This is not talking about repentance from sin, but from living a self-centred life at the core of our being, a life lived out of duty, obligation, legalism, my efforts to be loved, needed, valued, feel good. The life of God flows out of a vital love relationship with God. He is the centre, not us. Our identity is with him. His life flows through a life that's yielded and open, and in love with God as a father.
Prelude: Open your Bibles with me in Hebrews 5:12, I want to begin a new series. Last week we shared with you about the parable of the unforgiving servant, and we saw how a person experienced the grace of God, came into what you'd call salvation type experience of the grace, the forgiveness, the blessing of God and then did not stay in that place of grace. By being unloving and judgemental to fellow believers in the house, he shifted himself out of being under the flow of grace, and ended in his own life under judgement and demonic torment. There's a tremendous principle to understand of the need for us to remain in the grace and the light of Jesus Christ, so we're going to do a series in this coming seven weeks called First Principles, or the foundational doctrine of Christ.Message
Hebrews 5:7 - “Jesus, who in the days of His flesh, when He lived on the earth, He offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears, to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear. Though He was a Son (the Son of God), He learned obedience by the things He suffered, and having been made perfect, He became the author (or the originator or the one who brings a flow of salvation) of eternal salvation, to all them who obey Him. Called by God as a High Priest, according to the order of Melchizedek (so Jesus is a High Priest within a particular supernatural order called the order of Melchizedek), of whom we've a lot to say but hard to explain, since you've become dull of hearing.”
In other words, Paul is saying: Jesus Himself was ushered into a priesthood of supernatural life and power. We want to talk to you more about that, but because of your immaturity, you can't handle the truth! That's virtually what he's saying: you're dull of hearing.
Now he starts to talk about Spiritual Immaturity. Hebrews 5:12 “Now by this time you've been Christians for many years, you ought to be teachers. You need someone again teaches you the first principles of the doctrine of God; you need milk and not solid food. For everyone who takes milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness. He is a babe...” (and that's not kind of “babe” babe - this is a “baby” baby)
“...and solid food belongs to those who are of full age; that is, who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Therefore leaving the discussion of the doctrine or the first principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection”. Jesus was made perfect. Jesus grew into that maturity.
He's saying: “we need to get off foundations and move into maturity, not laying again the foundation” - then he begins to describe the foundation: “repentance from dead works; faith towards God; the doctrine of baptisms; laying on of hands; of resurrection of the dead; of eternal judgement - and this we will do if God permits.” What we will do: we will go on to maturity - IF God permits. Its possible God will not permit you to come to the fullness of what you're called to, unless the foundations are properly laid, so let's open our heart on this.
The key in this particular passage is the challenge of the apostle for us not to remain childish or baby, but to actually grow to maturity; and so this is about the first principles of Christ - the foundation of Christ. It's not just about Jesus Christ and what He's done, it's the foundations for us to become what God wants us to become. If these foundations are not laid properly in our lives, we will wrestle, struggle, we do the best we can; but never get to where God wants us to get to. This is why this is called “foundations”.