Spiritual Foundations

basic building blocks found in the New Covenant
for birthing, growing and keeping disciples
in His Name

Foundations of the Faith

"Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Messiah, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if G-d permits." (Heb. 6:1-3)

What the apostles considered "elementary teaching" presents a dilemma for many disciples of Yeshua. The above list includes a few subjects considered exotic, or at least non-essential for teaching about Messiah.

Who, for example, gives baby believers a foundational teaching in "laying on of hands "? Yet here is a direct exhortation to leave it behind after mastering it, as part of the basics for the beginners.

Normally this curious gap between the book of Hebrews and our own teaching does not disturb the Body of Messiah. We have learned to skate past this passage, along with others that are no longer taken seriously. Even "laying again a foundation" is not viewed as a problem; the scriptures containing what we now call the "basics of our faith" are taught over and over again for years in sermons, Bible classes, pastoral training and private study tools. "The sincere milk of the word" (1 Peter 2:2) is considered proper nourishment for newborn babes and spiritual elders alike.

As a result, we are producing disciples that are weak and fleshly, a shadow when compared with the first-century disciples.

We ourselves have not yet arrived at the "maturity" indicated in Hebrews, but we are no longer content to support the status quo of "spiritual maturity". We invite you to examine with us what the written word presents as foundations of the faith, and to benefit from what we are learning.

Foundations of the Faith: Index of Articles

0: Introduction
1: Repentance from Dead Works
2: Faith Toward G-d
3: Instruction about Washings, 1: The Immersion of John
4: Instruction about Washings, 2: Ceremonial Handwashing/Footwashing
5: Instruction about Washings, 3: Fire
6: Instruction about Washings, 4: Immersion into Yeshua
7: Instruction about Washings, 5: Vessels and Clothing
8: Laying On of Hands
9: Resurrection of the Dead
10: Eternal Judgment
11: Sins that Remove Us from the Kingdom


Foundations for Life in the Spirit

"My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature..." (1 Cor. 2:3-7)

The Lord and His apostles had a clear grasp of the differences between mental persuasion, which draws its power from men's wisdom, and spiritual power based on G-d's wisdom. These differences are emphasized by Paul in the rest of the chapter.

The wisdom that empowers spiritual life is accessed only in G-d, while men's wisdom is accessed by the mind and demonic principalities: "...but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.... for the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of G-d.... no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God." (v.6-7,11)

Those who are mature in the Lord refuse to accept the spirit that operates through men's wisdom, because it obstructs our spiritual understanding: "We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us." (v.12)

As a result, mature disciples speak a "different language" to express that different reality: "This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words." (v.13)

We should not be surprised, then, that the truths of mature spiritual life are rejected by those without the Spirit of G-d: "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of G-d, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." (v.14)

When our congregations are using human wisdom to build a foundation for faith in G-d, we see the results in our disciples: believers whose faith rests on persuasive arguments, who expect to grasp G-d's wisdom with their minds, and who are skeptical about unseen realities and the deep things of G-d.

Rather than acknowledge the difference between the Kingdom of G-d in words as opposed to power (1 Cor. 4:20), we tend to substitute a watered-down standard of "Kingdom power", and we celebrate results that do not stand up to the testimony of the New Testament.

To those honest saints who wonder why our congregations, seminaries and discipleship programs do not produce the same spiritual power as the apostles, we dedicate this series.

We ourselves have not "arrived" in understanding everything G-d has given to His children; we are still in the early stages of learning about the spirit realm and demonstrations of Kingdom power. But we are ready to heed the exhortation of Paul:
"Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a 'fool' so that he may become wise." (1 Cor. 3:18)

 

Foundations of Life in the Spirit: Index of Articles

(some pages still under construction - stand by...)

Introduction
1. Is The Word Living in Us?
2. The Realm of the Spirit
3. Spiritual Torah
4. Forbidden Foods in Torah
5. Spiritual Covering
6. Spiritual Uncleanness
7. Clean and Unclean Animals
8. The Spiritual Sabbath
9. Spiritual Access
10. Spiritual Sacrifices
11. Cleansing from Leprosy
12. The Leprous House
13. Cleansing from Death
14. Gender in the Spirit
15. Spiritual Levites
16. Sojourners with Israel
17. Spiritual Senses
18. Developing Our Spiritual Senses
19. Knowing People in the Spirit
20. The Priority of the Spiritual
21. Priestly Garments

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