By this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you and go over the basics on God again, starting from square one—baby’s milk, when you should have been on solid food long ago! -Hebrews 5:12
I was taught that my sin put Jesus back on the cross. The guilt of putting Him through that torture again and again was crushing. I fought with everything in me to avoid causing Him more pain. My life was built around avoiding sin and avoiding the cross at all costs. When I failed to uphold the standard, I had to go back to convincing myself that the sacrifice Jesus made could be for ‘this sin’, too.
In order to avoid that guilt, I would find ways to justify my actions in the ‘little’ things. If I could justify them in my own mind, then it eased the guilt I felt. I learned to believe that tight reigns and small boxes were reserved for the most holy. I considered myself able and practiced my Christianity intensely. All the while, I knew I was still a work in progress.
I never realized that guilt dressed up like humility and my ‘humility’ made me proud.
Guilt means that Jesus isn’t finished, humility is what I owned while pride eroded everything I did.
I was depending on my own strength. I was exercising to be stronger. It all depended on me to keep Jesus off the cross.
So come on, let’s leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. The basic foundational truths are in place: turning your back on “salvation by self-help” and turning in trust toward God. -Hebrews 6:1
I never saw the truth until I did something that I couldn’t justify, couldn’t ease with an apology and couldn’t undo. No amount of moral strength could earn my way back to the pedestal I put my character on.
We no longer need to make sacrifices for our sins. Jesus isn’t re-crucified every time someone sins. If that were the case, He’d never get off the cross.
He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. -Hebrews 10:9-10
If you are using a moral code to keep yourself ‘right’, then you do not believe that Jesus was enough. If you are using a set of standards to to keep yourself ‘pure’ then you are your own savior.
He’s more than the giver of the ‘clean slate.’ I see these people walking around with a checklist of failures and going to the ‘Big Eraser’ every Sunday. How can you grow beyond the basics if you can’t get passed the sin? How can you graduate from nursing on the easily digested to the Biblical jerky you have to chew on a while if you’re constantly having to go to square one?
If you have the basics down: understanding baptism, the Holy Spirit, the resurrection and who Jesus is means it’s time to move forward.
God helping us, we’ll stay true to all that. But there’s so much more. Let’s get on with it! -Hebrews 6:3
It’s time to stop sucking your thumb.
If you believe that you can reach a point where you won’t sin, then you’ll never get passed the ‘preschool fingerprinting exercises’ of faith. If you believe that God cries and Jesus dies every time a person falls, then you’ll never get on the other side of the baby gate.
‘Getting passed the sin’ is done by believing that Jesus died once for all. If you really believe that His one time sacrifice was enough, then the forgiveness is yours for eternity. If you don’t believe that, then you’re not a ‘believer’. You’re not a ‘believer’ because you don’t believe in the one thing that could save you.
If you’re having a hard time believing that you are forgiven and if you can’t trust in God’s grace, then I’m at a loss. There is no simpler way to put it. It’s like pouring water into a bucket with holes. Or using filtered water on a field of weeds. If you’ve heard the Truth and say you believe it, even to the point of being able to recite it, but it still slips away, then you need to pray against the religious teflon you’ve accumulated. You’re like someone who forgets what they look like after they’ve glanced in the mirror (James1:22). If you believed it the first time, you wouldn’t have a problem believing it now. No one can believe the Truth and then have to beg God to give you your eternal life back. He doesn’t rescind His promises if you step off course. If you believe your ability had anything to do with your salvation, then you don’t know the Truth and I’m not sure who you’re begging.
Once people have seen the light, gotten a taste of heaven and been part of the work of the Holy Spirit, once they’ve personally experienced the sheer goodness of God’s Word and the powers breaking in on us—if then they turn their backs on it, washing their hands of the whole thing, well, they can’t start over as if nothing happened. That’s impossible. Why, they’ve re-crucified Jesus! They’ve repudiated him in public! Parched ground that soaks up the rain and then produces an abundance of carrots and corn for its gardener gets God’s “Well done!” But if it produces weeds and thistles, it’s more likely to get cussed out. Fields like that are burned, not harvested. -Hebrews 6:4-8
A fisherman throws the baby fish back in the water. They’re not ready to be used for food. The water carrier throws the bucket with holes away. The farmer cusses at the field of weeds and burns them up. I don’t think this is to say you’re a waste of time, but just that you’re not ready yet. You’re holes have to be fixed.
If you’re going to a ‘Big Eraser’ every time you fall, then you might want to consider to whom you’re submitting, because it’s not Jesus. Jesus doesn’t keep an eraser. He throws your stinking slate away.
We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us… -Hebrews 6:18-20