1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
The author of Hebrews included himself in the need for the congregation to press on to maturity.
go on to [the] perfection [maturity],
“Perfection” here is not sinless perfection. The word “perfection” means maturity. The goal of the Christian life is maturity. It refers to the contrast of babes and adults in Hebrews 5:12–14. There is a need for the readers to have maturity about advanced teaching about Christ, but this also includes the personal maturity of character. The issue is the assimilation of “solid food.”
“The perfection” or maturity is set in apposition to “the elementary principles of Christ” and “the word of the beginning of Christ.” “The” maturity is the full revelation of Christ the Messiah. He is no longer veiled by types or shadows. Because Christ is the effulgence of God’s glory, He has a more excellent name. The maturity here is both doctrinal and experiential.
The words “go on” mean to press on to something with energetic movement. “Go on” is passive—”let us be borne along” to maturity. It is God, not ourselves, who will bring us to maturity.
The “perfect” may also carry the idea of completion. Hebrews uses the word “perfection” in the sense of completion in Hebrews 7:11. There was no need for any priesthood other than Christ’s because He finished all the work that was necessary for any priest to do. This was the order of Melchizedek. The law of Moses made nothing perfect (He 7:19). The Levitical offerings never concluded; there was always another sacrifice necessary for more sins. Jesus offered the sacrifice of His life one time. This sacrifice satisfied God so that there was no need for any further sacrifice (He 10:12).
God enables believers to mature.
Moving on to maturity is not a matter of our personal ingenuity. We cannot do it without God. However, the individual must take responsibility for doing it. Should the believer decide to move into maturity, God will engage with him to do it.
Being a Christian for a long time does not mean that a person is mature. Many believers do not assimilate or digest divine truth, so they cannot apply what they do not know. The issue is not Bible facts but rather Bible principles applied to life.
Many people know facts of the Bible, but they do not advance to maturity. There are biblical scholars who have never assimilated biblical principles into their thinking. They know a great amount of information, but their lives are as dry as dust. These people are intractable and intransigent in their disinclination to let the Word of God change them. They remain in a spiritual stupor. This is not to argue for obviating the academic but for correctly using it. The spiritual is not illogical or irrational.