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The Hebrew Writer exhorts us to “leave the beginning of Christ’s word” and to “be borne unto perfection [or maturity].” (Hebrews 6:1). I’m no Greek scholar but it is clear to me that we have a hard time fully capturing the meaning of this discussion in English. However, I am convinced that if we ever do capture the full meaning it will profoundly affect our discipleship.

According to this passage, we leave an event that took place at a particular time in the past. Most English translations render this “first principles” or “basic teachings.” It seems to me that he is summarizing our conversion experience (e.g., repentance, baptism, etc.) This was a once-for-all-time event that has occurred in the past. It is over–our sins were washed away, we were placed “in Christ,” and God is no longer making a record of our sins.

Now we have entered into a passive process whereby we are “being borne unto maturity.” Our role is to cooperate in the process as God works His transformation in our lives.

I am convinced that one of the most detrimental things we can do to hinder our own maturation is to remain fixated on the initial question: “What must I do to go to heaven when I die?” Scripture answers that question in a very straightforward manner: “repent and be baptized . . ..” (Acts 2:38). Now our appropriate (and daily) response must be, “What can I do to remove the impediments in my life that keep God’s Spirit from growing me into the disciple I was designed to be?”

You see, when we keep asking the initial question we spend a tremendous amount of energy wondering, “Do I have to attend on Sunday nights? What if I miss communion this week? What if I make a doctrinal mistake? How much do I have to do to keep my get-out-of-jail-free card from being revoked?” Most of Scripture then becomes frustrating (along with the entire Christian walk) because it does not even address these questions; much less give us a satisfactory answer to them.

The real tragedy is that when we refuse to fully trust God–fully believe that He has redeemed us “in Christ”–we miss the whole point of what God is trying to do in us, what He is offering to do with us, what He is longing to do through us (all in spite of us) right here and right now.

Would that we could fully believe God.  If we fully trust Him we will fully submit to Him allowing Him to fully use us in this depraved and dying world.

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