Summary: Spiritual Growth demands progression: From Learing to Living, and From Lingering to Leaving.
SPIRITUAL NEVER LAND
We all know the classic tale of Peter Pan, the boy who refuses to become a man. In the same way some Christians refuse to grow up in Christ. According to our text spiritual maturation requires a progression.
I. From Learning to Living Heb. 5:11-14
A. These Christians didn’t have a learning disability.
1. They had a spiritual disability.
a. Their ignorance was willful.
b. The were showing an absolute refusal to study God’s word.
2. This impacted their spiritual development. They had been Christians long enough that they should be teachers.
B. Spiritual ignorance, willful or otherwise, is always treated as a serious problem in the bible.
C. True spirituality is a “subject” which cannot be learned in a classroom.
1. It must be learned by living in right relationship with God. (It is “Lab work”)
2. In vs. 14 the Hebrew writer uses the idea of an athlete who trains for competition, he suggests that righteousness is acquired through regular use of things learned and practiced.
II. From Lingering to Leaving Heb. 6:1
A. Some Christians prefer the security of perpetual preparation for service to the challenges of actually living for Christ.
1. Instead of building upon the foundation of their faith, they continue to lay the foundation again and again.
2. They never seek new experiences in Christian living.
B. One’s religion is a good place to hide from God.
1. Affirming doctrine is much easier than living in devotion.
2. Simply following rituals and tradition is much easier than practicing one’s Spirituality.
C. There is no “status quo” in righteousness.
1. To stand still is to slip back.
a. “Green and Growin’ or Ripe and Rottening”
b. Christians must continue to grow or they begin to die.
2. Living in a state of paralyzed spirituality will ultimately lead one toward falling away.
Peter Pan is one of Disney’s all time great’s, but it is a terrible model for life. Anyone who only “does” Christianity is in a dangerous situation, the gospel calls us to grow in Christ continually.
The story is told of a transfer student who enrolled in a class at his new college almost identical to one he had already completed at another college. When the instructor learned of this he asked the student why he was willing to invest his money, time and energy in a class he had already taken. The student replied, “Because I know I can do well in it. I won’t have to study in order to pass.” Five years later, this same student was still taking classes even though he had enough credits to graduate. He preferred the security of his educational “nest” to the unpredictable “real world.” He was intentionally prolonging the preparation phase of his life at the expense of the productive phase.
Some Christians do much the same in the church. We will never be able to study the bible enough to say “I don’t need to study anymore,” yet if all we do is “Do” church, (come to bible study, worship, activities ) then we can no more call ourselves a Christian than the man who holds a position on a football team who attends all the workouts, practices, and watches all the films but never show up for the game can say he is a member of the team.
James 4:17"Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”