We start the new year off with Chapter 6 of Hebrews and a reminder that we have a responsibility as people of the Faith to grow and learn that which we are charged by our Lord and Savior to do. There must be progress in the Christian life. Just as a builder lays a good foundation, he moves on to other aspects of the build to ensure its completion. The word used by the writer of Hebrews translates from the Greek to perfection.
‘Philo. … 50 CE), also called Philo Judaeus, was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who lived in Alexandria, in the Roman province of Egypt. Philo used philosophical allegory to harmonize Jewish scripture, mainly the Torah, with Greek philosophy.’ (*1)
Philo divided his students into three groups. There were those just beginning, those who were making progress and those beginning to reach maturity. This is often referred to as going on to perfection. We must not allow ourselves to be mislead by this use of the word perfection. We know or should be aware of the fact that we will never reach perfection in this life. Most commentaries agree that what the writer is more concerned with here is the aspect of maturity, giving us two things to consider.
-He equates it to something to do with the mind. As we grow older we should have by this time thought out some things in life and be better able to articulate our faith in Jesus and why we believe he is the Son of God. We should have a deeper understanding of the importance and significance of the Christian faith and living as a disciple of Christ.
-He means it has something to do with life. Our lives should reflect Christ more and more as we seek to remove the spiritual faults and striving for a more virtuous life. There should be in our lives a spiritual peace that can be seen by those around us. We must continue to build upon the foundation of faith and share that faith with a maturity gained in reflective study of God’s word.
We are only into the first three verses of this chapter and the intensity of the writer can be experienced in the words he puts to the paper. There are some basic teachings of the early Church revealed in these verses. The repentance of sins is a major event in the early christian life. Putting aside those things that separate us from Christ, a literal change to how we live life. There is a faith that looks to God. Our actions are determined not by the actions of others but by the will of God as given by the discernment of the Holy Spirit. Then there is the teachings about washings. Simply put, Christians must know what baptism really means. I am going to stop here and pick up next week with some things about baptism that are extremely interesting concerning the many different methods employed in the Christian church today. We will look at the biblical explanation of this very important step on our journey to perfection. Please join us in the Pew next week.
Life is Good
Sources . (*1) Wikipedia DBS/Barclay