Let us go on to maturity

Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. Hebrews 6:1-3

It is hard to cast aside our traditions. This was especially true for the early Jewish converts to Christianity. Had they kept these traditions to their selves it would have not have been as bad but they were insisting that these traditions be accepted and practiced by all Christians especially the Gentile Christians. One such tradition was the Jewish ritual bath or mikveh. The mikveh was required to enter the temple, after someone had become ritually unclean and for women after their menstrual period and after childbirth. Similar to the Christian baptism the person would be totally submersed in the water usually by walking down a set of steps into the bath and then ascending a set of stairs on the other side of the bath.

Unlike baptism the mikveh was repeated over and over. For women of childbearing age that would be monthly. So what is the harm of a ritual bath? After all some Christians get baptized more than once. Unlike baptism which is a profession of one’s faith and letting the world know a person has dedicated their life to Christ the mikveh was done to wash away one’s sins, to make one pure enough to appear before God and make a sacrifice for one’s sins.

These types of rituals and traditions fly in the face of what Jesus did in the cross. We can neither add to nor subtract from His finished work. When we put conditions on salvation we are trying to have a “Jesus and” religion, Jesus and baptism or Jesus and works or Jesus and the mikveh. There is one and only one salvation, the one Jesus gave us. There are no degrees of salvation. We are either saved or we are not. Speaking in tongues will not make us any more saved than not speaking in tongues. Going to a particular church or any church will not make us any more saved that not going. Nothing we do will add anything to our salvation.

When I think of what needs to be done to achieve salvation I look at the thief on the cross. All he did was recognize Jesus as the Son of God and ask to be remembered. Jesus then told him that he would be with Jesus in Paradise. He did not good works, he was a thief. There was not baptism, the thief was neither sprinkled nor immersed. He practiced no ritual or traditions while on the cross. No, all he did was accept Jesus. That is all any of us need to do.

We should be baptized not because baptism will save us but because Jesus told us to. We should do good works not for salvation but because we are told to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Traditions and rituals are fine as long as they do not get in the way of our or anyone else’s salvation.

God put one condition on our salvation that we accept His free gift and the price Jesus paid. Why would we want to add to that?

Have a blessed day,

David

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About dwwork

The name of this blog is taken from 1 Peter 3:13 - “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience. This verse became special to me over ten years ago when I was asked to teach an adult Sunday school class on Christian apologetics. This interest grew over the years to the point that I took some graduate level classes in apologetics. I think the best way to be prepared to give and answer to everyone who asks is to know scripture. It is my hope that through these short devotionals the reader will become more familiar with each verse. I have tried when possible to make them personal hoping in some small way to show that God’s word written over two thousand years ago is still relevant today. In the writing of these short devotionals I have been able to better understand how God’s word impacts my life. It is my hope that you too will come closer to our Lord Jesus and develop a closer relationship with Him. Finally, if the reader finds anything in conflict with scripture please let me know. God’s word is the final authority always overrules anything I might write. David
This entry was posted in Bible, Devotional, God, Hebrews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Let us go on to maturity

  1. David before I respond to your message, it would be helpful if you put your Blog Link on your Gravatar profile so when people click your Picture they will be able to find you, I feel you have a lot of Truth that others will be blessed by.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne.

  2. Yes I agree with you David, Salvation is a free gift , we can’t earn it but we will show we have it and not because we have to but because we can be no other way, we will want too. God knew us before we were conceived and that we would come to heart repentance, He knows the beginning to the end and so He chose us to be conformed in to the image of Jesus Christ , His Son.

    1John 4:16-19 And we have known and believed the Love that God hath to us. God is Love; and he that dwelleth in Love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our Love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in Love; but perfect Love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in Love. We Love Him, because He first Loved us.

    Before we can be perfected in Love we have to put our flesh to death by the Spirit as (Romans 8:12-15 & Colossians 3:4-6 ) explains and other Scriptures and we go onto perfection or aim to win the prize as Paul tells us and we do this by walking in the Spirit not not flesh, being Born again means we no longer sin.

    Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God. K.J.V.

    Romans 8: 8 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    1 John 3:9 No one who is Born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.

    Galatians 24 -26 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne.

    • dwwork says:

      Thanks for your comments and support. It never ceases to amaze me how we manage to put conditions on God’s unconditional love and grace.

      • Yes so True David, just like the Pharisees that Jesus rebuked, Men meaning woman too, can add very fleshy rules and regulations to God’s Grace in Christ Jesus after we have heart repentance but then you can also hear the opposite, which is just as bad.

        Some propagate that it doesn’t matter if we continue to sin because we are forgiven but as we know from Scripture (see below ) when we are Saved we show we are and do not choose to continue to sin, Jesus has set us free from it’s slavery, so no Temptation is greater than we can bear. Maybe they don’t read the Scriptures and just trust in what they think or what someone else has told them but of course without the Holy Spirit and Godly wisdom, they won’t understand His Truth anyway (1Corinthians2:9-16) so let’s hope they ask for both as God tells us too.

        John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

        1 John 3:9 No one who is Born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been Born of God.

        1 John 5:18-20 We know that no one who is Born of God sins; but He who was Born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.

        1John 3: 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.

        Christian Love from both of us – Anne.

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