Questions for Littles: About whom are the elementary doctrines that are the foundation of biblical thought and life (6:1a)? What are the first two parts of the foundation (v1b)? From what kind of works should we repent? Toward whom should we have faith? What are the second two parts of the foundation (v2a)? What are the third two parts of the foundation (v2b)? Although it was the hearers’ dullness that was preventing the preacher from assuming the foundation, in whom was he hoping that He would permit them to go on to the subject that builds upon that foundation (v3)?In the Scripture for the sermon this week, we heard about justification (Christ’s righteousness being counted for us, because we have none of our own), sanctification (Christ’s righteousness being applied to our lives in place of our sinfulness), and glorification (Christ’s declaration that not only has His righteousness been counted for us, but that His work in us has also been finished, wherefore He now welcomes us into the final and full and forever enjoyment of all that He has won for us).
Scripture gives us active commands for sanctification, the kind that would be devilish to apply to our justification, commands like: wrestle, run, fight, kill, work, beat. But it would be a great mistake for us then to think that the process of becoming holier in our living depends upon us.
Truly, God gives us a duty and privilege of participating, but it still depends upon Him. His power. His plan. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” … FOR … “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work, according to His good pleasure” (Phil 2:12-13).
This dependence upon Him—even in the part of salvation in which we work—is driven home by the “foundational pair” that our text uses to describe sanctification.
First, “teaching about washings.” Jesus washes us once for all from guilt, but He is also that faithful husband of Ephesians 5:26. He has given Himself for our forgiveness (v25). And, He keeps on washing us by His Word, until we are at last perfectly clean (v27).
Second, “laying on of hands.” It is the Lord’s plan, not man’s, that we should be shepherded in our faith by men on earth, whose faith and outcome of conduct we may observe and follow. It is the Lord’s power that not only calls but equips them, and it is to the Lord that they will give an account for how they have watched out for our souls. This is all signified in the laying on of hands!
So, dear Christian, do seize your privilege and take up your duty in Christ’s work of preparing you for heaven. But, remember it is Christ’s work! As you run your race, rest upon and rejoice in Him!
Are you resting upon Christ? What use are you making of the Scriptures and Elders He gave you?Suggested Songs: ARP19B “The Lord’s Most Perfect Law” or HB260 “The Spirit Breathes Upon the Word”