Like the Bible says in Proverbs 27:17… “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”, I belong to a WhatsApp Christian Group and we often share scripture, explain it as best as we could and get blessed doing so. Over time I have assumed that most of the brethren on the group are “matured” believers and so some things were taken for granted as already understood as I considered those thing as the elementary teaching about our Lord Jesus until One day a brethren sent a birthday prayer on the WhatsApp Chat to a Sister, ending the prayer with “…in Allah’s name”.
I was surprised, some thought it was a joke (a rather offensive one), some were confused while others said nothing. He was immediately admonished believing it was a joke but he replied that it was not a joke and his understanding and reference came from his research on the internet about the name Allah. The internet search says in summary that the name “Allah is the standard Arabic word for God and is used by Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews as well as by Muslims regardless of their native tongue.” His argument seemed to fall on his believe that the religious bias and division has made us(Christians) refuse using the name Allah.
I was not offended at all but was rather concern and worried because I thought the name of our Lord was an elementary to all believers but I was wrong. Secondly, if he was still unsettled about the elementaries of God, I could only imagine how he has been handling the matured things of God. That part scared me a lot, so I decided to chat with him privately to set things right.
First and foremost, our authority and reference point is the Word of God (The Bible) and not the internet… Psalm 119:105 says “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” … Psalm 119:11 says “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” and the popular John 1:1-4 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men”.
The internet is good and very useful too(a creation of our Lord Jesus) but it should not replace the study of the Bible… 2nd Timothy 2:15 says “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” And also 2nd Timothy 3:16-17 says “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
That said and established, we go on to understanding what are the elementaries of God’s word according to Hebrews 6:1 is? Here the Bible says “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ…”
It seems God expects that we already know “all” the elementaries of His word, hence He is asking us to “move beyond” them as dwelling on them will retard spiritual growth and will be a waste of time because there are many other deeper things to pursue. It also implies that they are easy and basic enough to be understood. Hence the analogy of babies and milk is used in comparism… 1st Peter 2:2 … “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation”—… also Hebrews 5:6 … “… You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
So what about if we do not know “some” the elementaries, should we say “we know in part and therefore prophesy in part”(1st Corinthians 13:9) and therefore do not bother about the rest? Not at all.
Like the name implies, the elementaries are the foundational matters of the gospel and like the Bible says in 1st Corinthians 3:11… “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” So as a Believer, one of the foundational matters or elementaries matters so to speak is the person of Jesus Christ and in studying and understanding the person of the Lord, the first stage is the name of Lord i.e. what is His name.?
Join me in the part II of this expose.