PART #003 of “WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD”
“The Idiom ‘Cutting The Apron Strings’ has given birth to the writing of endless articles”.
Apron strings are feelings that keeps one wholly dependent and under control by a woman, especially one’s mother.
They are feelings of dependency on one’s mother even after the age when one should be independent.
So when one starts to cut the apron strings, they begin to lessen the extent of that control.
This is especially true of parents in relation to their children.
But the final concept of “cutting the apron strings” is the concept of a ‘total severance’.
Severe as the word ‘severance’ may sound, this is not an unhealthy concept in relation to the reality and the necessity of that severance.
And all the more so in relation to that we seek to address in what follows.
In fact, it is actually a Biblical concept, which is all summed up in one simple and single word.
Life as a whole is all about ‘moving on’. There is much out there and the road is a long winding one.
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep” – Robert Lee Frost [March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963]
We saw in the last [CRUMB 0080], how Paul the apostle is admonishing these Jews to get on to ‘solid meat’.
How they ought to have been skillful teachers by now, but instead they still had to be fed with milk.
They had to be taught the ‘first principles’ of the Word of God again.
There is no vegetarianism or veganism in the spiritual things of God.
And especially more so in relation to where we stand today in this Age of Grace.
The transition is from the ‘milk bottle’ to the ‘T-bone steak’ and we all need to come to that place.
Now we know that we can’t bypass the process of milk drinking, for it is indispensable for early growth and strength.
But there comes a time when we need to ‘cut off the apron strings’ of the milk bottle and move on.
Paul wants these Jews to get off the fence, cut the apron strings of Judaism and get skillful in the higher doctrines of Grace.
Let us remember that Paul here is attempting to convince these Jews to make that total break with their religion.
He is trying to convince them to put Judaism behind them with all their laws and rules and regulations.
And he is asking them to step out by “Faith plus nothing” into this whole concept of Grace.
Getting Skilled With The Scriptures
The average believer today has not made enough effort to search the Scriptures to get skilled with them.
This is necessary in order to be comfortable in sharing it with someone else, for there are eternal destinies at stake here.
But there are so many people who have been going to Church for years and are still hovering around the elementary.
They are still living in the Old Testament and the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
At the most they like to get into the Book of Revelations for that excites them, and no doubt, it is exciting.
But somehow, Paul the apostle is just basically skimmed over without any real understanding or set aside altogether.
And yet the ‘meat’ we are talking about is served ONLY at the apostle Paul’s table.
This is the meat that Jesus Christ provides today directly from heaven above like the quails in the desert wilderness.
Not Been Taught
But then, at the same time, we don’t blame them, for they have not been taught the higher doctrines of Grace.
They have never been encouraged to cut the apron strings of the elementary and move on.
There are many of those who say, “I don’t follow Paul, I follow Jesus. I go by what is written in red letters”.
Well then the harsh truth is that if you are not following Paul, then you’re not following Jesus Christ at all.
You may think you are, but in reality you are not.
Instructions Of The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit clearly instructs Paul to write this in [1 Corinthians 11:1-2]:
This is Scripture and the Holy Spirit is the Divine Author.
Paul then takes it a step further and asks them to, “that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you”.
Take a moment to see what the Apostle Paul also writes in [1 Corinthians 14:37].
“If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are (what?) ‘THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD’.”
Now is Paul the apostle really asking us to follow him in that literal sense?
Well of course not!
When we follow Paul the apostle, we are following the instructions that Jesus Christ has revealed to us ‘through him’.
Remember that Jesus Christ is in His place and position of Ascension sitting at the Right Hand Of God the Father.
It is from this place and position that He instructs us today, and we really do need to lay hold of this truth.
INDEED, when we follow Paul, we are categorically and without any apology following none other than JESUS CHRIST Himself.
If you did not know this before, you certainly know so now.
And we hope that you will come to that place of knowledge and skill to tackle the hardest of oppositions.
Only Paul the apostle can enable us cut those aprons strings of the elementary and make us ready “in season and out of season”.
But if you are still adamant about being a ‘Red Letter follower’, then what follows just might shock you.
Leaving The Principles
“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection” [Hebrews 6:1].
(The word ‘perfection’ here, simply means ‘maturity’)
It is worth stopping and spending some time here, for this is important Scripture.
What is Paul the apostle telling us here?
For there is so much right here, that the casual reader just reads over it.
And we need to stop and analyze to see what it really says.
The apostle opens his statement with the word “Therefore”.
“Therefore”, since we have to cut the apron strings and come away from that milk-bottle environment.
So that now we can get into the meat, the deep things that we may be able to share with other people.
In order to do that, we have to start somewhere.
And so, what is the next word Paul uses?
Now what do we suppose ‘leaving’ means?
Well, it means exactly what it says!
This is the same term and concept that Paul uses in [Ephesians 5:31].
“ For this cause shall a man ‘LEAVE’ his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh”.
This is more than just seeing a beautiful wedding ceremony.
What really happens when a young couple get married and set up their own home?
What happens between them and their parents?
Well, they don’t forsake them. They don’t say, “Bye, Mom and Dad! I’ll see you in Glory!”
That isn’t what marriage does.
Marriage is still connected with both generations.
But now this couple must ‘move on’ in order to set up their own lives.
The protocols of responsibility and allegiance have now shifted.
This ‘progressive step’ from living in their parent’s home, to all of a sudden establishing their own home is “leaving”.
But they don’t “forsake” that which was before, which are their parents.
They merely ‘move on’ away from it, still keeping the ties to their families.
Now isn’t that understandable?
This whole concept of “leaving” started way back in the creation account in [Genesis 2:24].
You have the same word; “therefore shall a man ‘LEAVE’ his father and his mother and cleave to his wife.”
And so that’s the whole concept.
But the point being made here is that it’s not a matter of totally forsaking the parents.
It is simply cutting the apron strings and ‘moving on’.
No Status Quo
There is no “status quo” in Scripture, in this progressive unfolding of the Word of God.
It is like paddling a canoe up stream.
And sometimes it may seem that we are not making much headway.
And as such is the Christian life as we “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” [Philippians 3:14].
But the minute we pull that paddle out of the water we are going to make some movement.
But it’s going to be backwards, down stream.
And that is exactly the way we have to look at Scripture.
We have to either keep moving on and learning and getting deeper into the Word.
If we don’t, then we put ourselves at risk of getting careless and losing interest.
SO it always holds good that we have to leave that which has gone before for the purpose of moving on.
And that is exactly what Paul the apostle is talking about.
“Therefore leaving…” In other words, we don’t forsake it.
We don’t turn our backs on it saying, “I don’t want anything more to do with that”.
We move from that one place into a progressive unfolding of that which lies ahead.
But what is the apostle Paul admonishing these Jewish people to ‘leave’?
The Principles Of The Doctrine Of Christ
“Therefore ‘LEAVING’ the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection”.
All the Greek and the various dictionaries and commentators, have come to the same understanding.
And if you have a good marginal help in your Bible, you will find it there.
This word ‘principles’ here is translated “the words of the beginning of Christ.”
Take your time! Let this sink in!
Lets us take this slow and think about it for a minute.
Because this is so important that we understand, that here we have these Hebrews, to whom this letter is primarily written.
We understand that they can no longer rest on the “status quo”.
They certainly don’t want to be left slipping back.
But rather, they’ve got to ‘move on’ ahead in their experience and their knowledge of the Word of God.
And the only way they could do that, would be to ‘LEAVE’ “the words of the beginning of Christ.” ‘
There were some serious apron strings to be cut here!
Now if you are a ‘Red Letter follower’, then this👇🏽 is going to fly in your face as it does with much of Christendom.
What was the “words of the beginning of Christ?”
What are the ‘principles of Christ?’
Well it’s the Four Gospels! Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
They certainly can’t be anything else, for that is when JESUS CHRIST ‘first’ came.
Jesus Christ’s earthly Ministry!
Here is how Paul the apostle puts it in [Romans 15:8]:
“Now I say that Jesus Christ was (that is past tense) a minister of the circumcision…….”
HE does not play that role any longer.
HE is no longer a Minister exclusively to the Jews in an earthly ministry.
That was ‘finished’ and HE has ‘moved on’ to where we are today in this “Age of Grace”.
Today, HE is a minister to “whosoever will” place their faith plus nothing else, in His death, burial and resurrection.
“Maybe there are some of us here today who need to cut the apron strings”.
Click [Here] for Part #004 of “Where Angles Fear To Tread”