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The Elementary Doctrine of Christ

Discussion in 'Exposition & Bible Study' started by newton3005, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. newton3005

    newton3005 Member

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    Can a Jew, who is devoted to the precepts of Judaism, become a Christian? We know the answer to that. Jesus preached to the Jews who then became Christians, and his first disciples were Jews. But many Jews who became Christians also wanted to abide by the 500 some-odd parts of the Old Testament Law of God.

    From what can be ascertained in Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus does not object to the Jews’ continuing to abide by the Old testament Law. In fact, within those passages, he himself says he comes to fulfill that Law. Similarly, the Book of James does not object to abiding by the Law, but it does warn in James 2:10 that whoever desires to keep the whole Law but fails in one part has breached the whole Law. Of course, those, whether or not they strive to abide by the Law, will have sinned during their lives, as it says in Romans 3:23. God through Lord Jesus may have passed over the former sins of those who believe in Lord Jesus, but people continue to sin.

    That is why the Bible provides for the forgiveness of those sins, every time a sin is committed. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” But without Hebrews 6:1-3, there are a lot of ways Jews may be liable to sin. For example, it is a sin to not offer burnt offerings, sin offerings and other offerings, under Old Testament Law. But inasmuch as God lets us use reason to understand Him, how does sacrificing a beast bring us closer to understanding Him?

    One of the Statutes in the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 6:5, says “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” In the face of the whole Law, even the Old Testament Law, how much can we show we love God by sacrificing a beast? If we don’t, say, love our neighbor and the stranger who sojourns with us as it says in Leviticus 19:18 and Leviticus 19:34, will God believe we love Him by merely sacrificing an animal? So, the Old Testament Law leaves a lot for the Jews to ponder. As it implies in Psalms 1:1, God approves of delighting in His Law, but we are still required to love Him and love eachother.

    Along comes Hebrews 6:1-3 which says to “leave the elementary doctrine of Christ.” What is the “elementary doctrine”? it is that part of the doctrine of Christ which refers, directly or indirectly, to the parts of the Old Testament Law which are ceremonial in nature. Hebrews 6:1-3 regards these Laws as part of the elementary understanding of God, something akin to learning the alphabet in order to learn how to read. In a sense, Hebrews 6:1-3 says, particularly to the Jews, that they know the alphabet, they’ve known it for thousands of years, so it’s time now to focus on learning to read. More to the point, the Jews have long been familiar with God by way of the ceremonial Laws which acknowledge His existence, so now the time has come to know God Himself, through Christ.

    This doesn’t mean that the Jews are prohibited from abiding by the ceremonial precepts of the Old Testament, it just means that if they understand God through Christ then there is no need for them to continue abiding by those precepts. They already know that God exists, and to continue to abide by those ceremonial Laws would be like introducing themselves to a person whom they already know.

    Hebrews 6:3 provides a caveat. It says that the elementary doctrine of Christ can be left behind “if God permits.” But that doesn’t mean that God has to be asked, for we know what His answer would be. It should be regarded as a formality, as an acknowledgement to God that we surely look to Him in our quest for righteousness.
     
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  2. royal priest

    royal priest debtor to grace

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    It seems that continuing in those things would mean they don't understand the purpose of the Old and New Covenants. Which means they also don't understand why a sacrifice is offered.
     
  3. Aaron_Bethlhm

    Aaron_Bethlhm Active Member

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    Maybe.
    Maybe not.
    (a lot of possible understandings/ misunderstandings today).

    Whenever a Jew or a gentile gets saved, do they therefore no longer stop at red lights in traffic , or no longer abide by the legal speed limit and other traffic laws ?

    God's Directions are more permanent, more binding, more concerning life as God Gives, than the traffic laws of men.

    The Directions that His servants, His people, follow may be not understood by gentiles.

    That seem obvious doesn't it ?
     
  4. newton3005

    newton3005 Member

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    Interesting analogy. So when God effectively says to the Jews 'If you love me you will keep my laws, it's like a city telling its residents 'If you love this city, you'll abide by the traffic laws?'

    To continue the analogy, is it possible that those traffic laws could be regarded as ceremonial laws, telling you what you must do but not really giving any love to the city? It is also conceivable that you could say all the traffic laws of the city could be summed up in one law...to love your neighbor by obeying the traffic laws so no one gets hurt.

    Looked at another way, the traffic laws are a function of a government run by God in accordance with Romans 13:1, ensuring that God's people don't get hurt.

    Your statement above makes for so many possibilities!
     
  5. Aaron_Bethlhm

    Aaron_Bethlhm Active Member

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    I read this earlier or yesterday? ... and just came back reviewing, and let's for amoment converse just on this one 'analogy', if you want to.

    When people love a city (such as if possible as God Allows and Directs, realizing we do not love the world nor the things of the world, also as God Directs Strictly),

    when people love a city, they will not pollute, cause harm, deride it, nor ignore it.
    They will take care of it, in their domain (realm of experience, where they have interaction and choices) .

    Did God "effectively " say to the Jews "If you love me you will keep my laws" ?
    I ask this way, because Jesus says , to the Jews (some of them) "You do not keep God's Law" ...
    Was God effective then , for those Jews ?
    This is merely to clarify the ideas here....
     
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