Hebrews: Spiritual Maturity
Adult Bible Classes May 1 & 4 - Hebrews 5 - 6:8
What is spiritual maturity? For that matter, what is maturity in general?
The word carries with it several connotations. We may think of maturity in the sense of acting and responding to circumstances with a behavior that characterizes an adult–not childlike. If you deal in finances, you may understand the word as something that has completed or reached the end of a contractual period–"the loan has matured." Regardless, the meaning of the word universally implies change over time. Maturation requires the passage of time and the transformation of the object.
Financial securities begin as the principle investment and mature with the application of interest. Likewise in the childhood to adult transition, it is assumed that a person, through experience gained, will cease to act as a child and base their decision making on knowledge that has been attained (1 Corinthians 13:11).
One truly remarkable facet of the scriptures is the relative simplicity with which the material can be understood and made tangible (Ephesians 3:4-5). The concept of maturity is not a difficult one, but we must work to reach that spiritual age. Hebrews 5, and the beginning of the following chapter, give us the supreme example of the maturation process and our Father’s expectation of us in that regard. Here we find the author discussing the earthly priesthood and how Christ fulfills this role perfectly. Yet in verse 11, he abruptly pauses his discussion to rebuke the readers for becoming "dull of hearing."
You see, there was an expectation: these Christians had some experience, and they should be teaching others. But it seems they needed to be reacquainted with the basics of their faith. Ultimately, the maturity process should have been yielding a strong ability to discern good from evil. But they weren't there; at least some in the audience were at risk of slipping into those things that would pull them out of relationship with God (Hebrews 6:6). The same apostasy is possible today if we are flippant or nonchalant in our walk with Jesus.
God wants us to grow to our full potential. That requires getting some foundational truths about God, our souls, and the purpose of this life squarely in place in our minds (Hebrews 6:1-2). And once we've tasted that spiritual milk, we should crave to feast on the superior spiritual meat, all for the sake of glorifying God and living our lives for Him (Hebrews 6:7; Ephesians 2:10). The consequences of turning away again from God will be devastating (Hebrews 6:6, 8).
Spiritual maturity is about falling more in love with God and desiring to do His will to the best of our ability. Instead of being dull of hearing when God speaks in our lives, let us instead have ears to hear (Matthew 11:15) and strive to be all that our Heavenly Father desires us to be.
In addition to our workbook, consider the following thoughts for our next two classes. All are welcome to come and discuss as we feast upon God's word!
- Why did God institute the priesthood under the Old Law?
- How was Jesus heard when he offered prayers and supplications to God? Why was he heard?
- Are the doctrines outlined in Hebrews 6:1-2 elements of Judaism or Christianity?
- Explain Hebrews 6:3. What role does God play in our maturation process?