-Hebrews 6:1-2 (ISV)
Did you know that we are carried or borne along to maturity? That is what Hebrews 6 is really saying. God is the one who carries us to maturity, who bears us along to it. Like a boat on the ocean, carried along by the waves and the winds. God carries or bears us along to maturity.
This also reminds me of bearing fruit. There is no straining to grow, on the fruit's part.
I was listening to Greek Scholar, Dave Black; on The Pastors Perspective program (Feb. 24th). He and Don Stewart talked about the translation of Hebrews 6:1, where it says, "pressing on" in the NASB. A better, more accurate translation, according to Dave Black, is, "carried along". This is what Dave said on his blog about this, back in 2005:
In the ISV we made it a point to attempt to translate the Greek tenses as accurately as possible, even when we had to part company with the majority of English versions. An example is Hebrews 6:1, where the traditional "let us press on to maturity" is rendered "let us continue to be carried along to maturity" to reflect both the lexical idea behind the verb phero ("carry," "bear") and the author's use of the passive voice and present tense. So it is always a delight for me to find pastor-teachers who dig deep enough into the text to check the Greek before preaching. Here's a good example from a sermon on Hebrews 6 by Phil Newton of South Woods Baptist Church in Memphis.In some commentaries, the commentator translated the text from the Greek. In William Barclay's Hebrew commentary, for example, this is how he translates Hebrews 6:1:
So, the, let us leave elementary about Christ behind us and let us be borne onwards to full maturity...My second favorite translation of Hebrews 6:1, that I could find, is the NIV, which says:
Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity...I like 'taken forward'. If the ISV nails it, then the NIV gets it.
The New Testament in Modern English, by Helen Barrett Montgomery (1924) says:
So let us get beyond the teaching of the elementary doctrines of Christ and let us be borne along toward what is mature.I am disappointed that the ESV says, "go on to maturity"; and the CEB says, "press on to maturity". I perused many translations and the majority say, "go on". I know it means we go on by the power of God, but you could get the impression that it means that you pull yourself forward, from the majority of translations.
Christianity is not a self-improvement program. God's power supplies the locomotion or birthing. In Philippians 2:12-13 it says:
And so, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only when I was with you but even more now that I am absent, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases him. (ISV)
God is the producer of your maturity. Holiness comes from God, just as the power of salvation and the power to heal. The gospel is Christ plus nothing. We get to participate, we get to opt in. How far we go into it is up to us. There is permission to go deep, but we are not forced to.
Look at the sail on a sailboat. It can do nothing to make the wind gusts happen. It only catches the wind and derives power from it to power the boat forward. Good sailors have to do all sorts of things with ropes, sails, masts, and the rudder. But, they cannot make the wind blow the air or cause the waves and water currents to move.
God carries us to maturity. Will you get in and let yourself be carried? Will you, like a good sailor, put your proverbial sails up into the wind of God? The sail does not groan to attract or make wind happen just as the fruit on the vine does not groan to make growth happen from the vine.