Can We Move On From Jesus?

Published on July 19, 2010 by CT in Blog, Theology


You ever feel like you’re ready to move on from Jesus? You hear a sermon about the cross, or the gospel, and you feel like you’ve heard that before?  Like it’s time to move on to something else?

I think this is a fair question, particularly with the branches of gospel-centered ministry rising high about the ground of our church culture.  After all, the Bible is full of characters, and stories, and principles, and commandments; it offers more than a life-time of study and understanding can fathom.

There’s a passage in Hebrews that almost sounds like an encouragement to move on.  It says:  “Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity” (Hebrews 6:1).  Doesn’t this tell us there’s a time to move on—that the doctrine of Christ is a step along the path towards maturity?

When I first read this passage, I got stuck on the “elementary doctrine of Christ” part.  Was the writer saying the “doctrine of Christ” is elementary?  What is the doctrine of Christ anyway?

Then followed logical next questions.  Aren’t we supposed to move on to meat?  Aren’t we supposed to go on to maturity?  Isn’t our understanding of salvation by Christ’s work on the cross the foundation of our faith–but we’re then supposed to build a house of obedience and bear fruit on top of it?

I think part of the answer appears in how the writer goes on to define the “elementary” parts of the doctrine of Christ; namely: repentance from dead works, faith, washings, laying on of hands, resurrection, and eternal judgment.  And we find that these are not the gospel.

Another part of the answer may be found in the previous chapter.  The writer has just argued that Jesus is greater than Moses and that He is now our Great High Priest.  And he details that Jesus, in being made perfect, became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him (5:9) through what he suffered (v. 8).  And then in v. 11, the writer says, “About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain…”

I think this is where we find our answer. This is the gospel—that Jesus, our Great High Priest, the perfect Son of God, suffered on the cross for our sins, rose from the dead, and became the source of salvation for all who believe.  And there’s much to say about it, because it’s hard to explain.  But it’s also a mine worth exploring because of the vastness of treasure within.

So I would say two things: first, that Jesus is a person, not a doctrine, and we never move on in our faith from the person of Jesus; and second, that we have much to say about this glorious gospel of Jesus and His work on the cross, and as the Lord permits (6:3), we will go on to maturity as we grow in grace and knowledge of Him.

Question:  Have you ever felt like moving on to something else in your faith?

  • Brett Duncan

    I wonder if the point is to "move on from the elementary doctine of Christ" to the "meatier doctrine of Christ." Like any person, there are many layers of Christ to be peeled back and pondered. Unlike any person, there are more layers than can be counted, and more rewards for doing so.

    My recent post Keeping Them Close

    • lauradroege

      I was thinking along those lines, too. Christ is the gospel. As we pursue our relationship with him (in response to his pursuit of us), we delve deeper into him, and thus grow both in a doctrinal understanding of who he is and a relational/personal response to him. Results in life change and obedience, etc. Hope I made my thoughts clear! I haven't had my caffeine-fix this morning.
      My recent post Hope in a bottle- one simple thing that changed Baby Zoe’s life

  • Elizabeth

    Growing up, I was really pressured by youth pastors to evangelize. It was tough, as a kid, being told to go around and present the 4 Spiritual Laws to complete strangers (especially to adults, when I was the ripe old age of 14). I guess I might immediately think of evangelism, then, when I think of "moving on."

    I guess I've never resolved how to "do" evangelism. But one thing I've learned is that tuning into the Holy Spirit has helped me to discern when to speak, when to listen, and when to wait. The more time I spend in prayer, the more I am amazed when conversations about faith occur naturally. I wish I could say I am consistent about this!

    I guess it's all about abiding in the Vine.

  • Krista

    Two thoughts:
    1. I need to hear the the lessons of God repeated because I fail every day in the charges God has assigned me.
    2. I think we need to live as community, reminding each of God's teaching and examining them over and over. Unfortunately, this does not happen in my own and the lives of most people I know. We listen to Sunday sermon, maybe even go to a Bible Study once a week. But, 99% of the time, I walk out the door and these lessons are neatly tucked away . . . . until it may come up months later when listening to a speaker, or a year later in the church calendar, or maybe, just maybe, myself or another is "brave enough" to introduce the topic, etc.
    My recent post Big Boys and Their Toys

    • Chris_Tomlinson

      One of my old pastors told us he was in the ministry of reminding. I suppose we all are =)

  • kisstheplow

    Truly we should move from the basic message to the deeper truths. But as to Christ, Only He has the words of Life.

    • Delphia

      I feel so much happier now I udnerstand all this. Thanks!