Bible Reading: Hebrews 5:9-14, 6:1-3, NKJV
As an evangelist, I share the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ as clearly and plainly as possible: that we’re all sinners; that—while we were yet sinners—Christ died for us; that He is the way, the truth and the life, and that whosoever believes may not perish, but have everlasting life.
It’s so simple, and yet eternity hangs in the balance.
But there’s still work to be done, even after someone has accepted Christ. Our organization works hard to follow up with each person, plugging them into the local church and helping them grow in their faith. Why? Because, much like a child grows in wisdom and power, that is how inquirers mature from “baby” believers to strong Christians as they begin to apply Scripture to their faith journey.
This all sounds good, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. As in any area of life, some passionately pursue a goal while others rest or focus on other priorities.
In Hebrews 5:11-14, we see the characteristics of a group of believers who are not maturing in their faith.
Lazy or ‘Dull’
A person’s faith is immature because they are lazy or “dull of hearing” (v. 11). There is no drive or initiative, and this prevents understanding. They sat and listened, but were not paying attention and applying what they had learned from God’s Word.
Refusal to Grow
Many of these same people who were weak in their walk were refusing to grow (v. 12). They had a knowledge of Jesus and identified with Him, but they refused to mature in their faith and apply it to their lives. They had not progressed from “milk” (basics) to “solid food” (applying the Scriptures).
Some people are spiritually underdeveloped because they are unskilled (inexperienced) in the Word of God (v. 13). By this time they should be teaching, but could not because they refused to be trained in spiritual matters.
Do Not Exercise Discernment
Finally, some believers remain spiritually immature because they do not exercise their mental and spiritual senses (v. 14) and are therefore unable to discern between good and evil.
Reviewing the characteristics of a stunted Christian may hit a little close to home for some of us. So what’s the remedy? How can we become fully developed and mature Christians? Hebrews 6:1-3 offers some guidance.
First, we must build on the teachings that we already know (v. 1). The foundation has already been laid. Now we need to develop our spiritual structure, adding depth and understanding.
Second, we must be determined to grow (v. 3). The author makes a declaration (“This we will do”), which shows the determination required to grow as a Christian.
Third, we must also realize that we are totally dependent upon God for growth. By saying, “if God permits” (v. 3), the author shows that we cannot grow apart from His strength.
To summarize, the answer for a stunted and immature spiritual walk is a motivation to build on the foundation we have, with determination and a reliance on God’s faithfulness and strength.
My friends, it’s easy to slip into laziness and immaturity. We must passionately and deliberately pursue our Savior and the incredible wealth of wisdom He has given us. This will strengthen your faith walk and better prepare you to impact the world for the Kingdom.
Do you feel far from God? Make a decision to grow closer to Him today.
Scripture Reference: Hebrews 5:9-14, NKJV
9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
10 called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,”
11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Hebrews 6:1-3, NKJV
Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3 And this we will do if God permits.
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