Becoming A Mature Christian
1. Become Mature Because of the . . Pathetic Maturity. 5:11-14
A. Pathetic Maturity Related To . . Understanding. 5:11
11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
B. Pathetic Maturity Related To . Underachievement. 5:12-13
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.
1. Every Baptist Church I know needs teachers.
2. Some can legitimately say they can not teach.
3. Some have to say I am not teaching because I have not matured in the Faith.
C. Pathetic Maturity Related To . . Undernourishment. 5:12-14
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.
1. Grown ups like solid food.
2. Babies rely on milk.
Illustration Albert Einstein
In the course of their conversation at a dinner party, Albert Einstein’s young neighbor asked the white-haired scientist, “What are you actually by profession?”
“I devote myself to the study of physics,” Einstein replied.
The girl looked at him in astonishment. “You mean to say you study physics at your age?” she exclaimed. “I finished mine a year ago.” Today in the Word, September 25, 1992
We Need To Mature Because of the . . Pathetic Maturity that Exist.
2. Become Mature Because of the . . Procedure of Maturity. 6:1-8
A. The Procedure of Maturity Calls For . . Progress. 6:1-3 1 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.
1. The writer indicates foundational doctrines are very important
but, we must move past, and build upon these doctrines.
B. The Procedure of Maturity Calls For . . Productivity. 6:4-8
1. The . . Similitude of Productivity. 6:4-5
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
a. Note the Impossibility. v 4a
b. Note the Once enlightened. v 4b
c. Note the tasting the heavenly gift. v 4c
d. Note the partaking of the Holy Spirit. v 4d
e. Note the tasting of the good Word. v 5a
f. Note the tasting of the powers of the age to come. v 5b
Mac. Study Bible. 6:4 enlightened. They had received instruction in biblical truth which was accompanied by intellectual perception. Understanding the gospel is not the equivalent of regeneration (cf. 10:26,32). In John 1:9 it is clear that enlightening is not the equivalent of salvation. Cf. 10:29. tasted the heavenly gift. Tasting in the figurative sense in the NT refers to consciously experiencing something (cf. 2:9). The experience might be momentary or continuing. Christ’s “tasting” of death (2:9) was obviously momentary and not continuing or permanent. All men experience the goodness of God, but that does not mean they are all saved (cf. Matt. 5:45; Acts 17:25). Many Jews, during the Lord’s earthly ministry experienced the blessings from heaven He brought—in healings and deliverance from demons, as well as eating the food He created miraculously (John 6). Whether the gift refers to Christ (cf. John 6:51; 2 Cor. 9:15) or to the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 2:38; 1 Pet. 1:12), experiencing either one was not the equivalent of salvation (cf. John 16:8; Acts 7:51). partakers of the Holy Spirit. Even though the concept of partaking is used in 3:1; 3:14; and 12:8 of a relationship which believers have, the context must be the final determining factor. This context in vv. 4–6 seems to preclude a reference to true believers. It could be a reference to their participation, as noted above, in the miraculous ministry of Jesus who was empowered by the Spirit
6:5 tasted. See note on v. 4. Like Simon Magus (Acts 8:9–24), these Hebrews had not yet been regenerated in spite of all they had heard and seen (cf. Matt. 13:3–9; John 6:60–66). They were repeating the sins of those who died in the wilderness after seeing the miracles performed through Moses and Aaron and hearing the voice of God at Sinai.
2. The . . Scorn of Productivity. 6:6
6 if they fall away, to renew them again to
repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
a. If They Fall Away. v 6a
b. To Renew Them to repentance. v 6b
c. Since they crucify Christ again. v 6c
d. Put Him to an open shame. v 6d
Mac. Study Bible. 6:6 fall away. This Gr. term occurs only here in the NT. In the LXX, it was used to translate terms for severe unfaithfulness and apostasy (cf. Ezek. 14:13; 18:24; 20:27). It is equivalent to the apostasy in 3:12. The seriousness of this unfaithfulness is seen in the severe description of rejection within this verse: they re-crucify Christ and treat Him contemptuously (see also the strong descriptions in 10:29). The “impossible” of v. 4 goes with “to renew them again to repentance.” Those who sinned against Christ in such a way had no hope of restoration or forgiveness (cf. 2:2,3; 10:26,27; 12:25). The reason is that they had rejected Him with full knowledge and conscious experience (as described in the features of vv. 5,6). With full revelation they rejected the truth, concluding the opposite of the truth about Christ, and thus had no hope of being saved. They can never have more knowledge than they had when they rejected it. They have concluded that Jesus should have been crucified, and they stand with his enemies. There is no possibility of these verses referring to losing salvation. Many Scripture passages make unmistakably clear that salvation is eternal (cf. John 10:27–29; Rom. 8:35,38,39; Phil. 1:6; 1 Pet. 1:4,5). Those who want to make this verse mean that believers can lose salvation will have to admit that it would then also say that one could never get it back again.
3. The . . Sham of Productivity. 6:7-8
7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; 8 but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.
Mac. Study Bible. 6:7,8 Here are illustrations showing that those who hear the gospel message and respond in faith are blessed; those who hear and reject it are cursed 6:8 rejected.
See the use of the term in Rom. 1:28 (“debased”); 2 Cor. 13:5 (“disqualified”); and 2 Tim. 3:8 (“disapproved”).
A young man dives for exotic fish for aquariums. He told me that one of the most popular aquarium fish is the shark. He explained that if you catch a small shark and confine it, it will stay a size proportionate to the aquarium you put it in. Sharks can be six inches long yet fully matured. But if you turn them loose in the ocean, they grow to their normal length of eight feet.
That is like what happens to some Christians. I have seen some of the cutest little six-inch Christians who swim around in a little puddle. You can look at them and comment on how fine they are. But if you were to put them out into a larger arena—into the broad view of a whole creation—they might become great.
God help us not to be confined to a little puddle out of insecurity, but instead to see that Jesus Christ is Lord of all. He made us, and if we will both have internal integrity and relate ourselves to the larger structures in the ways he has ordained, we will be able to serve him according to a holistic vision of his purpose on the earth. Pastoral Renewal, February 1985, p. 111
Become Mature Because of the . . Procedure of Maturity.
3. Become Mature Because of the . . Provable Maturity. 6:9-12
A. Provable Maturity Through . . Service. 6:9-10
9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation,
though we speak in this manner. 10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
B. Provable Maturity Through . . Staying. 6:9-10
11 And we desire that each one of you show the same
diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. NKJV
Illustration GROWTH, SPIRITUAL:
A party of tourists, looking up to the summit of an impressive mountain, thought that by climbing one of the less hills they would improve their view. On the way they passed a party coming down, and they asked, "Is it worthwhile?" The reply came back, "Anything above the ordinary level is always worthwhile."
Become Mature Because of the . . Provable Maturity.