The First Principles of Christianity

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. Heb. 6:1-2 KJV 

Paul reprimanded the Hebrews that have been professed Christians (see Heb. 5:12-14) that they have been teachers long enough, but because of their laziness and dullness in grasping the truth, they must be taught the first simple doctrines of Christ for a second time. He reproofs them in the fact that they are still unweaned babes 1Cor. 3:2; 1Pet. 2:2 and have not grown at all. Milk-feeding was a metaphor used by many writers, both sacred and profane, to express the first principles of religion and science. They applied sucking to learning; infant to every beginner; and meat to those who had learned the first principles of truth.

In view of their lack of progress, he advised them to leave the infantile stage of the Christian experience and to become adults:

‘…leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection…’

Two things manifest Christian maturity:

  1. To leave the first principles, thus to cease to remain in the state of babes
  2. To go on to perfection, to never rest until you are an adult capable of taking strong meat, of being a teacher, and of exercising all senses in righteousness 5:13-14; 6:1

The ‘go on’ is the Greek word phero that means to be borne along as a ship driven by a wind. Acts 27:15-17 The Spirit is the power that moves believers forward.  2Pet. 1:21; Rom. 8:14

Unto perfection’ is the command that we must be perfect as taken from the Greek word teleios meaning that which has reached maturity; is complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); neuter (as noun) completeness: – of full age, man being perfect. So many times we are charged in the Word that we should reach this perfection, Mat. 5:48; 1Cor. 2:6; 2Cor. 13:1; Eph. 4:12-13; Php. 3:15; Col 1:27-28 which always refers to the perfect life of Jesus Christ 1 Pet. 2:21-24; Heb. 5:9 that we are commanded to follow:

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. Jas. 1:4 KJV

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you1Pet. 5:10 KJV

Many seek to find out how many imperfections, failures, and carnal traits are allowable in religion, but few seek to bring Christians to the height of the gospel standard and to the unlimitations of the promises of God. The measure of the stature of the fullness is seldom mentioned much less demonstrated, while the stature of littleness, emtiness, and powerlessness of Christianity is often emphasized and demonstrated.

Paul warned them against laying again the foundation…. where the Greek word for laying is kataballo which means to cast down or overthrow. Thus the warning to not cast down or destroy the foundation already laid, of the six fundamental doctrines of Hebrew 6:1-2 from which the Hebrew Christians were supposed to understand by then and be able to teach others.

These six fundamental doctrines are the first principles of Christianity:

  1. Repentance is described by the Greek word metanoia, which means a real change of mind and attitude toward sin and its cause, not merely the consequences of it. Mat. 3:8, 11; 9:13; Luk. 24:47 It means to renew our minds 12:2; Eph. 4:23 and to meditate upon God’s Word Col. 3:2; Php. 4:8 and not to entertain the enemy in our thoughts. 2Cor. 10:3-6
  2. Faith in God through Christ whereby we trust in Him fully for all that was promised in His Word, this is not just to believe in His existence but a wholly dependence on Him for all our needs in this life and thereafter. 15:1-8, Heb. 11:1
  3. Baptisms
  • Baptism ‘into Christ’ is essential to salvation: the most important baptism that saves the soul and brings one into the body of Christ at repentance and the new birth; where dying to the self is essential, and to be washed of the old man (nature of sin) so that one can become a new creation in Christ Rom. 6:3-12; 1Co 12:13; 2Cor. 5:17; Gal. 3:27; 5:24; Col. 2:11-13
  • Baptism ‘into water’ is essential to obedience and to a “good conscience” after one is saved and ‘in Christ’ Mat. 28:19; Mar. 16:16; Acts 2:38-41; 8:12-16, 36-38; 9:18; 10:47-48; 16:15, 33; 18:8; 19:5; 22:16; 1Co 1:13-17; 1Pet. 3:21; 1 Jn. 5:6-10
  • Baptism ‘into the Holy Spirit’ is essential to receiving power for service. It is the immersion or burial of the believer in the Spirit at which time he receives the Spirit in his life in all ‘fulness’ and ‘without measure’ and is ‘endued with power from on high’ to do the works of Christ. Ma 3:11, 14; 20:22-23; Mar. 1:8; 10:38-39; Luk. 3:16; 24:49; Joh. 1:33; 7:37-39; 14:12-17; Acts 1:4-8; 11:16; 19:2-3
  1. The laying on of hands: When blessing others, 48:14 making offerings, Num. 8:10 ordaining people, Num. 27:18, 23 imparting the Holy Spirit, Dt. 34:9 blessing children, Mt. 19:15 healing the sick, Mk. 6:2,5; 16:18; Lk. 4:40; 13:13; Acts 5:12; 28:8 performing miracles, Acts 19:11 imparting Holy Spirit gifts 1Tim. 4:14; 2Tim. 1:6; Heb. 6:2 and imparting the Spirit baptism. Acts 8:17-24; 9:17; 19:6
  2. The resurrection of the dead is described in 1 Corinthians 15 where Christ is refer to as the firstfruit of the resurrection, 1Co 15:4, 12; Rom. 14:9; 2Cor. 5:15; 1Th. 4:14 the beginning of the resurrection as He was the first to be resurrected from the dead and to enter into immortality of the body. Then all reborn Christians will follow at the time of the rapture “Afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.1Cor. 15:23, 51-54; Joh. 14:1-3; Luk. 21:34-36; 2Cor. 5:1-8; Eph. 5:27; Php. 3:11, 20-21; 1Th. 2:19; 3:13; 4:13-17; 5:9, 23; 2Th. 2:1, 7 Everyone in Christ, dead or alive, will be translated at this time.
  3. The eternal judgment refers to the White Throne judgment as described in Rev. 20:11-15 Mt. 25:46; Rev. 14:9-11; 20:11-15; Isa. 66:22-24  when all people of all ages who have died in sin, will be sent to eternal hell where their worm will not die and the fire will not be quenched. Mar. 9:43-49

Do Not Conform To This World

And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom. 12:2 KJV

Note the two commands of this verse: We are warned not to conform to this world and THEN to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.

Conform is the Greek word suschematizo (GSN-<G4964>) and means to conform to another’s example.  The warning here is to not follow that which is in the world, to go after their example.  As Christians or followers of Christ, we are to follow in His example and in His footsteps:

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps 1Pet. 2:21

When we conform to this world, Eph. 2:2 we are representing all that it stands for and can thus not represent Christ – we cannot serve two masters! Mt. 6:24; Lk. 16:13 Satan is the god of this world 2Cor. 4:4; Jn. 12:31 and we follow him when we conform to it as we love the things thereof. Col. 2:8 Our God is not in this world and if we love the things of the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – we are not serving Him and are not doing His will!

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that do the will of God abide forever. 1 John 2:15-17 KJV

Our second commandment is to be transformed – the Greek word metamorphoo (GSN-<G3339>) which means to be transformed or transfigured by a supernatural change – by the renewing of our minds – as we think upon the things that were given to us by God in His Word – we are continuously being renewed Tit. 3:5; 2Cor. 4:16; Col. 3:10; Heb. 6:6; Eph. 4:23 and this enable us to confirm what the good and acceptable and perfect will of God is!  There are six things that constitute to this acceptable and perfect will of God:

  1. To present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God 12:1; 1Cor. 3:16-17; 6:20
  2. To make the body holy 12:1; 2Cor. 7:1
  3. To make the self acceptable to God 12:1
  4. To render reasonable service 12:1
  5. To not be conformed to the world 12:2
  6. To be transformed from the world 12:2

I will present my body as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is my reasonable service. And I will not conform to this world, but will be transformed by the renewing of my mind, that I may confirm what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.

Take the Helmet of Salvation

And take the helmet of salvation Eph. 6:17a KJV 

Still reflecting on the armor of God we are commanded to put, to enable us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might; we must take the helmet of salvation. 1Th. 5:8 One of the different phases of salvation is repentance which means our minds must be renewed; Mt. 3:2; 4:17; Lk. 13:1-5; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 10:43; 2 Cor. 7:9-10; 1 Jn. 1:9 which means we must have a change of mind, a new way of thinking:

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind  Eph. 4:23 KJV

To be renewed, the Greek word ananeoo (G365) means the whole course of life now flows in a different direction, 2Cor. 5:17-18 to be renewed in the attitude of your mind by renouncing its vanity, Eph. 4:17  its darkness and blindness Eph. 4:18 and learning of Christ. Eph. 4:20-21

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom. 12:2 KJV

To be transformed is the Greek word metamorphoo (G3339) that means to be transformed or transfigured by a supernatural change. 2Cor. 3:18 This change is by a renewing of the mind or spirit: Tit. 3:5; 2Cor. 4:16

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him. Col. 3:10 KJV

The Word of God is clear when it states that we must cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalt itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2Cor. 10:5  The only way to change our way of thinking is by thinking on that which we are commanded in the Word – to think as God thinks, we have to consider every thought we allow in our minds and think upon whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, we have to think on these things. Php. 4:8

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Isa. 55:7 KJV

Think on These Things

THINK:

Noun – the process of considering or reasoning about something.

Adjective – using thought or rational judgement; intelligent.

We consist of spirit, soul and body 1 Thes. 5:23 and our spirit is that invisible part that knows – the seat of our intellect, mind, and will, and that which gives us self-determination and makes us a free moral agent and a rational being 1 Cor.  2:11a; Mat. 26:41; Prov. 20:27; Phil. 1:27; Heb. 4:12

It is in this area that the enemy attacks us through theta brain waves which we perceive as thoughts and thus the warning to “put on the whole armor” so that we can stand against the enemy’s wiles and to “take the helmet of salvation” Eph. 5:11,13,17

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalt itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ   2 Corinthians 10:5  KJV

The Word command – not request or suggest – that we CAST DOWN imaginations and everything that exalt itself against His knowledge (that which He revealed in His Word) and to take every thought captive to obedience of Christ (that which He commanded us to obey).  To set our affection on the things above, not on the things on the earth Col. 3:2 and to Think On These Things:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  Philippians 4:8 KJV

  1. True things: all that is in harmony with eternal truth 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16-17
  2. Honest things: all that is grave, decent and honorable 1 Tim. 3:8, 11; Tit. 2:2
  3. Just things: all that is in harmony with justice and righteousness Rom. 3:24-31; 8:4; 2 Pet. 1:4-10
  4. Pure things: all that is chaste and holy for body and soul Rom.12:1-2; 2 Cor. 3:16-17; 7:1
  5. Lovely things: all that is pleasing and tends to bless others 2 Cor. 13:4-8; Gal. 5:22-23
  6. Things of good report: all that is in harmony with the best public good, virtuous and praiseworthy Rom. 13:1-10; 2 Pet. 1:4-10

The weapons of our warfare are NOT carnal but mighty through God to enable us to pull down the enemy’s strongholds 2 Cor. 10:3-4 and therefore we are commanded to resist him 1 Pet. 5:8-9 and therefore implement James 4:7

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

SUBMIT:

Verb – accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.

RESIST:

Verb – withstand the action or effect of.


In the name of Jesus John 14:13-14 we can rebuke all thoughts that come to mind and that are not acceptable to the standard that was set for us by the Word of God that we are suppose to live accordingly…  we have been commanded to do so, for the victory has been provided for us, but  the choice remain for each individual to choose….

I choose to think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report…. do you?