Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Solid Food and Baseball- Hebrews 6

Please take time to read Hebrews chapter 6.

"... solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.  Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement.  And God permitting we will do so."  Hebrews 5:14-6:3

Some of you may remember that I wrote about solid food last week.  Hebrews chapter 5 spoke about solid food and chapter 6 continues that topic.

In the above passage some of you may be taken off guard by this phrase: "let us leave the elementary teaching about Christ."  What does this mean?  Are we to stop teaching the basics of the Gospel once we've understood them?  I don't think so.  Let me explain.

The writer of Hebrews seems to be frustrated that the Jewish Christians wouldn't accept the elementary teachings.  They continued to bicker about Christian basics and sit comfortably in the shallow end of the pool.  I don't believe that the writer of Hebrews was asking the saints to abandon Christianity's basics in order to pursue more difficult learning.  I believe what was being requested was that the saints moved beyond the basics not from the basics.

Just after my junior year at Wartburg I got the opportunity to coach baseball at my alma mater.  I was the JV coach and assistant varsity coach.  Before the first practice I was pumped.  I had a host of intricate drills that the boys were going to run... I mean this was upper level baseball I had in mind.  However, when I got to practice I realized that the boys needed to be working on the basics.  They were having trouble hitting the cutoff man and fielding grounders.  So, I abandoned the intricate drills and hammered the basics.

Now, in baseball you need the basics all the time.  You need to be able to hit the cutoff man, square up in front of a ground ball and keep your eye on the ball when you hit even in the Majors.  You never abandon the basics and often times you go back and work on the basics.  That being said, higher level baseball practices shouldn't be filled with drills to help you hit the cutoff man.

My frustration (and boys if you're reading this, this was a minor frustration mostly due to unrealistic expectations on my part) and the writer of Hebrews frustration mirror one another.  We wanted to lead people into maturity.  The Jewish Christians should have been coaching the basics, but instead they were being taught the basics.  So, the writer of Hebrews was not saying abandon the basics; he was urging the readers to move beyond the basics without ever forgetting them.

So, what's the key to moving beyond the elementary teaching?  There are many but here are a few: 1) Accept the basics as truth.  2) Don't shy away from difficult sections of Scripture (in fact Hebrews 6 continues with some difficult stuff) 3) Rely on God because "God permitting we will do so (move beyond the basics."

Never abandon the basics but don't be afraid of moving beyond the basics.  Don't shy away from difficult Scripture because these sections of God's Word will expand your mind like nothing else.  Accept the basics of our faith and put them into practice until they become your new nature.  And rely on God because He is the vine and He will grow you; you can't move on to solid food on your own.

Chew on the solid food found in the Word today.

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