Summary: This message is a part of a series on the book of Hebrews. It deals with some questions that demonstrate our level of spiritual maturity.
TEXT: Hebrews 5:11-14
ETS; The apostle warns the Hebrew believers that they need to grow up in Christ.
ESS: Believers ought to grow to the place where they can teach others who are less mature.
OSS: Believers will commit to the task of growing spiritually.
PQ: How can I tell if I am mature spiritually?
TOPIC:” It’s time to Grow!”
SERIES: ”Oh, What a Savior”
The Word of God abounds with passages that instruct us to grow in our faith and Christ-likeness.
Note three questions that will help to determine where you are in your spiritual growth.
I. DO YOU REALLY HEAR THE WORD OF GOD WHEN IT IS SPOKEN (V. 11)?
A. Sometimes the word is not spoken in easy words.
1. God’s Word is always profitable (2 Tim. 3:16).
2. God’s Word is not always pleasant to hear (text)
a. God’s word through the old Testament Prophets was not always easy on the ears.
1) Micaiah’s words to Ahab ((1 Ki. 22:8-28).
2) John the Baptist’s words (Matt. 14:3-4).
B. Sometimes we refuse to hear God’s Word.
1. We become “dull” of hearing. (nwqroj = slow, sluggish, indolent, dull, languid).
a. This indicates a condition in which we refuse to accept God’s message as being from Him.
1) Note how we are to receive it (1Thess. 2:13).
b. We get angry instead of looking for God’s message.
c. We look around to see who it might apply to instead of examining ourselves.
1) Lady who told me “I just wish the one who needed that message was here today.”
II. ARE YOU FIXATED ON BEING TAUGHT WHEN YOU OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO TEACH OTHERS (V. 12)?
A. There should come a time when we can help disciple and teach others who are not as far along as we are.
1. This does not refer to teaching the multitudes, but one on one or in small groups.
2. If we are actively studying we will be able to teach others (2 Tim. 2:15).
3. Are you knowledgeable enough to help a young believer to grow?
B. There should come a time when we are beyond being taught the elementary principles of the Christian life.
1. arch = that by which anything begins to be, the origin, the active cause
2. stoiceion = any first thing, from which the others belonging to some series or composite whole take their rise, an element, first principal; the letters of the alphabet as the elements of speech, not however the written characters, but the spoken sounds
3. We should grow to have a firm grasp of the basics of salvation and the Christian life (.2 Pe 3:18 ).
III. ARE YOU STILL ON AN INFANT’S DIET (V. 12b-13)?
A. Many people are deceived into thinking they are mature who are not.
1. This is why there are so many admonitions in scripture to grow.(Eph. 4:15; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18).
2. This is why there is so much conflict in churches.
a. There are some folk who base their decisions and opinions on feelings or worldly ideas, rather than through the grid of scriptural truth.
(Note: 2 Tim. 3:16).
B. The test of maturity begins here:
1. Are you still on the milk of the word of God?
2. Are you still governing your actions, attitudes, and decisions on “feelings” or worldly ideas?
IV. ARE YOU DIGESTING THE MEAT OF GOD’S WORD (V.14)?
A. Meat is for the more mature believer.
1. We can’t expect the new believer to understand and live at the same level of commitment that mature Christians do.
2. The Lord will bring them from where they are to where they need to be.
a. Even Peter had to be brought through a growth process (Read the Gospels).
b. We don’t expect a human infant to be able to digest steak or other hard to digest foods.
B. Mature believers “digest” and use the meat of the Word.
1. This means receiving God’s word in a reflective and constructive manner.
2. This means allowing the “senses” to be affected (exercised) by God’s Word.
3. Causes a heightened sense of “good and evil”.
a. Sharpens the sense of what is right and wrong.
b. Sin becomes “exceeding sinful” (Rom 7:13,22-24).