JohnSWilson3 Blog

“…not laying down again a foundation…”
July 23, 2011, 3:02 pm
Filed under: Q - Letter to Hebrews

In chapter 5 and 6 the author’s focus is to help the brothers and sisters realize that the only way to be carried on to completion, to the mature man, the complete man, is to experience together the Logos of Righteousness, the Mature Man, the Complete Man, Jesus Christ our Lord. Learning Christ together, exercising our new spiritual instincts as a new creation within the body of Christ is the only way to move forward, to experience the fullness of Christ in His body. Paul in his letter to the ekklesia in Ephesus said: “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift…for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children…” (NASB)

Brothers and sisters who are children are those who are “tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.” They have been deceived by the devil that their conflict is not with him but with their flesh and other people. As a result the life of Christ in them is not being expressed. The author to Hebrews says that children are those who have not experienced the Christ who indwells them, the Christ who is their life. As a result they still live by their physical senses and have not learned to exercise their spiritual senses within the body of Christ. They have not seen the good of Christ, the Tree of Life, in their lives, His fruit, but only the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Brothers and sisters who are children are not building on the right foundation. Brothers and sisters remain children because they have not learned to live by the life of Christ together and experienced Him in His fullness. The author to the Hebrews is trying to counteract that and so the importance of this letter for our generation, for our time.

In chapter 6, Paul describes that the body of Christ, to become mature, must leave “the elementary teaching about the Christ” which seems to reflect back to his similar thought of the brother and sisters needing someone to again teach them “the elementary principles of the oracles of God.” Both seem to describe the “foundation” of the brothers and sisters. They had forgotten the foundation that they had been built upon. There are many images that come to mind as I reflect on this. The New Testament has much to say about foundations, and its importance. Jesus, in Luke’s gospel, described two types of foundations, one being “on the rock” found only by digging deep to the rock that is under the ground and the other being “on the earth,” on top of the ground. Only the building on the foundation on the rock could withstand the flood. It seems what determines how well a house is built is based on its foundation. And that foundation is found in digging deeply. Jesus describes this foundation on the rock as “everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words, and acts upon them.” To move forward in our life in Christ together is to go deep into the inner man, to seek Jesus in us, the Tree of Life, and live by Him in us. Again brothers and sisters the phrase from the Old Testament: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” again is key to understanding not only how to live by the life of Christ, but also in being built on the right foundation. How we need to hear Him, in us, who judges our thought and hearts, and follow His direction instead of our flesh. We must put off the flesh and put on Christ.

Paul told the ekklesias in Galatia: “After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing – if it really was for nothing?” The Galatians were acting like children. Paul was saying in his letter to Galatians that keeping the Law, legalism if you will, is not building on the right foundation, they had forgotten their foundation and had focused on a form of institutionalism. Paul told the ekklesia in Corinth: “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” The Corinthians were acting like children. Paul was pointing out that the divisions in the body were the result of not building on the right foundation; they had forgotten their foundation and had focused again on another form of institutionalism. The believers that the author was writing to in Hebrews were acting like children, they had forgotten their foundation. Jesus Christ IS the foundation on which the body of Christ is built upon, He is the rock! Christ said that He Himself would build His ekklesia! To learn Christ we must hear Him and be taught by Him, “just as the truth is in Jesus.” Let us keep our focus on Christ Jesus our Lord, let us fix our thoughts on Him.

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