"Press On" or
"Be Carried Along"?
In Hebrews 6:1, the readers are told to leave elementary things and
advance to maturity. The verb often translated "go on" (NRSV) or "press
on" (NASB) is pherometha, from the common New Testament word meaning
"bring" or "carry" (phero).
Here it appears in the passive voice and pictures the Christian as
"continually being carried along" to maturity. There is nothing here of
"going on," or of "pressing on," or of self-effort, or of struggling
to make progress in the Christian life. The author is saying, as it were, "lift your
sails and allow yourselves to be borne along to maturity by the Holy Spirit of God."
He also uses a tense that implies a process rather than a single act. Hence the ISV
Therefore, leaving behind the elementary
teachings about Christ, let us continue to be carried along to maturity, not laying again
a foundation of repentance from dead works, faith toward God
This same idea of being carried forward by God is found in Romans 8:14,
where Paul declares that "all who are led by Gods Spirit are Gods
children," and in 2 Peter 1:21, where Peter, using the same Greek verb as our author
uses here, asserts that the prophets "were carried along by the Holy Spirit." It
is the power of the Holy Spirit that is the true dynamic of Christian growth!