First Principles HTML version
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 wan t
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.
So now he starts to talk about spiritual immaturity. “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. It's 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 actu ally
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”.
So there are many things that are basic in the Christian life, so I might ask you what's basi c to the Christian life? What
would you say? Well you'd say: prayer; read your Bible; come to church; get fellowship - you'd say a whole lot of
things. You notice none of them are mentioned there? So this is nothing to do with that - these are the foundations for
building. It's about how your life is built, and you becoming all that God wants you to become. These must be put in
there. These are not just a set of teachings. It's not just six steps and now I'm away. It's not that at all. It actually is a
You notice when a building is first being constructed, they lay a foundation. You don't see the foundation, but it
carries the whole weight of the building. Now you never remove the foundation. It always remains there, and the
stability of the building depends on the foundations being present, being strong, and being able to support what
you're building. So what he's saying is: this doctrine of Christ, or the first principles of Christ, is a body of teaching on
how to live your life in such a way, we can corporately become what God wants us to become. Christian life is never
a single or alone life; it's always lived in community. It is what you call a “living foundation”, so each part of this is
something to be living inside you. It's something you live out in your daily life. It's not something - I heard that tape, I'll
pass it on. This is something that needs to be operative continually in your life if you want to progress.
If any of these areas are not operative in your life, you can't progress. Yo u'll be around a long time, but there's a huge
difference between: being a 10 year old Christian; and a Christian who's had one year's experience 10 times - just
repeated the same stuff. So you notice then, the first things are these are the foundations to Christ, the anointed life,
the anointed one; and we know there is Jesus Christ who is the pattern, but it also refers to the body of Christ of
which you and I are a part. That's the first thing.
Second thing is, it's foundation to your identity, and how you do your life with Jesus. It's foundational - the
foundational substructure. Notice he calls it the First Principles. The word first comes from the word arché, from which
we get principality. It's something which is the beginning. If this isn't there, you don't go any further. You just keep
busy, but you don't go further.