Falling Away From God

Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity.
–Hebrews 6:1

Words have different meanings to different people. In one of the old “The Wizard of Id” comic strips, the first panel had a serf coming into the castle to address the king. He said, “Your Majesty, Rodney is outside the castle, and he has a wagon full of underwear.” The king said, “Oh no. I asked Rodney to debrief the troops.” Before we can obey a command, we better make sure we understand the words of that command. And that is certainly true when we are talking about the Word of God.

In Hebrews 6 we have come to one of the most severe warning passages in the Bible. But to apply this warning passage, we have to understand the words that make it up. The writer was talking about spiritual immaturity. He began in 6:1-3 with a command against immaturity: “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, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits.” If you are going to grow as a Christian, there comes a time that you have to move beyond the foundational truths of Christianity.

Foundations are important, aren’t they? In Matthew 7, Jesus told a story about two men who each built a house. When the storm came, one house collapsed, but the other house stayed firm because it was built on the right foundation: the rock of God’s Word. The Bible says foundations are important. But if you are going to build a house, there comes a time when you have to move beyond the foundation and actually build something on that house. Just imagine you announce to your new bride, “Honey, I have been working for three years on building a new house for you.” You take your new bride to the house you constructed, and all it is is a slab. Your wife says, “It took you three years to do this?” You say, “Well, I wanted to be sure it was firm enough, so I kept repouring the concrete to make sure it was a great foundation.” What kind of house would that be? A foundation is important, but it is only the beginning. You have to build on it. And that is what the writer was saying. If your faith is going to grow, you have to move beyond the foundational truths.

For you, it may be time to grow in your faith by growing in your reading of the Word of God. Some people just read the same passages over and over again. Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Or John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Those are wonderful passages, but that is all some people know. They just keep reading the same things over and over again. You do not grow that way. You need the meat of God’s Word. That is what the writer was talking about. It is time to leave the elementary teachings of the Word of God.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Falling Away From God” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2018.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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