THE ELEMENTARY TEACHING ABOUT THE CHRIST: dio aphentes (AAPMPN) ton
tes arches tou Christou logon tou Christou:
(Mark 1:1; John 1:1-3; 1Timothy 3:16)
Therefore - As discussed below
this is not the best chapter division (the divisions and versification are
(dio) is a
term of conclusion
(always ask "What's it 'there for?'"). Why is it there for? Because of the argument
he has just mentioned about the difficulty of subject (of the priesthood of
dullness of the readers ("by this time you ought to be teachers!" - see
It is time to get out of the crib and off the bottle and to grow up, to move
on, to become mature believers. And to help them understand the goal God
desires for His children, the writer has just present a clear contrast
between the mature Christians and the immature Christian.
Spurgeon observes that...
In the previous chapter, Paul was writing to some who ought to have been
teachers, but who needed still to be taught the first principles of the
gospel; they were such babes in grace that they needed the milk of the Word,
— the very simplest elements of gospel truth, — and not the strong meat of
solid doctrine. The apostle, however, desires that the Hebrew believers
should understand the sublimer doctrines of the gospel, and so be like men
of full age who can eat strong meat. In this chapter he exhorts them to seek
to attain to this standard.
Dave Branon puts it this way...
Few of us look in the mirror and come to the conclusion of Hall of Fame
quarterback Joe Namath. During his heyday as a player, Namath wrote a book
titled I Can't Wait Until Tomorrow . . . 'Cause I Get Better-Looking Every
As egotistical as that title sounds, it can help us see how we as believers
in the Lord Jesus Christ should view ourselves in the lifelong process of
becoming like Him. Scripture tells us that to become more like Christ, we
need to keep getting better every day.
The development of Christlikeness is called sanctification. It begins the
moment we put our faith in Christ for forgiveness of our sins. In God's eyes
we are sanctified, or "set apart" from the ungodly, and placed in God's
family. But sanctification is also the ongoing process in which we become
more and more like our Savior as we allow the Holy Spirit to develop in us
His characteristics. Our part is to "press on," striving to reach spiritual
maturity (see note
Ask yourself this question: Am I better-looking spiritually than I was
yesterday? It's a good test of whether you are becoming more like Jesus.
—Dave Branon (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Every day more like my Savior,
Every day my will resign,
Till at last Christ reigns supremely
In this grateful heart of mine. --Brandt
The new birth takes only a moment; the growth of a saint takes a lifetime.
Stedman introduces this section of the letter noting that...
Life presents a thousand examples of the need to act on knowledge before any
benefit is received. It is not enough to know a telephone number; if you
want to talk to someone, you must dial the number. It is not enough to know
the price of an object; if you want it, you must pay that price. It is not
enough to know where India is; if you want to see it, you must go there. So
it should not seem strange that the writer of Hebrews insists that to know
Jesus you must receive Him by faith and obey His teaching. The unfortunate
chapter division at this point tends to minimize the opening Therefore
of chapter 6. Our author does not propose to teach his readers again the
elementary truths of God’s word though he has told them their dullness seems
to require it. They already know the teaching; what they need now is
personal commitment to it. This can only be achieved by going on to those
actions of faith that produce maturity. For this reason he urges them to
leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on from
words to applications. Elementary teachings is not a reference
to regeneration, but means introductory information that could lead to
regeneration...These transitional truths lead from Jewish beliefs and
practices to a full sharing in Christ. Though Bruce takes them as a Jewish
list and others as Christian, the truth is they are both, as Bruce concedes
that each “acquires a new significance in a Christian context”
(1964:112). The point is that they do not represent anything but the barest
beginnings of Christian faith. It is necessary to go from the knowledge of
these initial truths to experiences which actually draw upon the priestly
ministry of Jesus for this is what would lead them from head knowledge to
heart response. (Hebrews 6:1-20 Repentance Can Be
Leaving the elementary
teaching - The verb
Leaving (as discussed more below) is in a tense (aorist)
that calls for definite, effective action by the individual. Further, the
signifies that this change of direction requires a definite choice of one's
will. Progress in the Christian life is not just "let go and let God" as
some teach, but entails personal responsibility and personal initiative to
seek to progress in the Christian life. Although the analogy is not perfect,
spiritual progress is a bit like riding a bicycle -- stop pedaling and
sooner or later you fall over. The writer of course is not implying that one
can press on to spiritual maturity in his or her own strength apart from the
grace of God and the supernatural operation of the Holy Spirit, but he does
place a responsibility for growth upon those who would seek to walk worthy
of their Lord. Paul gives a similar exhortation in
Romans 12:1 (note),
calling for each believer to present himself or herself as a living
sacrifice, for he knows that unless this act of consecration occurs and
includes a presentation of one's members to God as instruments of holiness
and righteousness, there will be no progress in spiritual maturity. We don't
just naturally "drift" toward Christlikeness.
In short, the writer
is emphasizing the human side of pressing on to maturity. Everyone born into
the family of God is born with the capacity to progress out of infancy into
maturity in Christ. But as he has already alluded to in this letter, the
writer recognized that there were those who were in danger of returning to
the old "religious" order that they might escape persecution. And so even as
a man seeking a wife is called to "leave and cleave", the writer exhorts his
readers to leave spiritual infancy and press on to spiritual maturity.
apo = prefix implies separation +
hiemi = put in motion,
send) conveys the basic idea of an action which causes separation
and means to send from one's self, to forsake, to hurl away, to put away,
let alone, disregard, put off. It conveys the basic idea of an action
which causes separation and refers to total detachment, total separation,
from a previous location or condition. It means to send forth or away from
one's self. It refers to the act of putting something away or of laying it
aside. In secular Greek aphiemi initially conveyed the sense of to
throw and in one secular writing we read "let the pot drop" (aphiemi). From
this early literal use the word came to mean leave or let go.
Wuest an an interesting note on the verb leaving writing that
participle. Greek grammar tells us that
the action of the
precedes the action of the leading verb in the sentence, which in this case
is “let us go on.” The aorist tense speaks of a once for all action. We
could translate, “Therefore, having abandoned once for all
the principles of the
doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection.” The act of abandoning is
the pre-requisite to that of going on. One cannot go on without first
separating one’s self from that to which one is attached. The word
translated “let us go on” is first person plural subjunctive, which is used
for hortatory purposes in Greek. That is, we have an exhortation here.
Another way of exhorting one in Greek is to use the imperative mode. There
is a classification of the participle in Greek which is designated, “the
participle used as an imperative.” Our word “abandoning” is an imperative
participle. It gives a command.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
Aphiemi refers to the act of
putting something away or of laying it aside
and as used in the present context
means that God lets go of the obligation we "owe" Him because of sin against
His holiness. It means to remit (to release from the guilt or penalty
of) as one would a financial debt (e.g., on the Rosetta stone it refers to
the "total remission" of certain taxes). Unfortunately the English word
"forgive" does not adequately picture the meaning of the Greek.
In secular Greek literature, aphiemi was a fundamental word used to
indicate the sending away of an object or a person. Aphiemi was used
to describe the voluntary release of a person or thing over which one has
legal or actual control. The related noun aphesis meant described a
setting free. .Later it came to include the release of someone from the
obligation of marriage, or debt, or even a religious vow. In its final form
it came to embrace the principle of release from punishment for some
Colin Brown adds that aphiemi
With a personal object, to send forth, send away (of a woman, to divorce; of
a meeting, to dissolve, end), to let go, to leave, dispatch; with an
impersonal object, to loose (e.g. a ship into the sea), to discharge (e.g.
arrows), to give up. In the figurative sense the verb (aphiemi) means to let
alone, permit, let pass, neglect, give up (taking trouble, etc.); in
Josephus, Ant., 1, 12, 3, to lose one’s life, die. The legal use is
important: to release from a legal bond (office, guilt, etc. and also, a
woman from marriage, e.g. Hdt., 5, 39), to acquit (e.g. cancellation of
criminal proceedings, Plato, Laws, 9, 86, 9d), to exempt (from guilt,
obligation, punishment, etc.; e.g. Hdt., 6, 30). Similarly the noun aphesis
(e.g. Demosthenes, 24, 45) means release, pardon, or remission, etc (Brown,
Colin: New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)
Aphiemi was also used of
teachers, writers, and speakers when presenting a topic, in the sense of “to
leave, let alone, disregard, not to discuss now. It means “to abandon, to
leave as behind and done with in order to go on to another thing.”
Leaving off or let go from one’s further notice does not imply
ceasing to believe in elementary teaching or to regard them as unimportant,
but leaving them "as a builder leaves his foundation in erecting his
building". The writer's point is that the beginning is not a stopping place but is the door to
further progress in the spiritual life.
Vincent writes that...
Leaving or dismissing does not imply ceasing to believe in elementary truths
or to regard them as important, but leaving them “as a builder leaves his
foundation in erecting his building” (Bruce).
Wuest adds that...
To use the word “leaving” in the sense that a superstructure of a house
leaves the foundation and yet builds on it, as is done by some expositors,
is a case of English eisegesis (reading into the text what is not there).
The word is an aorist participle. Greek grammar tells us that the action of
the aorist participle precedes the action of the leading verb in the
sentence, which in this case is “let us go on.” The aorist tense speaks of a
once for all action.
The idea for Jewish believers and those who profess to believe is to abandon shadows, types, pictures, and sacrifices of the old economy and come
to the reality of the New Covenant in Jesus Christ. To paraphrase it the
writer is saying
pictures of the Messiah and go on to the Messiah Himself,”
(arche) means the first, the beginning (the things that occurred prior in
time). It can mean supreme in rank but clearly that is not the meaning in
this verse. In relation to time, arche refers to the beginning of
anything, the first. Think about a baby who begins playing with blocks but
moves on to tricycles, etc. The writer is telling his readers to leave the
elementary teaching concerning the doctrines upon which their prior
religious life had been based. Leave the milk! These elementary doctrines
were those teaching that Christianity had in common with Judaism, the
teaching they had received from the Old Testament. They had to move past
those teachings that Judaism had in common with Christianity, or otherwise
they would never move on to maturity.
from lego = to speak
intelligently source of English "logic, logical") means something
said and describes a communication whereby the mind finds expression in
words. Although Lógos is most often translated word which
Webster defines as "something that is said, a statement, an utterance", the
Greek understanding of lógos is somewhat more complex. In the Greek
mind and as used by the secular and philosophical Greek writers, lógos
did not mean merely the name of an object but was an expression of the
thought behind that object's name.
Lógos then is a general
term for speaking, but always used for speaking with rational content.
Lógos is a word uttered by the human voice which embodies an underlying
concept or idea. When one has spoken the sum total of their thoughts
concerning something, they have given to their hearer a total concept of
that thing. Thus the word lógos conveys the idea of “a total concept”
of anything. Lógos means the word or outward form by which the inward
thought is expressed and made known. It can also refer to the inward thought
or reason itself. Note then that lógos does not refer merely
to a part of speech but to a concept or idea. In other words, in
classical Greek, lógos never meant just a word in the
grammatical sense as the mere name of a thing, but rather the thing referred
to, the material, not the formal part. In fact, the Greek language has 3
other words (rhema, onoma, epos) which designate a word in its
grammatical sense. Lógos refers to the total expression whereas
for example is used of a part of
speech in a sentence. In other words
, emphasizes the parts rather than
The elementary teaching -
"the rudiments of the beginning".
The writer has just addressed this topic
(which is why this is such a poor chapter division) chiding them that...
though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for
someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and
you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes
only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a
babe. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their
senses trained to discern good and evil. (See notes
F F Bruce observes that...
Practically every item (in the writers list that follows) could have its
place in a fairly orthodox Jewish community
may have felt that to concentrate on
this area would be of no help to those slipping back into Judaism. Therefore
he went on to "solid food."
The Christ - the
Messiah (remember they are predominantly Jewish group, a mixture of
believers and professor but not yet believers)
Now what does the writer exhort these Hebrews to abandon, and to what does
he urge them to allow themselves to be borne along? Well, what does a
mariner do when he is at a loss as to exactly where he is? He checks his
position by his instruments. The aviator in a similar situation checks his
course by the radio beam. An exegete in a similar situation will consult the
historical background and analysis of the book. And that is exactly what we
will do. We found that the writer proves twice over that the New Testament
in Jesus’ Blood is superior to and takes the place of the First Testament in
animal blood. After proving this, he shows that faith is the only way of
appropriating the salvation which the High Priest procured for sinners at
the Cross. In the light of this demonstration, he warns them against falling
away. He exhorts them to go on to faith in the New Testament Sacrifice.
Having left the temple sacrifices, and having identified themselves with the
visible Church, from what could they fall away but from their profession of
Messiah as High Priest, and to what could they fall back to but First
Testament sacrifices? Thus the words, “the principles of the doctrine of
Christ,” must refer to the First Testament sacrifices, for these Jews are
exhorted to abandon them. Likewise, the word “perfection” must speak of the
New Testament Sacrifice to which they are exhorted to allow themselves to be
borne along. Our analysis has guided us to the correct interpretation.
PRESS ON TO MATURITY: epi ten teleioteta pherometha (1PPPS):
Matthew 5:48 - note;
1Corinthians 13:10; 2Corinthians 7:1;
Ephesians 4:12 - note;
Philippians 3:12-15 -notes;
1 Peter 5:10-note;
for all 12 "let us..." exhortations in Hebrews (in the NASB).
(phero) be borne along like a ship by the wind (see below). The use
emphasizes the exertion of power on the individual from an outside source.
also conveys the the thought of the need of the recipient to willingly surrender to
influence (see comments below on the Holy Spirit). The
emphasizes the continual need for this activity. Note the writer lumps
himself in this group needing to be continually borne along. The idea is
Let us be carried along (by God’s Spirit)
And so the writer alludes to the
sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, that process of growing in
Christlikeness, learning more and more to say "yes" to the impulse
of the Spirit's control and then being enabled to say "no" to the desires of
flesh. Spiritual maturity does not come by our striving in self-effort but
by our cooperating with God as we do His will depending on His help. It
comes as we follow the Holy Spirit who leads us. (See notes
1 Peter 1:2,
The Pythagorean Schools used the Greek verb for press on in the sense
of being borne on to a higher stage of instruction, this being the
counterfeit for the Christian's "higher state" of increasing conformity to
the image of God's Son.
In Acts 27:17 phero in the
refers to a ship which helps illustrate the meaning of the verb. The idea
then would be "so let themselves be driven along". We too like "ships" in
the night of this present evil age must keep our sails trimmed (Philippians
that we might be borne along toward our better country by His Spirit
In his outline of Hebrews 6 entitled "The Peril of Defection", Melvin
Worthington alliterates these first 3 verses...
The Desired Perfection (Heb
6:1-3). The perfection desired includes, the exhortation to develop (v1),
the elementary doctrines (vv. 1-2) and the enabling Deity (v3)...(he
concludes) The writer of Hebrews was not interested in arguing doctrine, but
with warning those who claim to be the people of God. The truth is simple,
despite where you fall on a doctrinal scale, if you turn your back on faith
in God, you will face the same wrath and punishment of an unbeliever: hell.
Spurgeon phrased it memorably...
Let us go from the school to the university, let us have done with our first
spelling-books, and advance into the higher classics of the kingdom.
Let us make sure that the foundation is laid, but let us not have
continually to lay it again. Let us go on believing and repenting, as we
have done; but let us not have to begin believing and begin repenting, let
us go on to something beyond that stage of experience.
teleios from telos = an end, a
purpose, an aim, a goal)
describes one as being in a state of completion or perfection in the sense
of maturity (and in contrast to the stage of elementary, ABC, knowledge).
The related word
teleios means complete,
mature, fully developed, full grown, brought to its end, finished,
wanting nothing necessary to completeness, in good working order. Teleios
signifies consummate soundness, includes the idea of being whole.
Interestingly the Gnostics used teleios of the one fully initiated
into their mysteries and that may have been why Paul used teleios in this
The only other NT use of teleiotes
is in Colossians where Paul writes...
And beyond all these things put on love,
which is the perfect bond of unity. (see note
is related to the similar word in
with Strong's number
this latter word referring to Jesus as our Model or Goal to press onward
toward writing that we need to run...
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith, Who for
the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat
down at the right hand of the throne of God. (see note
Christlikeness is our goal. Conformity to the image of the Son is the
Father's will for every one of His children.
Wuest explains that...
Our Lord in His life of faith on earth,
became the perfect or complete example of the life of faith.
Thayer speaks of our Lord as “one who has in his own person raised faith
to its perfection and so set before us the highest example of faith.”
(Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament. Grand
Rapids: Eerdmans) (Bolding added)
Larry Richards writes that
As we run we can look back and see how
Jesus ran His race ("Author"). When we look ahead we can see His exaltation
("Finisher"). He is our example as starter and finisher. (Richards, L: The
Bible reader's companion. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books)
What does Perfecter
mean pragmatically? It means that if you want to look for a perfect example
of faith, you look to our Lord Jesus Christ. If you look at Abraham, you see
failure. If you look to Abel, you see failure. If you look to Moses, you
will see failure. And in Gideon, Samson, Jeptha, and all the rest of the
runners in the race of faith in Hebrews 11, you will see failure. There is
one person, and only One, Who never failed and that Person is our Lord Jesus
Christ. And He will never fail you beloved.
S Lewis Johnson
I am sure, if you feel as I do at times,
to look at our Lord as an example which we are to follow, is a very
frustrating thing. Joseph Parker, a great London preacher, had gone to hear
the great pianist Paderiski play. He was so filled with the consummate
beauty of the playing that he went home and asked his wife for an ax to chop
his piano into pieces. That was the power of a great example. When I look at
the example of our Lord Jesus, that is the way I feel. But in the Word of
God, we are told that not only is Jesus our example, but He also offers us
the utmost of enablement. A German woman in World War II had been rationing
for years and finally got to the place where she did not have enough food to
feed her family. One day she made a trip to the ocean which she had never
seen before. When she saw the water, she exclaimed, "Well there is after all
something that they cannot ration." Likewise, the power of God through Jesus
Christ is something we cannot ration. It is available to us, and as we run
the race, keeping the weight down, keeping our limbs free, and keeping our
eyes upon Him, the power of our Lord Jesus Christ flows through us and we
are enabled to do what we could not do otherwise!
The writer repeatedly alludes to the idea of
perfecting (in sense of accomplishing or reaching the intended goal)
The Bible says that
Jesus is before us. He is behind us. He is by our side. He is below us. He
is above us. He is around about us and He is in us. There was a man who
looked to Jesus once, and he did an impossible thing. Do you remember? Jesus
came walking on the water and when Peter first saw Him he said "It is a
ghost." Then he said, "If it be Thee Lord, bid me come unto Thee. And Peter
climbed out of that boat in the midst of the raging storm with the
lightening and thunder, and he walked on the water. Impossible! But as long
as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, the power of Jesus Christ was in Peter!
S Lewis Johnson writes about a
certain king in western Europe who...
was about to visit a small town. A
mother took her little boy and found her way to the front of the crowd.
Finally the king arrived she held him up and said, "Now look at him and
never forget it all the days of your life." That is the kind of look that we
should have as we look unto Jesus. As you run the race, look to Jesus and
never forget Who He is and what He has done, and what He can do for you. May
you reach the crown at the end of the race."
THOU ART ENOUGH FOR
Thou art enough for me,
Thou art enough for me,
Thou living, loving, mighty God
Thou art enough for me!
To God our father above,
We glory in Thy love,
Thou living, loving, mighty God,
Thou art enough for me.
Lord Jesus, Savior king,
All glory now we sing,
Thou living, loving, mighty God,
Thou art enough for me!
The Holy Spirit's power
Shall keep me every hour,
Thou living, loving, mighty God.
Let us go on to the stage of adults,
not babes, able to chew solid spiritual food. The writer will assume that
the readers are adults in his discussion of the topic.
F B Hole (Biographical
"LET US GO ON," is the opening exhortation of our chapter. Movement in the
right direction is to mark us. We are to leave "the word of the beginning of
Christ," as the marginal reading is, and go on unto "perfection." If we
glance back over the last four verses of Hebrews 5 we shall see that the
point here is that we ought to grow in our understanding of the faith of
Christ. We ought not to be like children staying year after year in the
kindergarten, but advance until we assimilate the instruction provided for
the scholars in the sixth form.
John the Baptist had brought "the word of the beginning of Christ." He laid
the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God." He
put baptism in the forefront of His preaching, and spoke plainly as to
eternal judgement. But things had moved on since his day. Great light shone
when Jesus came forth in His ministry; and then, just as His earthly service
closed, in His discourse in the upper chamber He promised the gift of the
Holy Spirit. He told His disciples that He had "yet many things to say" unto
them, but that they could not bear them then. He added, "Howbeit when He,
the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth." (John
16:13). By the time the Epistle to the Hebrews was written ALL truth had
been revealed, for it was given to Paul by his ministry to "fulfil the Word
of God." (Colossians 1:25 see
To "fulfil" in that verse means to "fill out full," or to "complete."
The whole circle of revealed truth then had been completed. Yet here were
these Hebrews still inclined to dwell in their minds amongst these
preliminary things, quite ignoring the fuller light which was now shining.
Are we at all like them in this? In their case it is not difficult to see
where the trouble lay. The special place of privilege, which belonged to the
Jew nationally under the Old Covenant, had disappeared under the New. True,
it only disappeared because a higher order of blessing had been introduced,
so that, when converted, both Jew and Gentile are brought into privileges
quite unknown before. Yet their hearts clung to the old and exclusive
national position, and consequently they became dull of hearing as regards
the fuller truth of Christianity. In our case we have no national position
to maintain, but there is many a thing which we naturally love and cling to,
which is dispossessed by the light of full and proper Christianity; and
there is very real danger that we may close our eyes against that light in
order to retain the things we love.
Oh, then may we heed this exhortation! May we allow it to repeat itself over
and over again in our hearts —
Let us go on!
Let us go on!
LET US GO ON!
And then let us join the writer of the Epistle in saying, "This will we do,
if God permit." (Hebrews
Marvin Vincent writes that...
The completeness is viewed as pertaining to both the writer and the readers.
He proposes to fully develop his theme: they are exhorted to strive for that
full Christian manhood which will fit them to receive the fully-developed
A B Simpson (biography) writes...
Having entered in, become established and found the source of all-sufficient
grace, let us now advance, let us make progress, let us grow in grace, let
us not be easily satisfied with present attainments, for, unless we go on we
shall surely go back. It is not safe to lose an inch of ground. "We are not
of them who draw back unto perdition." The faintest drawing back may land us
in perdition. There is no portion of the Holy Scriptures so filled with
impressive warnings against backsliding as this. In two of its leading
chapters, the sixth and tenth, we are told of the peril of the soul that
falls away, and the only remedy against falling away is to go forward.
Are we going on? And are we
going unto perfection? Is our goal the very highest? Are we aiming at
nothing less than the highest possibilities of a life of faith and service
for God? Nothing less is safe,
and nothing less is worthy of our high calling and our exceeding great and
precious promises. (A. B. Simpson. Christ in the Bible - Hebrews) (Bolding
D. Branon writes that...
When autumn comes and the leaves drop from my neighbor's trees, I can look
out of my back window and see a forlorn sight—a weather-beaten building
surrounded by weeds. In the mind of the designer, this structure was to have
been a health club complete with swimming pool, handball courts, and sauna.
But somewhere along the way the planners and builders encountered
difficulty—perhaps lack of funds—and they abandoned the project. So instead
of being a center of activity, the structure is an unfinished and useless
In a sense this is what the writer to the Hebrew Christians was warning them
about in Hebrews 5—a warning we must heed. We are not to stop when we have
laid the foundations of repentance and salvation; we are to go on to the
maturity that God, the architect of our faith, has planned for us. He knows
what the result of the building of our faith should be: a center of activity
that glorifies Him. So when obstacles arise, when the needed resources of
time, study, and energy run out, when we encounter opposition, we are not to
let the project come to a screeching halt. We must continue construction.
God chose us to "be holy and without blame before Him" (see note
, and He provides us with the resources—the indwelling Holy Spirit and His
Word—for the process of sanctification to be completed.—J. D. Branon
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
So often we try to alter circumstances to suit ourselves,
instead of letting them alter us.
John Angell James in his book Christian Progress (see
table of contents)
has a chapter entitled
Motives to Christian Progress
and the following are his major "bullet points" with brief explanatory
excerpts. The interested reader (and we should all be interested in
spiritual progress) is referred to the full article for expansion on each
1. The first motive to Christian progress
is the DANGER OF DECLENSION.
...It is not only possible—but probable, that some who shall read this work,
will be found by it in various stages of declension already. Some who have
consciousness enough of their situation, and even occasional regret enough
to borrow the poet's lament–
"Where is the blessedness I knew
When first I saw the Lord;
Where is the soul-refreshing view
Of Jesus and his Word?
"What peaceful hours I once enjoyed,
How sweet their memory still;
But they have left an aching void
The world can never fill."...
2. It should be most impressively felt
that spiritual progress is COMMANDED and EXPECTED by God.
...The verb, "be perfect," and the noun, "perfection," are of such frequent
occurrence in the New Testament, that the subject to which they refer ought
to engage the close and serious attention of every professing Christian.
There can be no doubt that these terms are sometimes employed by the sacred
writers in a comparative sense, as signifying high degrees, eminence, or
completeness of parts. In Hebrews 6:1, perfection signifies the more
sublime, enlarged, spiritual, and complete views of Christian doctrine, as
opposed to first principles...
...Young converts see no perfection in others; they hear it said by
Christians there is no perfection; they feel none in themselves; and
therefore never dream that it is their duty to seek after it; and thus
conciliating themselves to all kinds and degrees of imperfections, begin and
continue with a very low state of piety...
3. Christian Progress is a bright evidence of sincerity.
Growth, as we have already remarked, is the proof of life. Dead things do
...Grace never finds in nature a subject for which there is need of little
to be done...
4. Christian Progress is its own reward.
...Viewed in its true nature, it unites the highest dignity with the purest
pleasure. The ways of godliness are ways, not only of pleasure and paths of
peace—but of honor and renown. Can anything be loftier, nobler, sublimer,
than a growing conformity to the image of God? To see a stronger and a
stronger resemblance to God in our soul?...
...And is not growth in HOLINESS equally delightful? Holiness is our
spiritual health, as sin is our disease....
5. Christian progress adds to the credit and redounds to the honor of
true religion generally.
6. And is it not a powerful motive to grow in grace—to consider that our
present attainments in true religion, have a connection with, and will have
an influence upon, our heavenly and eternal state.
After reading these pages, are you at all excited to desire to advance? Say,
does the fire kindle, does the glow diffuse throughout your soul at the idea
of what is here presented? If not, let me try again, not by new motives—but
by recalling those which are here enumerated.
Does not the dread of declension, backsliding, apostasy, terrify you?
Shall not the command of God impel you?
Will not the hope of gaining a sweet and blessed evidence of salvation, lead
you to seek after progress?
Does not the experience you have already had, though it may be in a small
degree, of the reward which advancement yields—induce you to go forward?
And then what shall be said of the fact that our degrees of grace will
regulate our degrees of glory? Has this no motive power for your soul? What!
are you so dull, so earthly, so insensible to the felicities, honors, and
distinctions of heaven—as to feel little holy ambition to have some high
NOT LAYING AGAIN A
FOUNDATION OF REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS AND OF FAITH TOWARD GOD: me palin
themelion kataballomenoi (PMPMPN) metanoias apo nekron ergon kai pisteos epi
(Matthew 7:25; Luke 6:48; 1Corinthians 3:10-12; 1Timothy 6:19; 2Timothy
2:19) (Isaiah 55:6,7; Ezekiel 18:30-32; Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 3:2; 4:17;
21:29,32; Mark 6:12; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; 17:30; 20:21; 26:20;
2Corinthians 7:10; 2Timothy 2:25,26) (Hebrews 9:14; Galatians 5:19-21;
Ephesians 2:1,5) (Heb 11:6; John 5:24; 12:44; 14:1; 1Peter 1:21; 1John
The writer desired to proceed to the exposition of the doctrine of Christ's
priesthood, but he takes a "short detour" explaining to them that Christian
maturity is not to be attained by going back to subjects which belong to the
ABC's, and which in context seem to favor primarily teachings of the Old covenant.
(kataballo from katá = down + bállo = throw cast) means
to cast down, to throw to the ground, and here figuratively of a spiritual
foundation to be put or laid down. The idea was to lay something down with
the implication of permanence. The
speaks of this as what should characterize one's lifestyle.
(palin) means to return to a position or state, and as here denoting
a falling back into a previous state or a return to a previous activity.
(themelios form théma = that which is laid down) refers to
that on which a structure is built.
Repentance and faith are foundational in beginning the
Christian life but they are only the beginning. Compare Paul's exhortation
to the Ephesian elders in which he explained that he was...
solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God
and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:21)
Foundation of repentance - what does this elementary foundation refer
Stedman explains that...
This rudimentary foundation is easily recognizable as the same one which
Jesus and the apostles preached, namely, “repent and believe.” Repentance is
a permanent change of mind which results in right behavior (“Produce
fruit in keeping with repentance”—Mt 3:8). (Ibid)
from meta = after + noéo =
to understand) literally means "afterthought" or "to think after" and
implies a change of mind. From the NT uses, it is clear that metanoia
means however much more than merely a change of one's mind but also includes
a complete change of heart, attitude, interest, and direction. It is a
conversion in every sense of the word. Jesus' teaching would support this
conclusion for our Lord declared...
"I tell you that in the same way, there
will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents (metanoeo),
than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance (metanoia)."
It should be stated at
the outset that there are some in evangelical circles who teach that all
repentance involves is a change of mind. The problem with this
definition is that has nothing to do with one’s attitude toward sin and does
not necessarily result in any change in lifestyle. Keeping this definition
in mind now read the first NT use of metanoia by John the Baptist who
is addressing the religious leaders who sought to flee from the wrath to
bring forth (aorist
imperative = do it and do it now! Even conveys a sense of urgency)
- fruit is what people produce that other people see that indicates their
true spiritual condition) in keeping (axios=
the idea is that of having equal weight or worth, and therefore of being
appropriate) with repentance. (Matthew
3:8) (Note Jesus began His
ministry with exactly the same call in Matthew 4:16)
J. R. Miller
wrote that genuine repentance
amounts to nothing whatever if it
produces only a few tears, a spasm of regret, a little fright. We must leave
the sins we repent of and walk in the new, clean ways of holiness.
in his note on the verb form (metanoeo) writes that this is...
A word compounded of the preposition
meta, after, with; and the verb noeo, to perceive, and to think,
as the result of perceiving or observing. In this compound the preposition
combines the two meanings of time and change, which may be denoted by after
and different; so that the whole compound means to think differently after.
Metanoia (repentance) is therefore, primarily, an after-thought, different
from the former thought; then, a change of mind which issues in regret and
in change of conduct. These latter ideas, however, have been imported into
the word by scriptural usage, and do not lie in it etymologically nor by
primary usage. Repentance, then, has been rightly defined as “Such a
virtuous alteration of the mind and purpose as begets a like virtuous change
in the life and practice.” Sorrow is not, as is popularly conceived, the
primary nor the prominent notion of the word. Paul distinguishes between
sorrow and repentance (metanoia), and puts the one as the outcome of the
other. “Godly sorrow worketh repentance” (2Cor7:10). (Vincent, M. R. Word
Studies in the New Testament. Vol. 1, Page 3-23) (Bolding added)
Repent is the translation of
metanoeo which in classical Greek meant “to change one’s mind or
purpose, to change one’s opinion.” The noun metanoia meant “a change
of mind on reflection.” These two words used in classical Greek signified a
change of mind regarding anything, but when brought over into the New
Testament, their usage is limited to a change of mind in the religious
sphere. They refer there to a change of moral thought and reflection which
follows moral delinquency. This includes not only the act of changing
one’s attitude towards and opinion of sin but also that of forsaking it.
Sorrow and contrition with respect to sin, are included in the Bible idea of
repentance, but these follow and are consequent upon the sinner’s change of
mind with respect to it." (Wuest,
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Studies in the
Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament: Grand Rapids: Eerdmans)
that metanoia refers
especially (to) the change of mind of
those who have begun to abhor their errors and misdeeds, and have determined
to enter upon a better course of life, so that it embraces both a
recognition of sin and sorrow for it and hearty amendment, the tokens and
effects of which are good deeds.
Friberg, et al,
define metanoia as...
"(1) religiously and morally, a change of
mind leading to change of behavior repentance, conversion, turning about ;
(2) as a change of opinion in respect to one’s acts regret, remorse (a
popular Greek usage not found in the NT)" (Friberg,
T., Friberg, B., & Miller, N. F. Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New
Testament. Baker's Greek New Testament library. Baker Academic)
Nida define metanoia as a...
"to change one’s way of life as the
result of a complete change of thought and attitude with regard to sin and
righteousness...Though in English a focal component of repent is the sorrow
or contrition that a person experiences because of sin, the emphasis in
metanoeo (verb form) and metanoia seems to be more specifically
the total change, both in thought and behavior, with respect to how
one should both think and act. Whether the focus is upon attitude or
behavior varies somewhat in different contexts." (Louw,
J. P., & Nida, E. A. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on
Semantic Domains. United Bible societies
) (Bolding added)
used by is a change of mind that results in a change of will. It means “a
turn about" or deliberate change of mind resulting in a change of direction
in thought and behavior. There is a new attitude to God, to men, to life, to
One might thus say
that repentance is a change of attitude toward sin which leads to a
desire to change our behavior accordingly. If the sinner honestly changes
his mind about sin, he will turn from it. If he sincerely changes his mind
about Jesus Christ, he will turn to Him, trust Him, and be saved. In
Paul's parting words to the Ephesian elders he declared...
“how I did not shrink from declaring to
you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house
to house, solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance
(metanoia) toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts
is a godly sorrow for sin, an internal repugnance to the ugliness of sin
followed by the actual forsaking of it as Paul explained to the
"I now rejoice, not that you were made
sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance
(i.e., their sorrow led them to a change of mind resulting in a change
of life); for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order
that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that
is according to the will of God (godly sorrow is a grief which comes into a
one's life after he or she has committed a sin and which leads to
repentance) produces a repentance without regret, leading to
salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death." (2Corinthians
7:9-10) In his respected commentary on this verse
Charles Hodge in his classic commentary
on 2 Corinthians writes that "Repentance is not merely a change of
purpose, but includes a change of heart which leads to a turning from sin
with grief and hatred thereof unto God.”
Jameison, et al,
commenting on the previous passage write that...
Repentance” (metanoia) implies a
coming to a right mind; “regret” implies merely uneasiness of
feeling at the past or present, and is applied even to the remorse of Judas
(Mt 27:3); so that, though always accompanying repentance, it is not always
accompanied by repentance. “Repentance” removes the impediments in the way
of “salvation” (to which “death,” namely, of the soul, is opposed).
(Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., Fausset, A. R., Brown, D., & Brown, D. A
commentary, critical and explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments)
Do not confuse
remorse with repentance. For example "when Judas, who had
betrayed (Jesus), saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and
returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders" (Matthew
27:3) What is the distinction? Repentance involves sorrow
for the act of sin, remorse sorrow for its consequences. A repentant
person is sorry he sinned, whereas a remorseful person is sorry he got
Paul like John
the Baptist warned King Agrippa:
Consequently, King Agrippa, I did not
prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, but kept declaring both to those
of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region
of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and
turn to God, performing deeds
Genuine repentance as
described by Paul before King Agrippa is demonstrated by the saints at
Thessalonica (although the specific word metanoia is not used here), Paul
they themselves (those in Macedonia and
Achaia) report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how
you turned to God from
idols to serve (douleuo
= be in bondage to another with the servant's will now subjected to the
Master's will) a living and true God (changed behavior, from serving
pagan idols to serving the true God) and to wait (eagerly and expectantly -
present tense = their habitual practice) for His Son from heaven (changed
outlook from temporal to eternal), Whom He raised from the dead, that is
Jesus, Who delivers us from the wrath to come. (see notes
The saints at
Thessalonica gave sure evidence of their changed mind in that they now
submitted to a new Master. They manifested a clearly visible (to all in
Macedonia and Achaia) break with pagan religion and a redirection of their
whole life to God.
True repentance not only should but will
have correspondingly genuine works, demonstrated in both attitudes and
actions. Right relationship to God brings right relationship to our fellow
human beings, at least as far as our part is concerned (cf Romans
12:18 - note). Those who claim to know Christ, who claim to be born
again, will demonstrate a new way of living that corresponds to the new
birth...The idea that repentance is evidenced by renunciation of sin and by
righteous living did not originate with John the Baptist, but had long been
an integral part of orthodox Judaism. Faithful rabbis had taught that one of
the most important passages in Scripture was, “Wash yourselves, make
yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do
evil, learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless; defend the
orphan, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:16–17). Theologian Erich Sauer, in
The Triumph of the Crucified (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1951, p. 67), speaks
of repentance as “a threefold action. In the understanding it means
knowledge of sin; in the feelings it means pain and grief; and in the will
it means a change of mind.” True repentance first of all involves
understanding and insight, intellectual awareness of the need for moral and
spiritual cleansing and change. Second, it involves our emotions. We come to
feel the need that our mind knows. Third, it involves appropriate actions
that result from what our mind knows and our heart feels. (MacArthur, J:
Matthew 1-7 Macarthur New Testament
Commentary Chicago: Moody Press)
In another of his
works, MacArthur summarizes repentance as follows...
Like faith, repentance has intellectual,
emotional, and volitional ramifications. Berkhof describes the intellectual
element of repentance as “a change of view, a recognition of sin as
involving personal guilt, defilement, and helplessness.” The emotional
element is “a change of feeling, manifesting itself in sorrow for sin
committed against a holy God.” The volitional element is “a change of
purpose, an inward turning away from sin, and a disposition to seek pardon
and cleansing.” (from Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids,
Mich.: Eerdmans, 1939), 486) Each of those three elements is deficient
apart from the others. (MacArthur,
J. The Gospel According to the Apostles. Nashville, TN: Word Pub)
Dictionary defines "evangelical repentance" as...
(1) a true sense of one’s own guilt and
sinfulness; (2) an apprehension of God’s mercy in Christ; (3) an actual
hatred of sin (Psalm 119:128; 2Corinthians 7:9-10) and turning
from it to God; and (4) a persistent endeavor after a holy life in a walking
with God in the way of his commandments. (Easton)
Stedman reminds us that...
Repentance is a permanent change of mind which results in right
behavior (“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance”—Mt 3:8). The change
they needed was to cease trusting in acts that lead to death (a phrase which
is repeated in 9:14) or useless rituals, as the NIV alternatively
translates. R. V. Tasker describes the result as “an abandonment of the
attempt to obtain righteousness by seeking to obey the precepts of a
lifeless moral code” (quoted by Bruce 1964:113).
Vincent writes that...
The illustrative proposition is that a building is not completed by
lingering at the foundation; and so Christian maturity is not to be attained
by going back to subjects which belong to the earliest stage of Christian
instruction. He purposely selects for his illustration things which belong
to the very initiation of Christian life.
In the OT repentance meant turning from evil that brings death
and turning to God but too often the Jew only turned to God in a superficial
fashion. In so doing they fulfilled the letter of the law but their spirit was still dead
as Paul explained in Romans writing that...
he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which
is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and
circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the
letter (the law, including the idea of keeping the law); and his praise is not from men
(men praise the external works), but from God (He sees the changed heart). (See notes
Such external, man pleasing repentance does not bring genuine salvation.
Only repentance and faith (Mark 1:15 "repent and believe in the gospel", cp
Acts 2:36-38, 20:21) in Messiah's finished work results in regeneration and
the new birth.
(nekros from nékus = a corpse; English - necropsy,
necrophobia, etc) refers to that which lacks life and spiritually speaks of
works that "have no life" for they will not endure the test of God's
refining fire. They are works wrought by the flesh not by faith. See word
(ergon see all 10 uses
of ergon in Hebrews)
refers to toil as an effort or occupation.
What are dead works? Ray Stedman writes that...
The change they needed was to cease trusting in acts that lead to death (a
phrase which is repeated in Heb 9:14
- note) or useless rituals, as the NIV
alternatively translates. R. V. Tasker describes the result as “an
abandonment of the attempt to obtain righteousness by seeking to obey the
precepts of a lifeless moral code” (quoted by Bruce 1964:113). After turning
from lifeless works (repentance), a positive action of faith in God must be
taken. This recalls for us Paul’s word to believers in Thessalonica: “You
turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” (1Thessalonians
note) Repentance and
faith are two sides of the same coin. They form the essential foundation
upon which one may enter the Christian life.
Dead works are all that an unsaved person does, whether they "look"
good or evil, since one who is dead in sin can only do dead works that can
never gain saving merit before God.
for what constitutes works
that are not "dead" (see note
See Torrey's Topic
Reward of Saints
Steven Charnock wrote that...
All our works before repentance are dead works (Hebrews 6:1). And these
works have no true beauty in them, with whatsoever gloss they may appear to
a natural eye. A dead body may have something of the features and beauty of
a living, but it is but the beauty of a carcass, not of a man.... Since man,
therefore, is spiritually dead, he cannot perform a living service. As a
natural death causes incapacitate for natural actions, so a spiritual death
must incapacitate for spiritual actions.
The truth about
the inefficacy of one's
works to merit salvation would have been one of the first things expounded to the "works
based righteousness" mindset of the typical Jew
who was considering the Messiah. This opening section of Hebrews 6 is another support
for the assumption that the writer's target audience was primarily Jews. This
same message concerning dead works was
constantly proclaimed by the OT prophets as well as by John the Baptist. The clear call was for the Jews to turn from
works that were dead in the sense that they were devoid of faith.
Isaiah declared that...
all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds
(they seemed "right" in their eyes but in God's eyes they) are like a filthy
garment (like a menstrual cloth) and all of us wither like a leaf, and our
iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64:6)
clearly teach that we receive the Spirit
not by works of the Law but by hearing with faith and that works of the Law in
fact place us under the Curse! How foolish!
The phrase dead works is used again in Hebrews 9...
how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit
offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead
works to serve the living God? (See notes
Vincent observes that the phrase dead works is found
only in Hebrews. Not sinful works in the ordinary sense of the
term, but works without the element of life which comes through faith in the
living God. There is a sharp opposition, therefore, between dead works and
faith. They are contraries. This truth must be one of the very first things
expounded to a Jew embracing Christianity.
Wuest writes that...
"The principles of the doctrine of Christ,” must refer to the First Covenant
sacrifices, for these Jews are exhorted to abandon them. Likewise, the word
“perfection” must speak of the NT Sacrifice to which they are exhorted to
allow themselves to be borne along. All dependence upon the Levitical
sacrifices is to be set aside in order that the Hebrews can go on to
“perfection,” which speaks of the NT Sacrifice, the Lord Jesus, and the
Covenant He inaugurated = Greek teleios = that which is complete, cp
Romans 7:11 (note)
where the writer argues that if perfection (same word family) were under the
Levitical priesthood, then there would be no further need of another
priesthood. So leave the ABC's of the Levitical Priesthood & the Old
Covenant and be borne along to perfection to the perfection of the
priesthood of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 7:19 (note) = the law of Moses, the sacrificial law, made nothing
perfect. Christ's sacrifice was complete. Thus, the writer exhorts these
Hebrews to abandon the type for the reality, that which is incomplete for
that which is complete.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
Kent Hughes says
NT scholarship is in general agreement that the six facets of “the
elementary teachings about Christ” (v. 1) listed in v1-3 outline the
primitive catechism used in Jewish churches to induct converts. (Hughes,
R. K. Hebrews: An Anchor for the Soul. Volume 1. Crossway Books;
Morris and J. Vernon McGee agree these are primarily OT teachings being referred to.
Jameison, Fausset & Brown favor this section as referring to the OT
teachings and quote Bengel who says that
The six particulars here specified had been, as it were, the Christian
Catechism of the Old Testament; and such Jews who had begun to recognize
Jesus as the Christ immediately on the new light being shed on these
fundamental particulars, were accounted as having the elementary principles
of the doctrine of Christ.
Faith toward God - Faith directed toward God the Father is not
saving faith unless accompanied by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. As a side
note how often we hear people say when asked about their faith, "Sure, I
believe in God" without mentioning God the Son specifically, the One Who is
the sinner's Substitute and provision for satisfactory standing in the sight
of the Father Who demands perfection.
Clearly faith is a key word in Hebrews. Study the 31 uses of
in context (click the Scripture links to go to the notes on each verse)...
- For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but
the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith
in those who heard.
- 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,
-so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith
and patience inherit the promises.
- let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having
our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed
with pure water.
- BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL
HAS NO PLEASURE IN
- But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those
who have faith to the preserving of the soul.
- Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things
- By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of
God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
- By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which
he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his
gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.
- By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT
FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his
being taken up he was pleasing to God.
- And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God
must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
- By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence
prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned
the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to
- By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which
he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he
- By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign
land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same
- By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the
proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised.
- All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen
them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that
they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
- By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had
received the promises was offering up his only begotten son;
- By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even regarding things to come.
- By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and
worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.
- By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons
of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones.
- By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his
parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid
of the king's edict.
- By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of
- By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured,
as seeing Him who is unseen.
- By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that
he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them.
-By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing
through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.
- By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for
- By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were
disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.
-who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained
promises, shut the mouths of lions,
- And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive
what was promised,
- fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the
joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down
at the right hand of the throne of God.
- Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and
considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.
D. L. Moody was
once approached by a stumbling drunk on the street who slurred, “Mr. Moody,
I’m one of your converts.” To which Moody replied, “You must be, because
you’re certainly not one of the Lord’s!”
(I’m Pressing on the Upward Way)
1I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining ev’ry day;
Still praying as I onward bound,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
2My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Though some may dwell where these abound,
My pray’r, my aim is higher ground.
3I want to live above the world,
Tho’ Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught the joyful sound,
The song of saints on higher ground.
4I want to scale the utmost height,
And catch a gleam of glory bright;
But still I’ll pray till heav’n I’ve found,
“Lord, lead me on to higher ground.”
Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith on heaven’s tableland,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.