The whir of the coffee grinder in the still dark of the morning relaxes my soul. The kettle bubbles with boiling water, and the ground beans froth in the French press when it pours in. Coffee isn’t just caffeine to me, it’s become a part of my morning routine.
What started as just a different way to brew coffee in the morning eventually became a several-step process which I enjoy every minute of. I use a specific coffee bean, and when the coffee is brewed, I begin the four-step process of adding more ingredients, dependent upon what season it is.
My morning cup of coffee has its own name, and the jokes about how high maintenance my coffee habit has become are many. But I don’t mind it. I enjoy telling the story of how my coffee habit has evolved over the years! It’s not the same, I realize, but it reminds me of the work the Holy Spirit has done, and continues to do, in my life.
Hebrews 5:12 says,
It may sound a little like coffee snobbery, but I would never voluntarily go back to drinking drip coffee, or …gasp …gas station coffee! Nor would I trade all of the priceless ways Jesus has grown the roots of my faith from tiny seeds throughout my life.
The author of Hebrews was calling attention to the believers of that time period to act like they had been following Christ as long as they had! When my daughter is unraveling from the plethora of emotional challenges junior high brings, I try to stick to simple truths. I remind her who she is, Whose she is, and what God says about her life and the people He has placed in it. The NIV Study Bible explains “Six fundamental doctrines are mentioned: repentance, faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement.”
Going back to the basics of our faith is a great way to reset when we are in a downward spiral, but we can’t stay there. We can’t go back and act like the hand of God hasn’t redirected our steps the way He has.
The recipients of the letter we call Hebrews were not babies in their faith. They were not recent converts. “Having taken the first steps toward becoming (mature) Christians,” the NIV Study Bible explains, “they had slipped back to where they started.” Jesus warned, the enemy was out to steal, kill and destroy us. It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been following Christ, we are never immune to an attack from the enemy. Though we are sealed the moment we give our lives to Jesus, the enemy can distract and derail us. People whom we thought could never fall away from their faith can be victims of struggle as much as anyone else. Scripture tells us to pay attention, guard our hearts, and put on the armor of God.
The New American Standard Bible translation of Hebrews 6:1-2 reads:
Maturity doesn’t happen automatically. Physically, we grow and thrive as long as our basic needs are met. Spiritually, we grow and thrive as we actively seek God through His Word and prayer. Bible study fuels our faith, as the main way God communicates to us through Scripture! Maturity, in the original Greek definition, means “the state of the more intelligent; moral and spiritual perfection.” Maturity in faith is evident in the way we live our daily lives. The Lord encourages us to apply the Word. Paul wrote to the Colossians,
Maturity of our faith is evident in the fruit of our lives. We allow God’s Word to settle, convict, and change us through the supernatural incarnation of the Holy Spirit in us through Christ Jesus. The foundation the author of Hebrews is alluding to is the continual seeking of Christ in our daily lives. It creates a firm foundation for our lives when we build upon His Truth.
Stop going over the basic truths over and over doesn’t mean never to look back or repeat the foundational truths of the Word of God. This passage of Scripture is not only talking about believers who have drifted from the Lord, but those among them who had heard about the Lord but not yet given their lives to Him. “Therefore suggests that there were among the Hebrews those who were too long in the state of incomplete faith, close to believing in Jesus but not fully decided,” Moody Bible Commentary explains. “This exhortation is directed to readers who were considering abandoning the messianic community and retiring to temple worship. They are called to move from the OT foundations of faith to the complete or perfect faith in the Messiah Jesus.”
The basic truths of Scripture are worth repeating. The author of Hebrews is advising us not to stay there. And for those who have heard the truth and have not yet given their lives to Christ, the time is now. The VOICE paraphrase of Hebrews 5:12 reads:
The recipients are being encouraged to grow spiritually, and to leave the legalistic mindset of the Old Testament in exchange for the new covenant promises of the New Testament. Moody Bible Commentary explains, “It is inconceivable that one would return to the elementary principles (the milk), when the teachings and reality of the perfect new covenant and the Messiah were available.”
Before the Word of God was bound into the Bible we read today, God’s people would have been familiar with the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament. The writer of Hebrews is urging them to make the connections from the Torah to the Messiah. These people were going back to the temple, instead of turning towards the Messiah. The Voice paraphrase of Hebrews 6:1-2 reads:
Maturity requires commitment. The kind of resolve which builds upon the foundation of our faith. “I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing:” Paul wrote,
Let us be committed, not to abandoning the roots of our faith, but to continually growing and allowing the Lord to prune us as we grow in Him. It may seem easier to revert back or shy away from the difficult things we are called by God to do. But if we shrink back and shy away from what He is calling us to do, what He has purposed for our lives, we will actually cause ourselves more pain. For even in the trials we face under the fire of refinement, the joy and peace of the Lord are exponentially more comforting than the fleeting ease of the flesh.
Like Paul, we can persevere. Perhaps, repeating the basic truths, and asking the Holy Spirit to reveal them in new layers of application as we continue to seek God with all of our hearts, all of our souls and all of our minds. One step at a time, He is leading us home.
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Meg, freelance writer and blogger at Sunny&80, is the author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” and “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” She writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. Meg earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University but stepped out of the business world to stay at home and raise her two daughters, which led her to pursue her passion to write. She has led a Bible Study for Women and serves as a Youth Ministry leader in her community. Meg, a Cleveland native and lifelong Browns fan, lives by the shore of Lake Erie in Northern Ohio with her husband, two daughters, and golden doodle.