Today’s teaching is on the foundations of the kingdom, and what we ought to already know and walk in. These are doctrines we must understand to go forward and bring the kingdom wherever we go. They are basic, but we must master them.
Hebrews 6:1,2 (ESV)
1. Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2. and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
What are these elementary doctrines of Christ?
I want us to know these as they are foundational to our beliefs and walking in the kingdom.
- Repentance from dead works
What are the dead works? Things that should be far from our minds. We shouldn’t be focused on dead works. They lead nowhere near the throne of God. They only serve to move us away from life Himself. The first sign that we’re seeing the kingdom is that we REPENT – Change our minds.
- Matthew 3:2
And saying, “ Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” – This was John the Baptist saying this.
- But when Jesus came what did he preach? Matthew 4:17
17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “ Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
- WOW – The message of repentance hasn’t changed. Repent – turn our minds from dead works that don’t lead to the way, the truth and the life. Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
2. Faith toward God
- From Abraham to Jesus and the Apostles, they all showed faith in God. After repenting from our dead works and embracing the Kingdom, we have to start exercising our faith towards God.
- Hebrews 11:1-3
- Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
- The point I want to outine here is that we understand that FAITH brought the visible out of the invisible. As we start exercising our faith towards God, we’ll also see many things that were once invisible manifested in the visible world around us. This is why we don’t give up believing The Lord for everything we know can and will come to pass. We must believe in Him and trust him with reckless abandon!
3. Instructions about washing or baptisms
- We know that John came baptizing in water, but Jesus came baptizing by the Holy Spirit.
- Matthew 3:11 (John the Baptist talking about baptisms)
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
- John 3:5 (Jesus talking to Nicodemus on the subject of being born again)
Jesus answered, “ Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
- We must be born of water (that’s the first baptism) and we must be born of the Spirit – that’s the second baptism. This is the one that is contended the most. This is the one without which a man can be water baptized and be miserable because he never walks in the evident power of the Holy Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit baptism is so important that when Peter preached he emphasized it: Acts 2:38-39
Then Peter said to them, “ Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
- But even when Paul went to visit some disciples who had been water baptized he mentioned it.
And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “ Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
And he said to them, “ Into what then were you baptized?”
So they said, “ Into John’s baptism.”
Then Paul said, “ John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Now the men were about twelve in all.
And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God.
- If you look here, you can see more about the importance of the second baptism. This second baptism is important that we receive so we can walk in authority and power with God, but as Peter shared it is a gift, and we must make sure to receive it.
Laying on of Hands, Resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment will be covered next week as we continue laying this foundation.