So let us stop going over the basics of Christianity again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding... God willing, we will move forward to further understanding. — Hebrews 6:1, 3
After a young mother had safely tucked her small child into bed, said prayers, taken him his drink of water, and finally returned downstairs for a few quiet moments on her own, she heard a thump on the floor above. She rushed into her child's bedroom and found him lying dazed on the floor. Picking him up she asked, “What happened?” He replied, “I fell out of the bed because I stayed too near where I got in.”
The recipients of the letter to the Hebrews were in similar danger, as far as their newfound faith in Christ was concerned. They had been introduced to “the basics of Christianity”—such things as “turning away from evil deeds,” placing “faith in God,” “instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.” Now it was time for them to “become mature in [their] understanding” (Heb. 6:1-2). Not for a moment was it suggested that these matters were insignificant. In fact, they were (and are) of prime importance for the life of faith. But there is more, much more, to be discovered and experienced. Not to press on is to stay too near where one got in!
The writer of the letter went on to outline the dire consequences of spiritual indifference and carelessness. Such an attitude can harden one into outright apostasy. The things that once were held dear are denied, and love of Christ, which once motivated and mobilized a life of trust and obedience, degenerates into anger, antipathy, and hostility toward Christ and his cause.
The issues raised here address the condition of those who intentionally reject what they previously embraced and deny what they formerly affirmed. Should they reject Christ's love, “nailing the Son of God to the cross again” (6:6), there is no other basis for their forgiveness. Should they deny the gracious work of the Spirit, there is no other dynamic to draw them back to the Savior.
There is no suggestion here that those who genuinely love the Lord and who seek, however inadequately, to serve him, and who are all too aware of their lack of faith and worry about their inconsistent life, should live in dread of slipping out of grace. “God is not unfair” (6:10). He knows our fallenness and understands our struggles.
The man who determines not to stay too close to where he got in need never fear he will lapse into apostasy. God will hold him fast.
For further study: Hebrews 6:1-12
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Men, Copyright ©2000 by Stuart Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.