The book of Hebrews points out to us that there are seven foundational teachings that every Christian should know. As a matter of fact, the writer of Hebrews towards the end of chapter 5 says that these principles are considered milk. He goes on to say that seasoned, mature Christians should grow to the point where they get beyond learning and teaching these principles to partake of the strong meat of the word of God. Hebrews 6 highlights these seven principles:
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. Hebrews 6:1-2
Principle #1: Repentance from dead works: This has to do with the doctrine that all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Dead works are whatever actions or inactions a person does, whether good or bad, that do not glorify God even if they claim to. It includes the idea that all of our acts of righteousness are as filthy rags in God’s eyes when we do them without having Jesus Christ in our lives. The Father has commanded all men every where to repent of their wicked ways.
Principle #2: Faith toward God: Believing that God has given us a way to be cleansed from our sins by his unearned favor to us through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe what the Father has testified to us about his son in the word including his virgin birth, his sinless nature, his 100% divinity clothed in 100% humanity, his death, burial, and resurrection on the third day which were the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. With the acceptance of these facts we know without this faith it is impossible to please God. Additionally, we know that all of God’s promises to us are “yes” and “amen” when we are in Christ.
Principles #3 and #4: The doctrine of baptisms: The first baptism is the baptism of the Holy Ghost we receive at the moment we sincerely believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Through the Holy Spirit, we are sealed unto the day of our redemption (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). The second baptism is the outward expression we participate in to show everyone what has taken place spiritually in our lives when we have received the Lord Jesus Christ. We allow ourselves to be immersed in water to symbolize that we are a new creation in Christ Jesus, that we believe our mortal bodies will one day be resurrected to immortality like Christ, and that we have the answer of a good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:21).
Principle #5: Laying on of hands: Saints are called by God to use this practice to pronounce blessings on fellow saints, to bestow a God-given office or ministry to someone, to symbolically empower a person with a spiritual gift or gifts for carrying out a charge, to heal, and to receive an outward manifestation of the Holy Ghost. I covered this principle in detail in a previous post.
Principle #6: Resurrection of the dead: The belief that our Father in heaven has the power to raise the dead and that one day the dead in Christ will be raised to be reunited with their souls and spirits to live with the Godhead forever.
Principle #7: Eternal judgment: This is the second resurrection and judgment of those who reject the fact that Jesus is Lord. Unbelievers will be sentenced to everlasting destruction in the lake of fire where the smoke of their torment will rise forever (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; Revelation 14:11).
It is interesting how God uses the number seven to establish his principles. Seven was used during the first week in Genesis to signify that God rested from his works, having completed them. These seven principles are the first principles that believers should understand and are the teachings that Jesus Christ promoted during his ministry. Our acceptance of them symbolize that we are complete in Christ and will enter his spiritual rest. Unfortunately, there are those who attend church that dispute some of these teachings to their own detriment and are unwittingly being used by Satan to try to weaken congregations. Some churches are stuck on teaching these principles over and over, but the Father wants us to grow past these baby teachings to move on to the deeper things of God. I pray that as many saints as possible will follow his wishes.
–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–