Summary: Growing up is not an option for a Christian. Growing up is the definition of a Christian: a Christians grows to be like Christ.
Hebrews 5:11 – 6:20
SCRIPTURE READING: Hebrews 5:11-14
Everybody loves babies! I often hear people say, Oh, they just grow up too fast! But part of what makes babies so appealing is that they are constantly growing and learning. I know Susan and I are having a great time watching our delightful, good-lookin’, brilliant, healthy, sweet, adorable, … (did I mention good-lookin’) … anyway, we enjoy watching our grandchildren grow up. The real shame is when a baby DOESN’T grow up. We start to worry if a baby is slow to learn.
That’s also the first sign of spiritual trouble. Hebrews 5:11 says 11We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. Look at the next verses to see all about HOW SPIRITUAL BABIES LOOK.
1. How Spiritual Babies Look Hebrews 5:11-6:3
For one thing, Spiritual Babies keep jibber-jabbering a bunch of baby talk long after they should have out-grown it. Even after years of being Christians, they still can’t articulate their faith. In fact, these fat little babies are still drinking milk out of bottles when they should be eating steak. They expect someone else to feed them when they should be able to feed themselves. (It reminds me of that Amy Grant song: Fat Little Baby)
Another problem with Spiritual Babies is that they are clueless when it comes to right and wrong. In their little minds, they can’t be held responsible if they do something wrong. After all --- they are just babies. Well, it’s easy to spot a baby … unless YOU’re the baby. So take a minute for a personal inventory. How is your own maturity level looking?
w Are you able to talk about your faith in Christ? (tell about the men’s group and God Stories)
w Have you moved past the basics of Christianity? Are you learning deeper truths? (that’s one thing Pueblo groups help us do)
w Do you study God’s Word on your own, or do you wait for someone else to feed it to you?
w Do you base your moral choices on God’s Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit? Or are you looking for someone else to give you a list of rules that you can follow without having to think for yourself?
Growing up as a Christian is no small matter. Hebrews doesn’t pull any punches when it describes the kind of damage Spiritual Babies can do.
2. What Spiritual Babies Do Hebrews 6:4-8
4It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
That is a harsh warning! In fact, it is one of the most severe warnings in the New Testament. People get into all kinds of theological arguments about these verses. They argue over whether someone can “lose their salvation” But these verses don’t talk about“losing” anything.
It’s not like you’re going to get to the end of a day and think, “whoops, now where did I put that salvation?” We’re not talking about a person who merely makes a mistake or commits a sin. You’re not saved one minute and lost the next depending on how the day is going!
We’re talking about a person who makes a choice FOR God, then willfully turns AGAINST God. The writer of Hebrews used several phrases that show this person was connected to God at some point. They were enlightened. They tasted the heavenly gift and shared in the Holy Spirit. They tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age.
But after all that, they fall away. In other words, they come to know Jesus personally, but --- in the end --- they turn their back on the crucified Lord. In fact, they actually crucify the Son of God all over again and subject him to public disgrace.
This is the danger for a Christian who fails to Grow Up. You see, growing is not just an option for a Christian. Growing is the definition of a Christian. A Christian grows to be like Christ. It’s transformation. It’s metamorphosis.
In fact, a word that is commonly in use today describes how a Christian grows. The word is MORPH. For any of you who are technologically challenged: Morph is a term used by computer enthusiasts for melding two images into one image. You can actually buy a software program to morph two images together into one. Sometimes that can be comical. But how many of us really expect that every Christian will Morph into the image of Christ?