The Service will also include Communion and the Reception into Membership and Commissioning of Nathan Gordon as our new Youth Pastor.
We all enjoy holding a small baby. But nice as that is, we would not wish them to remain a baby forever! We would want them to grow and mature into full adulthood. This being the case, then – Why is it that so often we are content to remain as spiritual babies, instead of going for growth and becoming mature Christians?
Spiritual maturity is what the writer of the letter to the Hebrews is dealing with here, as he is forced to press the pause button when it becomes clear that his readers do not understand his teaching about the High Priesthood of Jesus. During this “time out” he challenges them regarding their spiritual progress by comparing and contrasting three areas of maturity, all of which are linked to the Word of God:-
1 – Diet.
An immature Christian will be unable to teach others because they are forever having to relearn the foundational truths of the faith; never getting beyond the elementary or the basic, such as teaching about repentance and faith – our relationship to God; baptism and the laying on of hands – our relationship to the church; the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgement – our relationship to the future. Like babies can only manage milk, so immature Christian babies can only cope with spiritual milk (1 Peter 2 v 2), as illustrated not only in this letter, but also by the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 3 v 1 – 2).
By contrast, a mature Christian will be able to pass on the truths of the faith to others and be able to digest solid food, which in this case would not seem to be the major doctrines of the faith, but teaching about the heavenly Priesthood of Jesus.
2 – Discernment.
An immature Christian who only feeds on the milk of the Word will not always be able to distinguish between right and wrong. Due to ignorance, and a conscience that is not informed by the Word of God, they will make wrong decisions, being unaware of what is “righteous.”
By contrast, a mature Christian who feeds on the meat of the Word will allow its teachings to influence, guide and inform the decisions of daily life, the outcome of such “training” resulting in the ability to distinguish between right and wrong (1 Timothy 4 v 7).
3 – Determination.
The immature Christian will be “slow” to learn and mature, the word slow used here meaning lazy and apathetic.
Spiritual babies are not prepared to take responsibility for their own maturity, lacking diligence, doubting God’s Word (Hebrews 3 v 7), as well as drifting from it (Hebrews 2 v 1).
By contrast, a mature Christian will be committed to “go on” to maturity, a phrase that means to be carried forward. They will strive and aim for maturity, partnering with God (Philippians 2 v 12 – 13), rather than waiting for it to fall into their lap from heaven above.
Pause 4 thought.
Is your diet milk or meat?
Do you know the Bible well enough to distinguish between right and wrong?
Are you, with God’s help, taking responsibility for your own spiritual maturity?
Theme: “Going for growth”
Reading: Hebrews 5:11 – 6:3
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led By: Richard Sills
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