Summary: A look at the foundational truths of the Christian faith which must be wholly understood before believers can move on to maturity in Christ. This one focuses on "the laying on of hands (Part 1)".
Dakota Community Church
November 9, 2008
Foundational Truth 4
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.
Introduction and review:
Christians are to grow up spiritually.
Repentance from acts that lead to death.
Faith in God.
Holy Spirit baptism
Last week in our discussion of the baptism in the Holy Spirit we talked about what it means to be filled with the Spirit, how that ties in with walking in the Spirit and producing the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We realized that fruit is a natural bi-product of being connected to the source. Trees do not work hard to produce fruit. Sheep do not do something to prevent themselves from being goats, sheep are sheep by birth. When Jesus separates the sheep and goats based on what they are he then describes what the sheep did for Him; but the sheep did these things unknowingly. This passage is used to support a works based righteousness that is not Christianity. In Christianity salvation is by faith in Christ.
Now let’s look at another that gets this same sort of “works” treatment:
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
"Not everyone who says to me, ’Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ’Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ’I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Now you may be saying, “See, we have to “do” the will of the Father, there is work involved on our part in order to be saved.”
But take a closer look; the ones who get expelled from God’s presence are giving Him the list of their “works”. They list their ministerial accomplishments. Hasn’t that always bothered you?
How could these ministers be expelled? How could these who prophesy and cast out demons not be saved?
The answer is that they were trusting in their works, they were “doing” not “believing”!
We need to re-examine what Jesus considers the “will of the Father”.
Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
This week we are going to focus on gaining a solid understanding of:
Laying on of hands
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands
There are three primary reasons given for the “laying on of hands” in the Jewish tradition or under the old covenant.
For the transference of guilt.
"When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the desert in the care of a man appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place; and the man shall release it in the desert.