In the New Testament, the writer of Hebrews discusses the concept of First Principles, Hebrews 5:12. First Principles are to set the ground work to bring one into spiritual maturity.
12For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
The writer states that First Principles are milk instead of strong meat. Milk is a reference to what a new born baby is initially fed. Similarly, one who is undeveloped in the word is fed the milk of the word as oppose to strong meat.
Unfortunately, First Principles are not something of which many believers are conversant. It is not because they are new to the faith; it is because it has just not been taught. Being unaware of First Principles does not automatically mean that one is immature. However, it is a subject of which all believers should have a thorough understanding as the writer of Hebrews will explain, Hebrews 5:13.
13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
To not have a in-depth knowledge of first principles is to leave a person unskilled in the word, Hebrews 5:14.
14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
The advantage of knowing First Principles is that it helps one to discriminate good and evil. That is something in today’s world that is not always clear. So one may be thinking, what are the First Principles?
1Therefore 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, 2Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment (krima).
- Repentance From Dead Works
- Faith Toward God
- Doctrine of Baptisms
- Laying on of Hands
- Resurrection of the Dead
- Eternal Judgment
- Unto Perfection
It does state in Hebrews 6:1 to leave the principles or not to discuss them again. However, until one is equipped with the full understanding; they will be severely limited in their ability to be skilled in the word. So to reach full spiritual maturity, one must understand First Principles.
Now there are those who may believe this is milk and want strong meat. However, we must have the sincere milk of the word in order to digest meat, 1 Peter 2:2-3.
2As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
All too often we meet people and assume that people have the understanding. Then all too often we discover that it is just an assumption and they cannot digest strong meat. Just because someone has been a believer for twenty years that does not mean that they are ready for strong meat. One of the unfortunate issues in Christianity today is that so few of us can consume strong meat. It is because so few of us have had the sincere milk of the word.
First principles are those teachings that enable the believer to understand the deeper truths of Messiah. A house is only as good as its foundation. Understanding First Principles provides the believer with that solid foundation Yeshua spoke about in Matthew 7:24-27.
24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
We must have a solid foundation or otherwise we will be washed away. Or worse, we can be subject to that of Ephesians 4:14.
14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
If we do not mature in the word, we will be children tossed about by every wind of doctrine. To give us a solid foundation and to prevent us from being suspect to every wind of doctrine; we must proceed unto maturity. This why First Principles are the key to a believers spiritual growth. They must be understood and they must be applied to our lives.
Return to Bible Studies