Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection…
Progression marks all God's works. In nature there is no perfect rest. There is change in everything — change which partakes of the character of progress; for even that which we regard as decay is but part of a new creative process. This universal law of progression holds good in the realm of truth; there is a going on, a climbing higher and yet higher in knowledge even of the divinest kind. Indeed we may say that, the more exalted the subject, the more absolute is the necessity that knowledge should ever be progressive — the more impossible it is that we can quickly and at once attain to the fulness of perfect wisdom.
I. THERE ARE MANY THINGS CONNECTED WITH CHRIST AND HIS TRUTH WHICH ARE NOT COMMUNICATED TO THE SOUL IN CONVERSION, BUT WHICH MUST BE ACQUIRED FROM TIME TO TIME THROUGHOUT OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE. Great truths always come one by one. They are not discovered but by those who diligently search for them, and they are often the product of laborious toil. The apostolic injunction bids us do something more than" strike out blindly." It bids us intelligently and deliberately leave the elements of Wisdom, and "strike out" towards the perfection of knowledge. It bids us break away, as it were, from our state of pupilage, and go on to the fulness of the knowledge of Christ. It lifts a corner of the veil which hides from us the infinitude of Divine wisdom, and urges us to press onward until our whole soul is filled with His love and grace.
II. In this " going on unto perfection " it is desirable that we should clearly recognise the fact that GOD IS A TEACHER WHO USES MANY BOOKS. To the observing eye and to the teachable heart God is manifested everywhere. In complying, then, with this counsel to the Hebrews, let us seek for the fuller revelation of spiritual truths wherever God has written them. Let us regard the Bible, not merely as a fruitful field where we can quickly thrust in the sickle and reap upon the surface, but also as a rich mine, in whose deep recesses lie hidden many a costly gem, which our labour and our study, under the Divine blessing, may bring to the light. Let us look at the letter as the case which encloses the spirit — remembering that while "the letter killeth, it is the Spirit that giveth life." Let us also look for and discover truths of deep spiritual meaning in the incidents of daily human experience.
III. It should also be duly borne in mind that ALL TRUTHS POSSESS A MUTUAL RELATIONSHIP, and that each has its influence in the work of perfecting the Christian character Truth is one, though it may possess many branches. Walking by a wide river, bearing on its bosom the mightiest navies of the earth, it would be interesting to speculate concerning the numerous rills and brooklets which, miles away, in different counties, contributed to that expanse of water. From mountain, moor, and glen those waters have been flowing day after day, meeting and mingling with others, ever growing and gathering strength, until the result is that which we see at our feet So are truths gathered from different sources, mingling their powers to influence the soul and bear it to the ocean of perfect wisdom and eternal love.
IV. THIS PROGRESS IN DIVINE KNOWLEDGE IS SOMETHING QUITE DISTINCT FROM CHANGEABLENESS IN DOCTRINE. To leave the principles, or first elements, of the doctrine of Christ is not to depart from the soundness of the faith. It is to leave the first few miles of the road behind as we press forward towards the end of our journey. It is to leave the foundation which has been laid firmly in the ground, in order that the building may rise higher and higher in beauty and majesty, until the topmost stone is laid in its place. It is to lay aside the alphabet of the language that we rosy devote ourselves to the riches of its literature, and add to our supply of knowledge from the ample stores of learning of which that alphabet is the key.
V. PROGRESS IN DIVINE KNOWLEDGE IS ESSENTIAL TO THE FULL ENJOYMENT OF THE PRIVILLEGES OF THE CHRIST'S LIFE. In other words, spiritual knowledge is essential to spiritual health. Digging deep into the riches of spiritual truth, we discover that which not only stays the anxious throbbing of the heart, but which lifts the soul nearer and nearer to the Source of truth — to God Himself. As among men the possession of knowledge operates for the most part so as to elevate and refine the tastes, so to drink deeper at the stream of heavenly wisdom is to become in spirit more heavenly, and in character more Divine. It is said of Christ, that "in Him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily," and that He was "the express image of the Father's person." What Jesus was in an infinite degree, the Christian who is full of Divine wisdom and rich in knowledge is also in his degree. Be, too, reflects the image of the heavenly. He, too, gives forth rays of reflected but Divine light. The life that is in the soul of him who is going on unto perfection is Divine in its influence as well as its nature. It is of that man the world takes knowledge that he has been with Jesus, and that he has sat at His feet and been taught in His school.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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,