Let Us Go On To Perfection?

"Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the teaching of immersions, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead and of eternal judgment. And  this we will do if God permits," Hebrews 6'1-3.


You will have noticed the question marks tagged on to the ends of the above headlines and perhaps wondered what they're doing there when the scriptures don't have them. The reason is, they are there is to question an idea. And the idea is that the words "let us go on to perfection" are an exhortation to urge Believers to be always going on to perfection.

Linked to this idea are the words, "And this we will do if God permits". (Surely God would give His permission for Believers to keep moving towards perfection if it was His will?) Anyway, how does the Believer know whether or when He gives His permission?

But this is not what the writer to the Hebrew Believers is saying at all. To understand what he is saying, it must be put in it's context. The reality is, he is being led by the Holy Spirit as he writes and he goes from topic to topic explaining it as he is led.

And he starts his letter with: "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son," Hebrews 1'1-2.

When he reaches chapter 5 verse 8 he introduces the topic of perfection. He starts on it by referring to Jesus and says:

"... though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest 'according to the order of Melchizedek,' of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God ...," Hebrews 5'8-12.

Seemingly, the words, "... having been perfected", were to be the lead-in to the topic of perfection. Also Melchizedek, who he had introduced a little earlier (v6), is linked with it. But, instead of carrying on with it, he leaves it at that point.

After both rebuking and encouraging his listeners perfection is still on his heart it so he's got God's permission to go on and explain this highly important subject to them. He restarts by referring Jesus and the link with Melchizedek again:

"This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.

Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.

Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.

Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? (Hebrews 6'19-7'11).

Later the writer explains: "For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified," Hebrews 10'14. And that settles it.

But who are "those who are being sanctified"? They are all those who have repented and received Christ and born again. And, if you are one of them, that's when you were perfected (and more). Paul says:

"... you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God," 1 Corinthians 6'11.

So Believers are not called to go on to perfection because we are initially sanctified and we are being sanctified through a process, a walk, of being transformed from worldly ways of thinking to godly ways of thinking by the renewing of our minds. It's called sanctification which came through being born again by the Holy Spirit. Here's Paul again:

"But of God you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God - and righteousness and sanctification and redemption - that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD, 1 Corinthians 1'30-31.

Beholding Christ the Word: "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord," 2 Corinthians 3'18.

And it's not about legalism, but loving obedience: "This is love, that we walk according to His commandments," 2 John 1'6.

Finally, Peter adds: "... grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen (2 Peter 3'18).

"But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection," Colossians 3'14.


"Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation," Hebrews 9'11. Hallelujah!