At the core of Christianity is the idea of change and the concept of being different. Christians are called to be a different kind of people (Titus 2:11-14). This means that both our actions and our thinking are to transform us (Hebrews 6:1; Romans 12:2). This teaches Christians the necessity of growing and developing as a child of God. Like with so many things, we might question, “Where do we begin?” Hebrews 5:11-6:6 will help us in our growth journey.
If we want to grow, we must start and not stop (Hebrews 5:11-12, ESV). If we are not growing, we are dying spiritually. The writer of Hebrews desired to better explain and expand on the biblical teaching of Jesus as High Priest but could not due to the Hebrews’ lack of maturity. Likewise, we too can prevent ourselves from being able to understand spiritual things because we have become “dull of hearing.” A knife becomes dull due to neglect and lack of proper maintenance. Our spiritual swords become dull when we fail to properly add to our faith (2 Peter 1:5-10) and grow in the “basic principles of the oracles of God.”
If we want to grow, it will be a gradual process (Hebrews 5:12-14, ESV). Physically speaking, infants grow and develop gradually as their diet and mobility changes. Thus we read, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow into salvation,” (1 Peter 2:2, ESV). Spiritual growth and development are directly related and linked to our spiritual diet. We will not be ready to digest a spiritual steak until we properly stomach spiritual milk.
If we want to grow, it must be intentional and personal (Hebrews 5:14, ESV). The faith and spirituality of others will not save us in the end or help us personally discern between good and evil. Growth is not automatic or accidental. The words mature (fully grown in human integrity and virtue), trained (exercised vigorously) and practice (“reason of use,” to make a habit) show that work and dedication are involved. Our spiritual maturity is dependent on our willingness to habitually exercise our spirituality. What does this look like?
If we want to grow, we must build on the basics (Hebrews 6:1-3, ESV). We need to master the fundamentals of the Christian faith and continue growing upon Christ’s foundation. What does this look like in our daily life? The book of James is an epistle on practical Christianity. It teaches us to:
- Seek wisdom and adjust our attitude (James 1:2-18)
- Remember our identity (James 1:19-27)
- Let our actions match our faith (James 2)
- Let our words match our faith (James 3)
- Seek peace with God, and let Him worry about the rest (James 4)
- Be prayerful in all things (James 5)
All of these teachings highlight the concept of taking the fundamental teachings of Christ and putting them into practice. This is a difficult task-one that every Christian must embrace.
Please, DON’T GIVE UP! (Hebrews 6:4-6, ESV). When we give up, or stop growing, we can fall into the category of re-crucifying Jesus. One of the saddest things to ever witness is someone who has consciously decided to reject God, especially when they have had a relationship with Him in the past.
Let us live our lives in such a way that our actions, words, and lifestyles never cause Jesus to feel the nails of the cross again.