The first three verses contain some of the most crucial elements of the Christian faith laid out before us in Scripture. Listen to what the author addresses. He speaks about repentance from dead works. This is the fundamental understanding in Christianity that if we truly love Jesus then we would abhor evil and turn our back against it. We hear about a faith which is given to us as a gift from God. The faith that we have has to be a faith that is seen in the Gospels where Jesus constantly chastises his disciples because they have little faith. It is a faith that belongs to us, but is given to us.
We then leave verse 1 and move into 2 where early on, remember we are still in the first century, the author speaks about baptism. He also addresses the laying on of hands. This is crucial. The laying on hands, and baptism as well, are both parts of our worship service in which we take part even today. We lay on hands for our deacons and elders because it was done first in the Acts of the Apostles. We believe that the Holy Spirit moves within the congregation and the laying on of hands demonstrates the power and the potentiality of the Holy Spirit within the church and within our lives. He doesn’t stop there but transitions to the resurrection which is arguably one of the most important doctrines of the Christian faith. He then finishes it up with a conversation, albeit brief, about judgment day. So much in two verses from an author whom we might think does not have the developed and sophisticated theology that we might have.
Then he dives right into a topic which is very, very controversial. Can you lose your faith once you have it? It seems that the author says yes, you can lose it. Now, we need to be clear and say that our theology does not allow that. There is plenty of Scripture which assures us of our salvation in perpetuity. We can do nothing to earn our salvation, so the flip side would be…think about it, we can do nothing to lose our salvation. Look at these verses and see if you can find a message about salvation always being in the hands of God, and we serve a gracious God. John 10:28-29, Ephesians 1:4-5, Romans 11:29, John 6:37, 39. Once saved, always saved.