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 -- Hebrews 6:1
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Further Up and Further In
Those of us in American Protestant Christianity, in particular, like to be egalitarian in our thinking. We often call one another brother or sister and consider church services as the “assembling of the saints”. Romans 12:3 advises us thusly: For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Meanwhile Galatians 6:3 also warns us, … if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Humility within the Body of Christ is essential, as is a loving regard for the gifts unique to those around us. The rule is to humble oneself while exalting and encouraging our fellow believer, whatever his or her state and position. A person does not have to be a great intellect to be a great saint. The love of Christ is not dependent on our cerebral capacity or how much we know or can know. Wisdom transcends intelligence. The wisest among us are not always the most glib or articulate or knowledgeable.
There is a place in the Body of Christ for all. Some of us are not going to reach great heights, but we are still in Christ. We are accepted in the Beloved. There is a basic level that anyone can reach. Have faith in God. It’s not hard. It is John 3:16, whoever believes in the Son. For some of us, that’s about as far as we can go.
However, there are those whom God is going to challenge and call to higher understanding and greater insight into the truth. The truth goes beyond those elementary doctrines to which we all can and must adhere. If we have the capacity, we can go on. In The Last Battle, the call comes to go “Further up, and further in.”
We can go to a place where we are “safe”, and we can stop. The Lord, though, has a place for us where we are not just safe but fulfilled. Like I was saying yesterday, that may mean we are called to let some things fall by the wayside because there isn’t room for them where we have to go. They are OK where we are now, but they are not going to be right when we reach that new level. So, by faith, we lay them down and leave them behind. It may be habits or thought-patterns, sometimes a relationship. It’s not necessarily bad in and of itself; it just can’t go where we are being called to go.
Going on to maturity means that we follow on to find our ultimate satisfaction, contentment, and joy. As Hosea 6:3 says (KJV), Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord.
Those elementary doctrines – they are the foundation on which we build, the Rock on which we stand. You have to have a foundation, but you only have to lay it once. You don’t have to go back and rebuild it every day. You’ll never get to the roof that way.