"First Principles of the Christian Faith"
In the oracles of God there are some FIRST PRINCIPLES, plain to be understood and necessary to be learned. There are also deep and sublime mysteries.
There are in the church babes and persons of full age, and there are in the Gospel, milk and stong meat. Those who are babes, unskilled in the word of righteousness, must be fed with milk. It refers to an exclusive diet of milk. Adults drink milk, but it is not their exclusive diet. The word babe speaks of a birth relationship to its parents, but the writer speaks of babes in relation to their maturity.
Christ despises not His babes. He has provided suitable food for them. In 1 Corinthians 2:6, Paul says that he speaks wisdom among the perfect, that is, spiritually mature, in contrast these Hebrews who are immature so far as their spiritual apprehension is concerned, with those of full age, namely, spiritually mature.
The strong meat is for those who are of full age (vs:14). It must be noted that solid food is not indispensable for preserving life, but it is for acquiring strength. The deeper mysteries of faith belong to those that are of a higher class in the school of Christ. Every true Christian stands in need of nourishment. Those who are described as perfect or mature have by habitual use of perceptive faculties (senses) the ability to discriminate between good and evil or between sound and unsound doctrine. It is by use and exercise that these senses are improved, made more quick and strong to taste the sweetness of what is good and true, and the bitterness of what is false and evil.
In order to allow for growth to come, Christians must not lose heart, depart from, nor despise the first principles, but rather rest in them. They must go on and build on them. Some theologians describe this leaving process as leaving Judaism and going on to Christianity. Correctly, Jesus said, "This is the New Testament in My blood". Having said that He also tells us that basically there cannot be a new without the old. Likewise, we do not abandon the First Principles, but move on to a perfect man. We must never leave the foundation in the sense that yes, I left the foundation when I went to the tenth floor of the building, but never left the foundation entirely. Rather, I built on it.
Faith towards God and repentance from dead works are connected and always go together. They are inseparable twins: the one cannot live without the other. The ordinance of baptism and the laying on of hands are also connected in that the ministry of the laying on of hands is an affirmation of their Christian faith.
The resurrection of the dead and eternal judgement is also inseparable, for one follows the other.
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First Principles of The Christian Faith