There are certain teachings of Christ that need to be made clear and certain for all believers. In the letter of Hebrews, the writer makes a clear point to say that there are elementary teachings they should already know. This is in contrast to further and more developed concepts that they should be moving on to. In this series, we’re going to look at those teachings to make sure we understand them like the writer desired.
Hebrews 6:1-2 says, “Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.”
There are six teachings or fundamentals here that we are going to go over. Repentance, faith, baptism, laying of hands, resurrection, and judgment. We are going to start with the first two today.
When it comes to repentance, looking at the original word helps us understand what is meant by repentance. It is the Greek word metanoia transliterated and it means to change one’s mind or to turn from. In this case, the writer says we need to repent or change our mind from evil deeds. We can also substitute the word evil for ‘dead’. This gives a notion of turning from dead or worthless actions. Actions that do not propel us or others towards salvation. The worldly things we do are worthless and so we should turn from them and do better. It starts in the heart and mind.
Jesus says in Luke 13:3, “And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God”. He tells them to repent, otherwise we will die in our sins. But it is not just stopping the sins we do, it is turning towards God. We don’t turn away to more darkness, we turn towards God and that is why faith is so important.
The writer in Hebrews says that we should repent, change our minds about the things we do and put our faith in God. We have somewhere to go when we repent. Our faith and our repentance go hand in hand. When we decide to turn from our evil, we stop doing those things, then we need to put our trust and our hope in God. We know we need faith to please God (Hebrews 11:6) and our faith tells us there is a God, he loves me and I want to live for him (Hebrews 11:1). There is a conviction that comes from faith that helps us from going back to the sinful ways.
For the writer of Hebrews, repentance is connected with faith, they are inseparable. If we repent, then we put our faith in God. If we don’t, then we truly did not repent. We change our mind about the life we are living or the actions we have done and repent and put our faith in God. These two things have to happen for a believer and they are the firsts of important teachings for every believer.