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truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers." "The word of the beginning
of Christ," which these Hebrews were to "leave," refers to the "Gospels" and the "Acts"
which record the ministry of Christ and the Holy Spirit in connection with the kingdom,
Israel, and Jerusalem.
The words "perfect" and "perfection" are from the word telos, which means "the end,"
and is so translated in verse 8. They were to leave the "word of the beginning" of Christ
for a later revelation--the end, that which is perfect, the teaching of the gospel of the
glory of Christ, and the mystery. The six-fold foundation of doctrines is specified in
verse 1 and 2, and is contrasted with the seven-fold perfection as set forth in Eph. 4:
which is the "one foundation" of I Cor. 3: These doctrines are arranged in three pairs as
Internal and Doctrinal
External and Elemental
Laying on of hands.
Resurrection of the dead.
It is very probable that many readers will be saying, Where are we going? Are we to
leave repentance and faith? Are we to give up the doctrine of resurrection? Are we to
abandon eternal judgment? No! There is a great difference between a careless "drifting
away" (Heb. 2:), and the conscientious obedience of faith to "leave," "not lay again," and
"go on unto perfection" (Heb. 6: 1). Believing that this six-fold summary is divine truth,
we nevertheless see that the dispensation has changed, and just as believers can "leave"
the divine law given through Moses because they are "in Christ" and "under grace," so
we lay aside these elements of a transitional period and step out into the sphere
apportioned for us by divine grace. Let us now consider each of these six statements
1. Repentance from dead works.
Are we then to have no sorrow for sin? No forsaking of evil? Let us not be hasty in
our judgment. "Repent!" was the key word of John Baptist's ministry. "Repent!" was
the opening word of the "beginning of Christ." "Repent!" was the first word of Peter in
Acts 2: 38 the moment he saw that his hearers were convinced of sin. "Repent!"
"Repent!" is echoed throughout the whole period of kingdom proclamation.
Let our readers now turn to Ephesians. Here is no making light of sin. Here is a full
gospel. Here is full prominence given to the atoning blood of Christ, but the words
"repent" and "repentance" are never once used. To show this is no mere coincidence, the
companion epistles of the mystery, Philippians and Colossians, equally exclude the words
from their pages! Why is it that these words, so frequent in the Gospels and Acts, are so
absolutely excluded from these epistles which opened the present dispensation? Is it not