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Repentance from Dead Works (1 of 7)

Mike Connell

Summary Notes

1. Introduction
Heb. 5:12 – 6:3 “Let us go on to perfection” to maturity, to the fullness of God’s purpose.
Context of this passage = going on to perfection, following the example of Jesus Christ.
First principles = foundation of “Christ” – The Anointed One.
Many things that are basic to Christian life not mentioned here e.g. prayer, fasting and giving.
List of 6x principles – these are a foundation for building not just set of teachings.
- not just a set of steps to take – six living foundations.
Called 1st Principles of Christ because they establish and form Life of Christ within us.
They are foundational to the new way of being and living.
Foundation = NT 2310 = substructure that supports a building.
First = NT 746 = Arche = 1st in a series, principal.
Principles = NT 4747 The first thing from which others in a series arise;
e.g. military rank.
= The fundamentals, the ABC’s, the “Times Tables”.
Without the Foundations – consequence is spiritual immaturity
Vs 12 “… you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the doctrine of God”
Babe = NT 3516 = Nepios = babe without the power of speech – one needing milk.
Full age = NT 5046 = Teleios = full grown son, lacking nothing for completion.
Maturity = have constantly exercised their spiritual senses and growing.
Discern good and evil = able to see through to the root (love)
= identify what flows from Spirit of God and what flows from law.
= Identify what is Holy Spirit directed and what is self centred.

2. Overview of First Principles
Heb 6:1 – 3 “…. Not laying again the foundation”
(i) Repentance from Dead Works - Turning from self centred life, efforts to be righteous.
(ii) Faith towards God – Turning to God, receive His love and righteousness, and identity.
(iii) Doctrine of Baptisms – separation from sin and immersion to Life in the Spirit.
(iv) Laying on of hands – impartation of grace, gifts, callings to fulfil destiny.
(v) Resurrection of the dead – flowing in the life of the Spirit.
(vi) Eternal Judgement – judging all that is not of the Life of the Spirit.
This is about receiving and flowing in the love and life of the Holy Spirit.
It is about the exchange of our life for His supernatural life.
It is about walking in our new identity and position as a child of God.
It is foundational – it under girds and supports the Kingdom Life of the Holy Spirit.
It is a way of life not a series of steps.

3. The Fall of Man
Gen 3:1-10 “You shall be as God” – knowing good and evil.
Adam and Even walked in love and unity with God and with one another.
They rejected the Father’s Love – sinned against love and relationship.

What was Lost in the Fall
They fell from a relationship and life where God was the Centre.
(i) They lost their love relationship with God as their Father and with one another. Eph. 4:18.
- Cut off from the life and love of God – man was now orphaned, self centred.
(ii) They lost their identity as a child of God who clothed and gave identity.
- Adam was naked, ashamed, self conscious, self centred, insecure.
- Lost! Who am I?
(iii) They lost the supernatural life of God that sustained them, Life of the Spirit.

What they experienced as a result of the Fall
Emotional turmoil – guilt, shame, fear.
Ambition to be someone by doing, to clothe nakedness.
Constant identity crisis – concealing true identity (fig leaves).
Trying to be accepted, loved, and approved of by doing.
Struggling to control their personal life and circumstances.
Defining good and evil from self centre – what is good for me, not good for me.
Under law - trying hard to be good enough, be righteous.
Religious – doing good works to try and establish own righteousness.

4. Example of Older Brother
Lk.15:25 – 3 “He was angry and would not go in”
Seeing the younger brother experience grace exposed his fallen condition.
Elder brother: Loyal, faithful, hardworking, good – profess to love his father.
Hidden Motivation
Serve to find identity in works.
Need to be seen and recognised.
Bitterly disappointed and striving.
Looking for love, identity in works.
Hidden Sins of his heart
Striving Resentment/Anger
Pride Striving for superiority
Jealousy Cold and unloving
Self rights Rather be right than have relationships
Judgemental Opposed to Christ to spirit of grace
He needed to repent of Dead Works.

5. What Christ Has Done for Us
(i) Removed the list of failures and disempowered evil spirits. (Col. 2:14-15)
(ii) Broke the power of cursing to release blessing of Holy Spirit. (Gal 3:13-14)
(iii) Raised us up to be united with Him in Heaven. (Eph.2:5-6)
(iv) Blessed us, made us without blame, accepted, redeemed, forever.(Eph.1:3-5)
All of this is a free gift – cannot be earned – by grace through faith.
Gal 5:4 If we do not rely on grace – its power is made to vanish.
Repent of Dead Works before faith can become effective.
Repent = total change of mind and heart.
Dead = 3498 = Nekros = a corpse, lacking in vitality, life, power.
Activities which are not moved with love and power of the Holy Spirit.
Activities filled with self centred agenda.


What are the “first” or “elementary” principles of Christ in Hebrews 6: 1-3?

Why is an understanding of these essential? Hebrews 5: 12-13

(They are foundational to a new way of being and living and they establish and form the Life of Christ within us)

Maturity = full grown son; lacking nothing for completion.
= have constantly exercised their spiritual senses and growing.
= discerns good and evil. i.e
1. able to see through to the root.
2. able to identify what flows from the Spirit of God and what flows from law.
3. able to identify what is Holy Spirit directed and what is self directed.

How can we discern what flows from the Spirit of God and what flows from law?
e.g. in our thought life, attitudes, beliefs, impressions, feelings, inner reactions or responses, behaviours.

How can we identify what is Holy Spirit directed and what is self directed?
What would be the fruit or effect that each would produce in our lives and the lives of those we influence?

Can you share from your own experience a time where you were able to discern that you were Holy Spirit directed and a time where you were directed by law or self?

What did you experience internally?(Law/self = condemnation, shame, insecurity, fear, striving, dryness, depression, jealousy, judgemental/critical attitude, anger, resentment, cold and unloving, control, focused on your rights, feeling that you’ve got to meet certain standards to be right with God and to attain His blessings and provision.)

(Holy Spirit = flow of love, peace, joy, energy and life, enthusiasm, inner security and strength, rest, assurance, confidence (it’s going to be ok) trust, sense of intimacy with the Lord, vitality and power.)

What was the outcome?
What was the impact on those around you?

Do your motivations and actions flow more often out of a fear - base or a faith / love – base?

Review in the notes “What Christ Has Done For Us.”

What has the Holy Spirit been speaking to about in this session?
Has He helped you identify dead works within your life?
Where do you need to repent ( change your way of thinking ) in order to believe God?