As you may surmise, I have been spending more time in my Bible lately. I keep being confronted by things I’ve heard before, but with entirely new meanings. This week I have been meditating on . We have been chosen to be God’s priests, and as Christ is our high priest, we are the high priests of our households. We have been appointed as priests – given the task of making sacrifices for others, and bringing God gifts from others. A high priest must remain ‘clean’ in order to do the job required of him by the one who appointed him. Keeping this in mind, let us move on to
In verse 1 we are told to leave the basics and move on to perfection. As a believer I have been told over and over that perfection is not the goal because we are not perfect. Is this scripture disagreeing with the common sentiment? I have been focusing on heaven, specifically having a ‘kingdom’ mindset. A kingdom mindset is one that is fixed on God first – asking what He wants done and only doing what He says. A kingdom perspective releases us from the bondage of ourselves and reminds us of a larger perspective. It reminds us that God created the heavens and the earth – not us. And He created them to display Christ – look around (Genesis 1, John 1, Colossians 1: 15-20) in the Image of Christ we have been created. It was a kingdom mindset that allowed Paul to continue running the race that had been set out before him.
I see evidence of Paul’s transformation from a ‘religious person’ to a kingdom-minded spirit-filled Christian in right here in (also referencing ). Isn’t it interesting that Saul, in his selfish religious zeal is doing what he thinks is best in his own eyes without the direction, spirit or even conviction of God? He is religiously ‘right’ in his persecution of this new movement, yet he has absolutely no idea it is God’s movement. Another great parallel here is the three days of blindness – followed by a healing, restoration, repentance, baptism, baptism of the Holy Spirit, and ultimately a new name and purpose for living. It says he at once went and preached Jesus was the Son of God in the synagogues and all who heard him were amazed saying ‘isn’t he the one who destroyed those Christians?’ – (a poor paraphrase to say the least)
Hebrews 6:1-3 is an interesting guideline. If I look at what I learned in about 20 years of moderate church attendance, Hebrews 6:1-2 is rather convicting. Here it is again in the NKJV: Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Let me write it out as a list
- Perfection (advanced concept – meat so to speak)
- Repentance of dead works (foundation, milk, elementary principal of Christ)
- Faith towards God (foundation, milk, elementary principal of Christ)
- Baptisms, note the plural – water [public declaration] & fire [in the spirit] (foundation, milk, elementary principal of Christ)
- Laying on of hands, (foundation, milk, elementary principal of Christ)
- Resurrection of the dead (foundation, milk, elementary principal of Christ)
- Eternal judgement (foundation, milk, elementary principal of Christ)
How many sermons have I listened to on the green topics? How many arguments have I listened to about perfection?
If God’s Kingdom is where His perfect will is done perfectly – and JESUS preached the Kingdom of Heaven is here – and we continue through His Holy Spirit in the work He started – proclaiming the kingdom and seeing it expand, it seems to me there should be a lot more perfection present in our lives, especially around the church.