Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3 And this will we do, if God permit.
These three verses are very intriguing to me. They remind me of building a house in a way. First, a solid foundation, then a perfect structure to live in, all if we can just get the building permit. There is a lesson here that many Christians don’t embrace too frequently, or at least I don’t. You see, in this life we have to put verse 3 at the beginning of this group of verses, in my opinion. “If God permits.” God will permit us to do all kinds of thigs. The word permit means to allow to do, or entrust. Does God allow us to do the wrong thing sometimes? Sure, He does. Does he allow calamity to come into our lives? Sure, He does. Does He allow cancer or death or heart problems to creep into our lives? Sure, He does. If you do not believe this, you do not think God is in control. God allows things in our lives that don’t necessarily seem to lead us to that perfection that He calls us to. But each thing He allows into our lives is a building block to the next stage of our lives.
The other definition of permit is to entrust. What has God entrusted to you? To some He has entrusted riches and material possessions. So far, He has not entrusted these things to me. To some, He has given a stage on which to preach the gospel, either in this nation or around the world. He has not entrusted this to me at this stage of my life. To others He gives the ability to be great leaders and motivators, but not to me. Should I feel slighted by God because He has not entrusted me with these things? Heaven forbid! I should rejoice with those that rejoice and be thrilled and grateful for what He has entrusted to me. A wonderful family, plenty of work to do with my hands and my mind, the gift of being a Psalmist for Him, write His songs. He has given me the ability to sing, to speak coherently, to lead in some places and to be a devoted worker.
God has allowed some things and entrusted others in my life. That is the beauty of our individuality! We all have a different calling, different circles of influence, different abilities and different gifts. What a boring world this would be if we were all the same. In each of these cases, we have the ability to show Christ to others, which should be the main emphasis of our lives. We have not been put on this earth to exalt ourselves, but to exalt Him! Every gift and talent He has given us is designed to do just that – exalt Him. And we all do that in different ways, and that’s OK. Don’t worry and complain about what He has entrusted or allowed in someone else’s life! Be the best you can be, and do the best you can do with what He has allowed and entrusted into your life. We are all ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and are command to preach the word! (2 Timothy 4:2).
You might say “Well, I am no preacher.” Yes, you are, and yes, you have that ability. To preach is to publicly proclaim or teach, or to earnestly advocate. Each one of us, in our own unique way, have the ability to do this and the audience to share the message with. Some might do it with words, others with actions, but we are all called to preach, teach, instruct, exhort, rebuke and exhort others (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We all have a different role to fill, and God has chosen each one of us because of the people we are surrounded with. He knows our circles of influence, and He has put us there to make a difference. Everything in our lives up to this very minute has put us in a position to share His grace and mercy with others. The good things, the bad things, the wonderful things, the awful things. These are the things that make us unique, and give us the awesome job of sharing those things with others in order to point them to Christ.
There is only one way to get to this place where we understand that even the bad things that come our way are parts of the structure God is building us into. When Paul says move on from these basic core doctrines of the Gospel, he is not telling them to ignore them all together. Rather, he is telling us to utilize the preaching of the Gospel to show people how Christ wants them to live life! We can stand here and talk about these six things all we want (foundation of repentance from dead works, faith toward God, the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment), but if it does not lead us to a closer walk with Him, or lead others to a walk that is worthy of Him (Roman 12:1), then our talk is in vain. Leading people in a way that helps them understand that their life is in His hands is most important. All of us have to come to the understanding that each tiny event, and every big event in our lives, is orchestrated by God to bring us closer to Him. Nothing is by chance, or just because of circumstances. God is in control all the time, every time.
THis is how we come to perfection in God. It is not necessarily that we are perfect, but we understand that God is perfect and He is working perfection into our lives. I could spend a long time on this, but all we have to do is read James 1:2-4 to hear the explanation of this truth. In essence, it says that we should be glad when trials come our way because then our faith is tested. When our faith is tested, we gain patience, and patience will lead us to perfection. In short, our trials and troubles are God’s perfecting agents! Perfection in God is coming to that place where, no matter what the circumstance, we have full confidence that God is in the middle of it, walking with us. Perfection is knowing everything we go through and have in life is there to make us better witnesses for Him. Perfection is not memorizing the scriptures and addresses, it is not having a vast amount of knowledge, it is not found in all that we have. Perfection is found in how much we are settled in Christ, how content we are, where we are.
Have you moved on to perfection? Have you come to the place where nothing seems to bother you in this life? Are you walking with Him, and witnessing His grace to others, in the middle of your storm? If so, Praise the Lord! Give Him glory! If not, it’s time to move on from the place where you are to the place where He wants you to be. Move on to this perfection that can be found only in Him. Not the perfection the world says we need to have, but the perfection that God has ordained for us.
A perfection that has troubles, tests, faults and discouragements, yet still trusts in His grace and mercy. A perfection that does not grumble, complain, boast, become jealous or greedy, or expect too much of others. A perfection that is content to live with what God has allowed and entrusted in our live. This is God’s perfection!