Christians must continually mature in the faith.
Growth is a normal part of the human life cycle. If for some reason growth and development do not occur in a newborn, this becomes a matter of serious concern. This lesson is about the need believers in Christ have to grow spiritually in their relationship with Christ. The author of the letter to the Hebrews was concerned about the lack of spiritual maturity in those to whom he wrote. Like as proper nutrition, shelter, and physical exercise are essential for physical growth to occur, there are spiritual and moral requirements essential for spiritual growth to occur in a believer in Christ. This lesson is an appeal to Christians to become spiritually mature.
EMBRACE CHRIST AS HIGH PREIST
A. Our Great High Priest
Heb 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
…….Jesus, unlike any other priest, understands completely what we are going through. This makes it much easier to take out issues to Prayerful communication to the Lord saying, you know exactly what I’m going through and you know exactly how to deliver! You have been in my situation before and you have already learned the way of escape without failing to sin!
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
…….Because of Jesus Christ, there is now no particularly set time that we can only come to God in prayer! His accomplished sacrifice severed the veil providing total access to dwell in His presence! What a thought! A place that could only be visited by a higher authority is not only available but is desired by our superior to be visited and dwelled in!
Our High priest has an open door policy! If you will ever grow in God, you must grow “with” God!
B. Appointed by God
Heb 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
Heb 5:2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
Heb 5:3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.
Heb 5:4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
Heb 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
Heb 5:6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
…….Before Christ, any man to take the role of a priest was chosen because of lineage, besides the righteous man Melchisedec. This man was so related to the Lord that Abraham himself paid tithe to him out of all his possessions (Genesis 14). These men were not exposed to the same lifestyle of the modern man, but raised to be keepers of the house of God. They had no understanding what it was like to live in and deal with society. Even thought they were raised to be perfect, they still had to offer sacrifices for their imperfections. Jesus’ life was not so. Our battlefield became His stomping grounds!
Heb 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
Heb 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
…….Because Christ understands everything that is in our future, we can trust in His plan. He has written out for every single person, an eternal plan in following Him.
MOVE BEYOND IMMATURITY
A. Move On to Solid Food
Heb 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles (beginnings, foundation) of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
…….Even though a house is nothing without its foundation, a foundation does not serve its purpose without its house! We all must move on beyond the “elementary” rudiments, not leaving them behind, but pressing to greater
Heb 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
…….All who walk in salvation are “required” to grow in the Lord. It is not Gods will to continue to struggle in the same failures of yesterday, if this was so, our great example Jesus Christ would have never made it to the cross! When a child is restricted in its growth, having to be fed by hands that are not their own, having to be assisted in every day movement, we call this handicapped. In our day it is respectful to give them a special name and even a sticker to label as one with needs. But, no one that truly walks with God is in need of a sticker. We have so many who walk around the church in need of a handicapped sticker! It’s time to grow in the Lord! It’s time to step out of emotionalism and learn to trust in where God is taking us! Look at what He is done already and believe in what He is going to do!
Heb 5:14 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.
…….Why should we continue to mature in salvation? Because we will never be able to handle what God has planned until we learn to grow. A good soldier can’t fight as a team without his training, therefore he becomes a casualty and hindrance in battle!
It is time to get behind this great vehicle of God and learn to push! I want to be accountable!
B. Press On to Maturity
Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection (completion); not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Heb 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Heb 6:3 And this will we do, if God permit.
…….We are not expected to reach completion of our final end until the end, but rather reach today’s completion today! If we are ending our daily prayer with, dear Lord forgive me for not doing what you wanted me to do, we will eventually lose sight of His desire and plan! Let us move on from yesterday’s repenting and actually repent permanently! Dear Lord take our hands and put lively works in them!
MAKE YOUR HOPE SURE
A. Let the Word Do Its Work…..what a topic title!
Heb 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
…….This is one of my absolute favorite sections of scripture as it has been used many times to bring people to seriousness in salvation. It can seem scary to some, but very proving to others. It is not a part of God’s plan in salvation for His people to continue to need forgiveness from our dead life’s sins. If all who are saved are truly a new creature in Christ, and all things have passed away, and all things are made new, we must learn the way to keep us from apostasy! Just as any moving vehicle needs maintenance, we need to maintain our walk with the Lord with fresh oil! Our focus on the future will leave the fumbling of the past where it belongs, in the past!
B. Demonstrate Faith and Patience
Heb 6:7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
Heb 6:8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
…….It is the Lord who decides to rain upon the earth and when it does, growth is the reaction. To the ones who not take good use to God’s provision lets read this; Isaiah 5:6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it……. The ones take the opposite reaction to God’s Spiritual blessings will reap abundantly! Not only will He provide the food for growth, but will also cultivate it and remove anything that prevents its full potential of growth!
Heb 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
Heb 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Heb 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
Heb 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
…….That’s the key right there, “be not slothful”. When it’s time to get up and go, the inspiring power of His Spirit will cause an energy to take you all the way with power!