Are we growing toward maturity or are we like the Hebrews Christians who had stopped growing:
Hebrews 5:11-14: “There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.”
Hebrews 6:1-2: “So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.”
These Christians failed to grow because of starvation. They deprived themselves of food, the doctrinal truths in God’s Word. They could only drink the most basic concepts – the milk. They could not chew any of the hard doctrine. These adults were still on the bottle, still being rocked in the nursery, still sucking their thumbs. They were like baby Christians and were in danger of losing their souls because they were neglecting their salvation.
The Word of God is clear – people are to grow into maturity, to fail to grow is a sin – it is considered backsliding, neglecting your salvation. The Bible teaches us that the reason God gave evangelists and elders to the church is to develop or help the people mature in the Lord. God did not give spiritual infants to the church to mature the church. He started with apostles and prophets, and evangelists and elders. After a period of time, a church leadership should have mature members who all participate in the ministry. God expects each and every member to participate in the church, using their talents and abilities. He does not expect them to sit around like a turtle on a log for 10, 20, 30 years.
2 Peter 3:17-18 – “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”