6th March 2013


“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift … for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
Ephesians 4:7, 12-13 (NKJV)

The number of items received in my email inbox was almost into four figures—and that was just for a month or so. It was high time to do some housekeeping and whittle the numbers down to a manageable total, discarding what I no longer required.

Ever felt the need to do the same with your Christian life? Almost every fellowship has a list of dos and don’ts, arrived at over the years. Their founding fathers had beliefs that appeared so important they felt compelled to stand apart from other Christian denominations and organisations.

It’s the same with individual Christians. From time to time we need to step back and take stock, differentiating between what we need carefully to observe and what is of less importance – maybe even unnecessary.

As a child I had a rubber duck. If that duck was missing, I wouldn’t go into the bath. The duck, you see, was essential—no duck, no bath. It was simple. But somehow, somewhere along the way, that duck lost its importance. I can’t honestly say what happened to it. I expect my mother quietly passed it on or threw it away.

The writer of Hebrews lists  in Hebrews 6:1-2 what he calls the ‘elementary principles of Christ’ – the basics, and they are:

  • Repentance from dead works
  • Faith toward God
  • Doctrine of baptisms
  • Laying on of hands
  • Resurrection from the dead
  • Eternal judgement

Anything more as a requirement by a church fellowship must be open for discussion.  To understand these basics becomes a matter of housekeeping—discarding extraneous material that has built up over time.

Heavenly Father, you promised that your Spirit in us would lead us into all truth. But we often add our own items to that list. Help us, because we will need your help, to examine the fundamentals, your requirements, for being a Christian. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by John Stettaford

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