The Northfield

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  Northfield, NJ 08225

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Church of Christ

07/10/2013

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Hands Please


"Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement" (Heb.6:1-2).

In these two verses, six fundamental doctrines are mentioned. Included in the list is the laying on of hands. It was a custom practiced in the Bible, both in Old and New Testament times. It is mentioned in the Patriarchal times along with the Mosaic days. It was a practice in Jesus' time on earth and also in the early church of the first century. It is mentioned here in the Book of Hebrews as a part of the elementary principles about Christ. It is in some select company that includes: repentance, faith, baptism, the resurrection, and judgement. Those are some pretty heavy hitters. So.... What happened to the practice of laying on of hands? Maybe a short lesson about how it was used might be helpful to all of us, so lets begin in the Old Testament. Jacob used the practice to bestow blessings on his grandsons (Gen.48:14) and it might have been intended to confer some virtues on the recipients. It was done during the time of the offering of sacrifices in the Books of Leviticus and Numbers, and was especially important on the day of atonement. It was used to "ordain someone to service", as in the case of Joshua. (Num.27:18-23). On a grislier side, it was used when witnesses observed a stoning, maybe to show that the verdict had been carried out and accepted (Lev.24:14). That's about it for the OT, so I will challenge you to do a bit of research. The laying on of hands was done during the life of Jesus and as a practice in the early church. You can research it the old fashion way, or since you are all computer literate, the old google machine will work. I will cover some of these tomorrow, and you have probably figured out where I am going with it. I hope you enjoy your Bible research... More tomorrow...

Have a great day... Go about doing good... Love mark Phil.4:11

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