Move on to maturity in Christ

I would like to take a look at mature and immature Christians in this article. As a text, we will use passages from Hebrews. This concept is important for everyone because you may be surprised at what you learn about yourself and the people around you, in the church. The Bible calls us to move on toward maturity in our faith if we are true believers. If we do not grow in our faith and do not have the desire to mature then that reveals a lot about our relationship with God, or the lack of it, to be more precise. The book of Hebrews reveals that there are three types of people in this world; those who are in the faith moving toward maturity, those who are infants in the faith, and then those who are not in the faith at all. There is a huge difference between those who are in the faith and moving toward maturity and those who are not in the faith at all. On the other hand, there is not much difference between infants in the faith and those who are not in the faith at all. Where do you stand? Are you an infant in the faith, in the faith and striving toward maturity, or not in the faith at all? This lesson will help clear things up for you.

 I. Those who are infants in the faith are dull of hearing and lazy, not understanding the deep truths of the Word of God which causes them to have a need to be taught.

of whom we have much to say, and hard to be explained since you are dull of hearing. (Heb 5:11)

And we desire that each one of you show the same eagerness to the full assurance of hope to the end, that you be not slothful, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.  (Heb 6:11-12)

But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, even those who because of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.  (Heb 5:14)

For indeed because of the time, you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again what are the first principles of the oracles of God. And you have become in need of milk, and not of solid food.  (Heb 5:12)

This all means that it is hard for the Word of God to penetrate their hearts and minds, either because they cannot understand It or because they are lazy. This is true especially in the parts that condemn sin and reprove people. It is hard to tell the difference between the infant and the nonbeliever in this sense because neither understands the Word. The difference between the infant in the faith and the nonbeliever is that the infant will desire the milk of the Word and seek a teacher to lead him or her while the nonbeliever will be too proud for such things. The infant has a hard time discerning between good and evil and must be taught how, from the Word of God. The nonbeliever also does not know how to discern between good and evil and is not willing to learn.

II. The nonbeliever has many of the same characteristics as the infant and he may even be mixed in the church with the infants.

He is able to hide among them because he looks much like them, except that he will remain as he is while the infants in the faith will begin to grow.

But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. (Rom 8:9)

The infants were fleshly before they entered the faith but now they are spiritual. If they are fed then they will mature quickly. If they are not fed the Word then they will remain infants and be in grave danger. Any infant, physically speaking, who does not grow and mature suffers from some kind of sickness. The nonbeliever remains fleshly, even if he joins the church because he has not been transformed. He will be as he was when he first walked in. Here are the characteristics of the nonbelievers:

  1. fleshly minded
  2. dull of hearing
  3. cannot discern between good and evil
  4. lazy
  5. he is deceived (he can be in the church and still not be a believer)

III. The third category is made up of the mature believers.

They are much different than the other two groups. They were once fleshly but they came to Christ and when they were infants in the faith, they had a teacher who fed them the Word of God and they have been growing ever since. They are now able to teach others.

For indeed because of the time, you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again what are the first principles of the oracles of God. And you have become in need of milk, and not of solid food. (Heb 5:12)

They imitate others who live by faith and they, themselves, are worthy of being imitated because of their maturity in the faith.

that you be not slothful, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Heb 6:12)

They have a desire for the spiritual truths for the Word of God. They are not lazy, instead, they study hard so that they can feed themselves, live by what they learn, and then teach others the same.

So my friend, which category do you find yourself in? Are you a mature Christian? Are you striving toward maturity? Are you newly born again, an infant in need of a teacher and the Word of God? Or are you a nonbeliever? The nonbelievers can deceive themselves by joining the church and hanging out with the infants which makes it hard to distinguish between them for a while. I would like to close with the advice that we find in Hebrews 6:1

Therefore, having left the discourse of the beginning of Christ, let us go on to full growth, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

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