The writer of Hebrews in the New Testament had the task of bringing people from a mentality of relying on the visible and tangible things of God, to the invisible and intangible things of God. The transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant involved switching from a visible and tangible priesthood to the invisible and intangible priesthood of Jesus Christ. It was a switch from trusting in repeated appeasement with God through animal sacrifices, to faith in the once for all appeasement with God through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It went from working to make it with God, to resting in the grace of God because of what Jesus had already done and was doing on a continual basis. It went from looking to the letter of the law, to looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of faith. And, it went from a bondage born of fear of death, to a bold confidence that we live in the constant favor of God because of the perfect, finished work of Jesus Christ on our behalf.
Good, scriptural, traditional ways are hard to turn loose of even though something is proclaimed to be “better.” But there is no maturity, no perfection, and no completion under the old way. Full maturity can only come through faith in the perfect, finished work of Jesus Christ, and by yielding to the Holy Spirit, and this is why the writer of Hebrews is helping the people make the transition. When they should have been mature teachers sharing the gospel freely in power, they were still demanding milk as an infant. Hebrews 5: 12-14.
In Christians today, many are still relying on the visible and tangible elements of Christianity to obtain and maintain acceptance with God – church attendance, water baptism, the sacraments of the bread and wine, and personal good works. All this is good, but in reality, there is no real inward peace in any of this. True, settled inward peace with no condemnation is trusting wholly in the blood of Jesus to obtain and maintain a relationship with God. On this foundation of Jesus Christ one can build a life in the Spirit of God, and through yielding to the manifested power of the Holy Spirit, full maturity can blossom and God is able do all that he pleases for his glory forever (Hebrews 13:20,21). 3-29-15