Hebrews 6:1-3 The Christian Curriculum (2) The writer of the book of Hebrews was making a point in these verses. The point is that believers must learn some basic truths of Bible and then move on to more advanced truths. The book we are reading from this morning, was written to Jews who were in a hard place. Many of them were being convinced that Jesus was their long awaited Messiah, but to accept Him meant they would be cast out of Judaism, rejected by their family, and persecuted by their government. For that reason, many would not accept Jesus as their Messiah and worse, some who had were considering renouncing Jesus. The writer of this book wrote to the Jews to urge them to continue onward in their faith and not to revisit truths they already knew to be true. He mentioned six doctrines in particular and calls them "principle" or beginner doctrines. So these are doctrines that we as mature believers should understand, have settled, and be moving beyond. We looked at the first three last week. This week, let’s see the fourth beginner doctrine. IV. We should believe and live the doctrine of laying on hands. A. There is some confusion of this doctrine. 1. The doctrine of laying on of hands will take a longer to discuss than the first three because there is more confusion about that doctrine in the true church. a. The reason for the confusion is that this doctrine brushes up against the doctrine of the Holy Ghost and many saved people have different views on the Holy Ghost. b. A lot of Baptists are scared to death of the Holy Ghost. (1) They think everything that has to do with the Holy Ghost is charismatic. (2) It isn’t. c. So let’s go a little deeper this morning. 2. First, let me be clear that the truths of the laying on of hands has nothing to do with salvation. a. We are saved by repentance and faith and that is all. b. Laying on of hands has to do with three doctrines that are very close to one another. (1) Dedication - The Christian deciding he/she wants to give themselves to Christ. (2) Consecration - The Christian changing their lives so that they can give themselves to Christ. (3) Sanctification - The Holy Spirit taking the Christians and setting him/her apart for His service. 3. In fact, if you will look at the six doctrines mentioned in these three verses, you will see they are doctrines that guide you through the Christian life. a. First, we—especially the religious Jews—must learn that there are no works—including keeping the Law— that can save. We must turn from such dead works. b. Second, we must turn to God in faith, and specifically His work of salvation through Jesus Christ. c. Third, we must be baptized into the Holy Ghost, that is saved. That baptism is a work we cannot see but at or about that time, we should also demonstrate that unseen baptism with a water baptism. d. Fourth, we should seek the constant filling of the Holy Ghost by surrendering ourselves daily to Him. e. Fifth, we should understand and look for the resurrections of the dead. f. Last, we should understand and prepare for judgment to come. B. History 1. The act of laying on hands is not a New Testament doctrine. 2. It was practiced much more in the Old Testament than in the New. 3. To lay on the hands was to cleanse oneself of sin and to prepare to worship God. a. \\#Lev 1:4\\ Laying on of hands was done with the burnt offering. (1) The Burnt Offering was the consecration offering. (2) It had nothing to do with dealing with sin but with totally surrendering oneself to God. b. \\#Lev 8:14,17,22\\ The sons of Aaron when being set apart for service as high priests, laid their hands on the head of their sin offering. (1) Here the laying on of hands was symbolic of God taking their sins and placing them on the sacrifice, but it was being done to prepare them for God’s service. (2) If the laying on of hands was practiced with every burnt and sin offering, it was done hundreds or thousands of times daily in the Old Testament. (3) So to the Jew, the laying on of hands symbolized being made clean, prepared for worship and service to God. 4. Along the same lines, in \\#Num 27:23, Deut 34:9\\ Moses shared the Spirit of wisdom and authority with Joshua to prepare him for his service to God. 5. In the New Testament, laying on of hands meant more things. a. \\#Matt 19:15\\ Jesus laid hands on children, We are not told why but no healing or special anointing is mentioned. Most suppose it was Jesus imparting a spiritual blessing, God’s good will, on this children. b. \\#Luke 4:40\\ Jesus laid His hands on a person to give healing to him. c. \\#Acts 8:17\\ Peter and others shared the Holy Ghost with other Christians by praying and laying their hands on them. (1) This is the first time the Holy Ghost was imparted to another by the laying on of hands. (2) We only know of the laying on of hands to receive the Holy Ghost happening here and \\#Acts 19:6\\. (3) There may be one of two others passages where laying on hands MAY have happened with the coming of the Holy Ghost, but these are the only two where I know it happened. d. \\#1Tim 4:14\\ Paul reminded Timothy how God equipped Timothy for the ministry at the time that hands were laid on him. 6. In the Bible, the primary use of laying on of hands was not to receive the Holy Ghost but to be cleansed and sanctified for service. 7. The laying on of hands is a Biblical practice that the church should be practicing today. a. Our church will do this on September 17 when we ordain our new deacon, Bro. Leroy Humphrey, to his position as a deacon. b. However, I am not sure that we should not be coming to the altar every service, seeking God’s cleansing and sanctification. C. False notions about the Holy Ghost and the laying on of hands. 1. Some believe that to have the Holy Ghost and to be filled with the Holy Ghost are the same thing. a. There is a difference in having the PERSON of the Holy Ghost and being filled with the Holy Ghost. Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Ga 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. b. Just because you have the PERSON of the Holy Ghost does not mean you are filled with the PRESENCE of the Holy Ghost. (1) You only get the Person of the Holy Ghost once. (2) I am not referring to getting more of the Holy Ghost. (a) That is a charismatic belief. (b) The Holy Ghost does not come in pieces. (c) He is a Person. (d) You can have a person and not have the presence of that person. (Marriage, cell phones) (3) The Holy Ghost’s stays with you but His presence can come and go and for most Christians, He is long gone. (4) Christians need to be filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit of God. c. The false believe that Christians do not need to seek to be filled with the Holy Ghost is the reason we are so bereft of power today. (1) I often say that if you get the presence of the Holy Spirit you will get His power, His peace, His provision, His purpose, and all the other of His gifts. (2) However, the reverse is also true. Without His presence you will not have His power, His peace, His provision, His purpose, and all the other of His gifts. 2. Some believe that the Bible teaches that one who has the Holy Spirit must lay hands on new Christians for them to have the Holy Spirit. a. That is not true. b. While it did happen that way a few times in the Bible, it is no longer true. Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? Ga 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (1) The book of Acts is a book of transition. (2) It went… (a) …from having no church to having a church. (b) …from having no Holy Spirit to having the Holy Spirit. (c) …from the Holy Spirit coming to those who had hands laid on them to coming to all believers. c. The fact that God gave the Holy Ghost a few times when hands were laid upon someone does not negate the bigger teaching in the Bible. d. The laying of hands has always pictured cleansing and equipping the people of God for worship and service. 3. Some believe that the Bible teaches Christians need to have hands laid on them to be filled with the Holy Ghost. a. I do not believe that is true either. b. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy from his mother’s womb \\#Lu 1:15\\. c. The first coming of the Holy Ghost involved no laying on of hands at all but people praying, seeking God, emptying themselves of self. d. And that is the truth of being filled with the Holy Ghost. (1) To be filled, a Christian must empty himself of self. (2) No laying on of hands can accomplish that. (3) The Christian must do that for himself. (4) This is the reason God gave the command to the Christian to be filled not to the preacher to fill your congregation. Eph 5:18 … be filled with the Spirit. e. I will go a step further. (1) The sign that you are filled with the Holy Ghost is not that you speak in an unknown tongue. (2) It is that you live a holy, pure life of service for God—accomplishing something for Jesus. Friend, this is not deep stuff. This is the principles of the doctrine of Christ, the beginner school of the Christian curriculum. We need to cleanse ourselves of sin and sanctify ourselves for service. This is what the doctrine of laying on of hands is about. And it is not just for the preacher, it is for the people of God.
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