Foundational Doctrines – Part 1, Introduction

Foundational Doctrines – Part 1


By Bill Murchison, Overseer

Small-Banner-960x350I am starting a new series in our bulletins on the six foundational doctrines found in Hebrews. Why study these six foundational doctrines? They are important and very few people in the church have been taught much about these foundational teachings. Second, we do not have a new member’s class yet, and this will give me an opportunity to share them with you. The six foundational teachings are: 1) Repentance from dead works, 2) Faith towards God, 3) Instruction about washings (baptisms), 4) Laying on of hands, 5) Resurrection of the dead, and 6) Eternal judgment. They are found in Hebrews 6:1-2, but the author introduces them in 5:11-14.

(Hebrews 5:11-6:2)  “Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. {12} For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. {13} For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. {14} But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. {6:1} Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, {2} of instruction about washings, and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

In verse 12 the writer says that the recipients of the letter have need again for someone to teach them the elementary principles of the oracles of God. The Greek word for elementary that is used here is arche (Strong’s G746), which means a commencement or beginning. It also means chief in order, time, place or rank. It can also mean power, principality, principle or rule. These teachings are a beginner level, or a primary teaching. They are some of the first teachings that people need to have in their walk with the Lord.

Next, these teachings are elementary principles. The word principle in the Greek is  stoicheion (Strong’s G4747), which means something orderly in arrangement. It comes from stoicheo, which means to march in military rank. “This word was used in classical Greek in the sense of “walking in line” and “being in rows.” The word came to mean that of “walking in line” by means of the words of God.” The teaching of repentance, or faith toward God are to bring order and arrangement in our lives. They are given to help us in our walk with the Lord.

The Lord also gives us a third reason for studying them. He says that solid food is for the mature, but milk is for babes who don’t have their senses trained.  He continues and says “let us press on to maturity.” It is as if we cannot go on to maturity without having these foundational principles in our life. We must have a good understanding of these foundational and elementary teachings. We can’t go on to high school until we complete elementary school.

Finally, the writer in Hebrews goes on to say that he doesn’t want to lay again a foundationwhat are you building on of repentance from dead works, faith toward God, instruction about washings, laying of of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. The Greek word for foundation is themelios (themelios, G2310), which means something put down, a substruction, foundation. The doctrine of repentance and the other five teachings are foundational teachings. These teachings need to be taught to all believers so that they can build upon. Without good foundations, any construction that is done is suspect at best. We must have proper foundations laid in peoples lives if we want a well built temple.

        “Father, we want to be a people who have solid foundations in our lives. We want to be mature people, who have mastered the elementary teaching, and can receive solid food. Help us to press on to maturity. We ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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