Therefore leaving the elementary [first principles] teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity…
The ‘first principles’ (arche) of anything are the founding or ruling principles. Within them are embedded the genius of successful completion (telos); first principles are thus a seed principle.
Having accomplished God’s redemptive purpose for history, the ascended Christ – as ruler of the cosmos – declares that he is both the “Beginning and the End”—the arche and the telos (Rev 21:6; 22:13).
What does this mean? That beginnings determine endings. The only reason history is not going well – for us personally or culturally – is because we have forsaken the ‘first principles’ of Christ. His person, laws, and redemptive work provide the ruling principles for the governance of the cosmos; and hence, the accomplishment in history of all things that God the Father purposed for the maturation and flourishing of humankind. We must therefore refocus on teaching the ‘first principles’ of Christ and of his Gospel.
Christ, as Creator & Lord and Redeemer & Judge, provides through his Gospel God’s wisdom and ways for his government of the universe, including the conduct of nations.
First Principles therefore includes:
- Doctrine of Christ (Hebrews 6:1-3).
- Christian Initiation (Acts 2:38).
- Covenant Community (Acts 2:42).
- Law and Gospel (Romans; Galatians).
- Creation Order (Gen 1-3).
- Creation Mandate (Gen 1:28).
- Covenant and Kingdom Motif of Scripture.
- Inerrancy of Scripture.
- Faith of the Ecumenical Creeds (Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, Chalcedon Creed).