Journal – February 6, 2022
Of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permit
THE PERIL OF NOT PROGRESSING (PART 2)
Vs. 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, of the laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and ofeternal judgment. The third principle of the doctrine of Christ, according to the order and sense of the words is the resurrection of the dead. The doctrine of the resurrection is a foundational principle of the gospel, the faith whereof is indispensably necessary to the obedience and consolation of all who profess it. It is most clearly, evidently, and fully taught and declared in the Scriptures. It has the most solemn confirmation and pledge in the resurrection of Christ from the dead. It has a peculiar influence to obedience under the gospel, for it is an animating principle of gospel obedience, because we are assured by it that that nothing we do therein shall be lost. God is not unrighteous to forget our work and labor of love; this teaches us that each work and labor shall not be remembered but rewarded. It is such a reward as is absolutely a gift, a gift of grace. And ofeternal judgment, this is the fourth foundational principle. It is the immediate consequent of the resurrection from the dead. All men, good and bad, must stand in their lot at the general judgment. We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Eternal respects not the duration but its end and effect. God hath appointed a day wherein He will judge the world in righteousness, and this day is commonly called the day of judgment. God has not revealed when that day shall be, but He has decreed not to reveal it. Jesus Christ is the judge: the persons to be judged are fallen angels, all men universally be judged; in especial , all the godly, all such as have believed and obeyed the gospel, shall be judged (Luke 21:36; Romans 14:12; 2 Timothy 4:8) whether all their sins shall be then called over and made known to others, seeing they are known unto Him who is more in Himself and unto us than all the world besides, I question); and all the ungodly and impenitent sinners, (2 Peter 2:9; Jude 13). The rule whereby all men shall be judged is the law of their obedience made known to them. As:
- The Gentiles before the coming of Christ shall be judged by the law of nature, which all of them openly transgressed (Romans 2:12-14).
- The Jews of the same time by the law, and the light into redemption from sin super-added there unto, that is, by the rule, doctrine, precepts, promises of the law and the prophets.
- By the gospel unto all men unto whom it has been offered or preached (Romans 2:16).
The rule of judgment at the last day neither is not shall be any other but what is preached every day in the dispensation of the gospel. In the word of the gospel is the eternal condition of all the sons of men positively determined and declared. These then are the fundamental principles of the Christian religion, which the Apostle calls in the text, the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands. That is, this is a summary of the doctrine wherein they were to be instructed who were baptized, and to have imposition of hands
Of the doctrine of baptisms, there is no little difficulty by the word ‘baptisms’ being in the plural. The most general interpretation of the words and meaning of the Apostle is, that though baptism is never to be repeated on the same subject, yet because those who are baptized are many, every one of those being made partakers of the same baptism is special, that of them all is called baptisms, or the baptism of the many. Some have thought the reference is to the various baptisms, such as the baptism of external purification, the baptism of the Spirit, baptism of affliction, even unto blood; and this has in it such probability, and which next to what I have fixed on I should embrace, I adhere to my interpretation because unto baptisms is added. Of the laying on of hands, some have thought that the rite in the Church which is called ‘Confirmation’ is intended, but the whole business of confirmation is of a much later date, it cannot that rite to which the Apostle refers. It must have reference to something that was in common use. In Scripture mention is made of a fourfold imposition of hands by the Lord Christ and His apostles,
- In the way of authoritative benediction, which was peculiar to the Lord Himself
- In healing diseases.
- In setting apart persons for work in the ministry.
- It was used by the apostles in the collation of the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit unto those that were baptized. This is that which is most probably intended by the Apostle.
Vs. 3 And this we will do if God permit. That is go on to perfection, now for the time being we leave the foundation principles of the gospel and go on to the mysteries of the gospel especially those which concern the priesthood of Christ. In so doing God willing this will raise up the profession of your faith upon the foundation that has already been laid, whereby through the grace of God you may be carried on to perfection and become in the word of righteousness. From this determination of the Apostle, we may learn that no discouragements should detour the ministers of the gospel from proceeding in the declaration of the mysteries of Christ, Among the various discouragements they meet the least is not what arises from the dullness of them hearing. There is nothing more tirksome and grievous to faithful preachers than the incapacity of their hearers to receive gospel mysteries, through their own negligence and sloth. If God permit, If He in whose hand are my life and health and all my ways, were I am and whom I serve and to whom I willingly submit myself in all things, see good and be pleased to continue my life, opportunity, His assistance and all 0ther things necessary to the work. I will proceed with my design and purpose to acquaint you in the great mysteries of the priesthood and sacrifice of Christ. There is indeed a supposition in these words of God’s gracious assistance and especial presence with him, without which he frequently declared that he could neither undertake nor accomplish anything that lay before him.
Vs. 4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 ifthey fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
The Apostle had told them to whom he is writing that they were slow as to making progress in knowledge and in suitable practice; he now lets them know the dangers that there was in continuing in that slothful condition. That they might be acquainted with their danger, and stirred up to avoid it, he gives them an account of those who after a profession of the gospel, beginning with a non-proficiency in it, do end in apostacy from it.
I included verses 4 through 6, and the statement above which explains what the writer of the text was led to write in verse 3. The Lord willing, we will continue in the next journal with verses 4-6. Remember Hebrews was written to the Jews that made professions under the ministry of the apostles. The Judaism, under works of law, were persecuting the Jews that made profession of faith and ran most of them out of Jerusalem. Hebrews was written to warm these Jews that were going back into Judaism they were in danger.