top of page

Doctrines of Christ 2

Doctrines of Christ Part 2 

In our recent post, we began discussing the fundamental doctrines of Christ spoken of in Hebrews 6:1-2. We began with the doctrine of repentance from dead works, and illustrating from scripture, repentance is simply a turning away from sin to God. 

Today, we will continue examining repentance in the context of law verses grace, because the writer of Hebrews was primarily addressing Jews who had believed in Christ. His approach was a lengthy and detailed appeal for them to continue in the faith and to reject turning back to the Law and religious exercises that were powerless to save them. He exhorted these believers to adhere to the New Covenant; a better Covenant, based upon the finished work of Jesus Christ. The author painstakingly demonstrated the danger of these believers turning back to the Law and denying their faith in Christ, which was a real temptation for many. 

The writer lays out six principle doctrinal truths to ensure these Jewish believers were grounded in their faith in Christ. The first was: “not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works….” Hebrews 6:1 

What did he mean by saying, “dead works?” After Christ rose from the dead, and completed His work of redemption for us, it was no longer necessary for Jews or Gentiles to go to a Temple in Jerusalem once a year for special feasts or religious ceremonies. It was no longer necessary for them to keep the Sabbath, as the Jews were commanded in the Law. Circumcision was no longer mandatory, nor was it necessary to follow many of the things spoken of in the Law. 

The Law was no longer the “way” to be right with God and have eternal life. This was a challenge for many new Jewish believers, and they were often being pressured by Judaizers to come back under the Law of Moses. These Judaizers were in essence saying Christ was not enough for righteousness, and Jewish believers still needed to observe circumcision, and many other traditions of the Law to be saved. Doing so would be considered “dead works” because God no longer recognized the works of the law to be the grounds for salvation. 

Some might stop reading here and think we mean you are free to steal, kill, commit adultery, lie, or do other sinful things and still be right with God. This is far from the truth, and I encourage you to go back and read one of our first posts, “Grace Has Boundaries” for more understanding along those lines. Although we are not saved by the law, we can still fulfill the righteousness of the law by walking in the Spirit and living by the New Law written in our hearts and minds once we have received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. 

In the book of Galatians, the apostle Paul dealt with the issue of Judaizers, and believers being turned from faith in Christ to returning to the Law. “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Gal 2:16-21 KJV 

So, we see the “dead works” spoken of in Hebrews 6 are works of the Law to be right with God. Our righteous deeds do not come close to earning salvation and are no comparison to the righteousness of God through Christ. The works we do in Christ are simply acts of love and obedience as result of our faith in Him. They are acts of grace, through faith. They do not earn us salvation but are a reflection and outflowing of the work of Christ in our hearts. A huge difference! 

Next week we will move on to examine “faith in God.” Until then, may God richly bless and keep you! 

James Brown 

CST 03/05/2022

bottom of page