I first came across this thrilling verse at the beginning of the year.
Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case – things that accompany salvation.
The author (unknown) is addressing (or rather dressing down) the Hebrew audience. He’s just finished telling them that they ought to be teachers by now (5:12) but instead still need teaching. And not about the deep things of God, but about the basics.
These Christians/believers haven’t matured enough to learn about “righteousness”. They haven’t been using what they know and are untrained in what is good and evil.
Chapter 6 talks about the various aspects of the Christian life. For me, it was worth taking note. In our generation, different truths are emphasised depending on which church you belong to. I enjoyed hearing it from an early Christian – historians say Hebrews was probably written before AD 70 since Timothy is apparently still alive (13:23).
So here, according to the author, are the basics, the elementary teachings, the foundations
- Repentance from dead works (acts that lead to death)
- Faith in God
- Laying on of Hands
- The Resurrection of the Dead
- Eternal Judgment
Interestingly, many of us are still majoring on the above and still talking about it over and over again. I wonder if it’s time for us all to move on…
[In fact, just recently I noticed we keep singing songs about our sin and how Jesus washed it away – kind of seems strange that he washed it away and we’re still talking about it. Sometimes we seem to talk more about sin than Him.]
But moving on, what does the author say about the ordinary/normal Christian life/experience. We have been enlightened, have tasted the heavenly gift, have shared in the Holy Spirit, have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age! (6:4-5)
Whoa…and that’s just mentioned in passing. Like, “oh, yeah, you couldn’t have experienced all this and turn back now.” So yes, that was what was considered normal.
So it seems to me this was the normal way – Repentance, faith in God, Baptism, laying on of hands, learning (being enlightened) the foundational truths on eternity, tasting eternity on earth, enjoying the Holy Spirit, the word of God, exercising the powers of heaven and then producing the fruit that benefits the world and constantly being trained to distinguish good from evil.
This is the normal Christian life.
I really wonder how many of us are enjoying these wonderful everyday experiences?
Going back to the text, he writes, now you (audience/and us Christians) have drank in the rain (teachings/blessings/experiences) and now must produce a crop that is useful to those for whom it is farmed. But if there is no crop, it’s useless, cursed and in danger of being burnt.
And then he says, no, not you. I am confident of better things for you. (6:9)
Wow. That is awesome.
I wonder, though, if the ‘better things’ refers not just to vs 6:8 (the danger of being cursed) but all that came before (the enlightenment, the heavenly gifts, sharing in the Holy Spirit, the word of God, the power of God). It sounds to me like there’s much more!
To me, after walking with Jesus for 26 years, I’m excited to hear of better things. I’m excited to hear that walking in enlightenment and power is normal and this can be my daily experience and there’s more!
This has been the most exciting thing I’ve read in 2022. After 2 years of a pandemic and a sense of gloom and defeat…here is something I can hold onto and soar again. There are better things and I’m heading towards it.