Tuesday 18 October 2011

John Stevens on Hebrews 6

Hi Chris,

Just want to check something out with you.

Am due to preach at a local church in the next few weeks and am wondering about stimulating some thinking around what's the point of Christianity? And presenting the growth/discipleship vision of being in Christ Heb 5/6 frustration with lack of progress, 1 Cor 3 etc fairly familiar ground.

So I've been thinking again about Heb 6 and sort of returned to where I was a year or so ago i..e each foundation stone/word e.g. eternal judgement is far more than a theoretical or doctrinal system but a living reality here and now.

Today it's struck me that we miss almost the first point. 'Let us leave the elementary principles of.......' and instead of Christ we insert all kinds of things e.g. 'the christian life', 'the faith', ' 'the abc of christianity' but the whole time verse one is staring us in the face Christ.

If so then all these facets of foundational truths are foundational to Christ Himself. If we see christianity through the lens of salvation only then we see Heb as a summary of, almost a timeline, of salvation and its eternal consequencies. If we see Christ instead of christianity then it all looks rather different.

The question then becomes 'how did Jesus operate with repentance towards dead works (not exclusively sin i.e. not to do with a sinner coming to Christ at all but how Christ operates) and faith towards God?' or 'how did Jesus handle matters concerning eternal judgement in life, in his day to day encounter with people, dividing good from evil', 'what did Jesus do when he laid hands on people' and so on.

So Heb 6 becomes a description of the fundamentals of how Christ operate(d)(s) and therefore how we operate once we 'see' it. It becomes a living word rather than something to do with the past concerning the future.

Your thoughts?

Hope all's well in Pompey land.


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