A CASE FOR MATURITY
What is it that holds the believer back from coming to be a mature Christian? In Chapter 5, verses 10-14, Paul deals with this question as he writes this letter to the Hebrew believers.
He deals with the maturity of the believer. Here he also deals with a hypothetical case regarding salvation showing that IF you could lose salvation, you would not be able to regain it.
I. LEAVING THE PRINCIPLES OF THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST.
A. Paul suggests that these Christians GO ON in their Christian experience.
1. They had been feeding on the milk of the Word,” 1 Peter 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”
a. As young believers they needed milk, 1 Corinthians 3:2, “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.”
b. Sometimes believers do not grow as they should, 1 Corinthians 3:3, “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”
2. Now they need to go beyond the ELEMENTAL TEACHINGS of God's Word.
B. He admonishes them to grow up in the Lord.
1. Not laying the foundation again, Hebrews 6:1b-2, “not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2-Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”
2. Going on to the maturity at which they should have already arrived, Hebrews 5:12-14, “12-For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13-For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14-But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
a. Some of them still needed to be taught “the first principles of the oracles of God.”
b. They were still “UNSKILLFUL in the word of righteousness.”
c. They could not handle the STRONG MEAT, v. 14, “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
II. LET US GO ON TO PERFECTION.
A. Paul is referring to Maturity as a Believer, Matthew 5:48, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
1. Let us cleanse ourselves of whatever it is that holds us back from maturity, 2 Corinthians 7:1, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2. It is God’s will that the believer progress to maturity in his spiritual life, Ephesians 4:14-15, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15-But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”
B. Paul refers to a spiritual problem among these immature believers, vs. 4-8.
1. It is impossible for those who were once enlightened…if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, vs. 4-6.
a. If they have received Christ, v. 5, “And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,”
2. If they shall fall away, that is, if they could lose their salvation, it is impossible “to renew them again unto repentance.”
3. WHY can’t they be renewed again? Because it would require that Jesus be crucified again, v. 6b, “seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”
III. PERFECTION OR MATURITY BRINGS US TO BETTER THINGS.
A. “We are persuaded better things of you,” v. 9, “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.”
1. That you be followers, v. 12, “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
2. Believers with their trust anchored in Christ, v. 19, “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;”
B. Our “forerunner” has entered into the presence of God on our behalf, v. 20, “Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
Christ Jesus goes before us and His Spirit leads us as we mature in Him. Let’s not allow anything to impede our progress toward maturity in the Lord. Don’t allow sin to defeat us. Let’s go on for His honor and glory.