Me. You believed a man who had not even died on the cross with Me, who did not have enough faith toward God to receive a new heart after the death of his old sinful heart–who did not experience being baptized into My death, much less being immersed in My Spirit and fire–who did not dig deep and build his house upon the Rock, who wiped his mouth, content he had done no wrong, and settled into his own house built on the sand of man’s traditions (Jer. 29: 9; Rom. 6: 1-6; Matt. 7: 24-27).
Oh, it will be a sad day when millions, who were called, find out that they were not chosen due to their lack of study and prayer and preparation (Matt. 22: 14; II Tim 2: 15). Had they studied to “prove all things,” then God could have shown them the deeper walk, away from the crash and crescendo of Sunday morning’s man-musings about God, and into the quiet whisper of God’s “still small voice” that leads His elect down a narrow road that few will trod, for few there be to find this way of truth (Matt. 7: 14).
I personally know preachers today who will not listen to anything “new”–anything that does not agree with their denominational line and pre-conceived concepts–that does not line up with what grandpa and grandma and mom and dad taught. They just will not “prove all things,” both things that they believe to be true, nor things they already think to be false. I do not condemned them. It just saddens me, is all. For they do not realize that much more light is being shed during these latter days–light that grandma and grandpa did not have.
Without the foundation as outlined in Hebrews 6, a Christian cannot grow spiritually, for they will never be rid of the bondage to sin. For this concept of sin that is so “incorrect” to talk about in our society today is at the heart of the matter. Christ and all His apostles and prophets spoke of sin continually. The apostle John even says that “whosoever sins has not seen Him, neither known Him” (I John 3: 6).
The whole plan has God’s Spirit coming down and taking up residence in us. But He will not dwell in an unclean temple (I Cor. 3: 16-17). So He has made a way for us to get rid of the old sinful heart at the cross, and by faith receive a new heart that can receive His Spirit. Wonderful news. But that is just the first steps on the road to immortality. There’s so much more as we learn about how we are to walk in preparation to literally become the kings and queens in God’s soon-coming kingdom to be set up shortly right here on earth. Remember: He is the King of kings. Kenneth Wayne Hancock
[I appreciate your comments. For more on these topics, be sure to read my two books found at the top of this page. Just click “Ebook…”]