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Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so. ~He 6:1-3



What does it mean to move beyond the elementary teachings of Christ? Does it refer to Old Testament laws that the Hebrew Christians were still unable to put away or does it refer to the fundamental teachings of Christianity?

The writer remembers that when he had just received the Lord as his personal saviour, he was amazed by the teachings concerning Christ’s Second Coming. It became so, that whenever a foreign speaker preaches on the topic, the writer would gather a group of brothers and sisters to attend the meetings together. However, after a while being much more familiar with such bible doctrines, the writer stopped attending these meetings.

The passage above began with the word “therefore,” a word used to link the passage to the former sentences, in this case, it linked up the previous verses from chapter 5, verses 11-14. These verses illustrate the reason that led to the conclusions in the passage above.

We have much to say about this [Jesus being high priest in the order of Melchizedek], but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. ~He 5:11-14

It was the author’s original intend to elaborate to the Hebrew Christians the spiritual relationship between Melchizedek and Jesus, however observing their spiritual immaturity, he hesitated from doing so, knowing that they would be unable to understand it. From the passage, we know that the believers have been in the Lord for a significant period of time. Given their duration of training in the Lord, they would have had substantial understanding of biblical doctrines and should have become qualified spiritual teachers. Regrettably, they were weak even in their fundamental biblical truths, so much so that they even require others to teach them. They were like infants with stunted growth who could only live on easily digestible milk and were unable to feed on solid food. To the Hebrew Christians, the doctrines concerning Melchizedek were like solid food that were hard to digest, they were deeper spiritual truths that were more difficult to understand. The author was hence worried, wondering if the Hebrew Christians were able to have sufficient spiritual discernment to comprehend the truths that he was about to share with them.

Being in the faith for many years, the Hebrew Christians were still dwelling on the fundamental doctrines of Christ. In seeing that, the author encouraged them to “move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity.” “The elementary teachings” in the passage mentioned refers to the basic truths pursued by new believers: for instance, dealing with sin, having faith in God, believer’s baptism, eternal life and hell. All these teachings are considered infant milk, the elementary school of God’s word, truths that all new believers ought to pursue and understand. After having understood these foundational truths, we ought to pursue truths that are more deep and profound, to strive towards having a complete understanding of God’s word. Feeding on milk is a necessary phase in every Christian’s spiritual growth; however, if we were to continually feed on milk alone and remain ignorant to more in-depth truths, we would remain as spiritual infants, shallow and naive in our spiritual life. This is the problem of the Hebrew Christians, where after so many years of being in the Lord, they were still uncertain with questions such as: “What is the significance of baptism?” “Is there a resurrection for believers?” “What about judgment after death?”

In the recent years of the writer’s faith in the Lord, there were occasionally foreign speakers who preached about the Second Coming of Christ, but these messages have lost their appeal to the writer. While these meetings when fervently attended previously in the early stages of the writer’s faith do indeed demonstrate a healthy spiritual growth, but for the writer to remain passionate about attending such meetings after many years in the Lord would then reveal a lack of spiritual maturity! The Hebrew Christians after many years in the Lord were still found lingering around the elementary teachings of Christ, clearly shows the severe lack of interest in their spiritual pursue!