Several weeks ago our church staff decided to split our Saturday morning Bible study into two groups. One more advanced, and the other a beginner class. We call them “Meat & Potatoes” and “Milk & Honey,” respectively. I was tasked to come up with topics to discuss in the beginners class. I came up with what I thought were good topics for new believers or people who wanted to know about the Bible, God, and Jesus.
As I was reading the Bible the other day I came across this passage:
Therefore we must progress beyond the elementary instructions about Christ and move on to maturity, not laying this foundation again: repentance from dead works and faith in God, teaching about baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. Hebrews 6:1, 2
This passage is very enlightening to me. It gives great insight into what is an elementary teaching and what isn’t. I had to go back and make sure what I was teaching was an elementary teaching. I had to take out some stuff and add in others I didn’t include the first time.
Remember, we must consider that the book of Hebrews was a letter written (possibly by Paul) to Jewish Christians. They already had a firm foundation in the Old Testament Scriptures and came to believe in Jesus Christ. Therefore we must include those in the elementary teachings as well.
Considering this passage and the Bible as a whole, here is my list of elementary Bible teachings:
- Inspiration of the Bible
- Origins of sin and current state of sin
- Repentance of sin
- Salvation through Jesus Christ by grace
- Faith in God
- Prayer to God (includes laying on hands)
- Fruits of the Spirit
- Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the end time resurrection
- Eternal judgement (either eternal life or death)
Counsel for Church Goers
My question to you then is, Have you been taught, or learned for yourself, the proper foundation for being a Christian?
The reason this was brought up in the letter is because these basic truths were not being taught, or understood correctly. The author of Hebrews wanted to move on to ‘spiritual meat’ without having to go back and rehash basic beliefs. You too, need to be aware of the basic Christian beliefs and whether you understand them correctly. Then, you need to move on to the ‘meat’ of the gospel and strengthen your spiritual life.
Admonition for Leaders
If you are a leader or teacher, you need to make sure your flock knows these things well before moving on to more difficult things in the Bible. Of course, everyone will be in different stages. That means you have to know your people and know what they are in need of. You will be doing a disservice to your people if they don’t have a firm foundation in Jesus Christ. Don’t teach your people prophecy if they don’t personally know Jesus. Prophecy is for believers (1 Cor 14:22). Teach your flock what they need to know.
Feel free to share your thoughts on this and if you think I may have missed another basic Bible truth.