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Summary: How many people have professed Jesus and never grown? They professed Jesus years ago and have remained spiritual babes for years. They never discern fully right from wrong.

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Heb 5:12-14 (13)

INTRO: Peter Pan Syndrome

1. A person becomes immature because he refuses to grow up spiritually

The Hebrew believers refused to move beyond the first principles of God’s Word.

"First principles" (stoicheia tēs archēs) means the basic principles of God’s Word, the elementary teachings, the ABC’s of God’s Word. They are the very basic teachings of salvation and of spiritual growth, such teachings as...

A person should be saved

A person should grow spiritually

A person should live righteously

A person should worship

A person should keep the rituals and ceremonies of religion

Such basic truths as these are the milk of God’s Word.

A young believer -- a babe in Jesus

First principles of God’s Word are said to be the milk upon which he/she is to feed.

To grow until he/she is feeding upon the meat of the Word—studying and growing a mature understanding of life in Jesus.

The Hebrew believers -- spiritual dwarfs

Sharing the glorious message of Jesus with their friends -- But they were unable

Why? Because they were immature—so immature that they themselves needed someone to re-teach them the first principles of God’s Word

How many people have professed Jesus and never grown? They professed Jesus years ago and have remained spiritual babes for years.

2. A person becomes immature because of being unskilled in the Word

The Hebrew believers remained unskilled in the Word of righteousness

God Himself is the standard of all believers; the righteousness of God means the righteousness which belongs to God

Righteousness: Being right with God and doing what is right

This means two things

a. Jesus is "the Word of righteousness." He is the righteousness of God. A person must believe and stand in the righteousness of Jesus. The righteousness of Jesus is a person’s only hope of ever being acceptable to God.

This is the very message of the gospel; it is the gospel of salvation

But the Hebrew believers—some of them—did not fully understand the message. They did not understand and had not experienced the righteousness of Jesus. The word "unskilled" (apeiros) means to be inexperienced. They professed Jesus and His righteousness, but they had never grasped or experienced Him—not fully—not in a mature sense. Note the verse: although this person is a church member, "he is a babe.”

b. The Word of God is "the Word of righteousness." Righteousness means all the teachings of God’s Word.

It is the Bible that teaches us all about God, Jesus, human beings, life, the world, and how to live righteous and godly lives.

But think for a moment: think about God, just one of these subjects. Think about how vast and glorious God is. How much study and how long it would take to study and grasp the truth of God

The Hebrew believers were unwilling to put the time and energy into learning about God.

Therefore, they never experienced the righteousness of God’s Word.

They were not living righteous or godly lives; they were not experiencing the fullness of life that Jesus had come to give them

As the verse says about each of the professing believers "they are babes."

3. A person becomes immature because they do not exercise their mental and spiritual senses

Note these facts.

a. It is possible to reach maturity in Jesus. A person can grow spiritually until he is fully grown and mature in Jesus. This is what God expects of us all

Note what a mature person is. A mature or fully grown person is a person who discerns between good and evil. He is a person who lives a righteous and godly life. He has gone beyond...

Just attending worship and Bible studies

Just keeping the rituals and ceremonies of religion

Just giving money

Just reading the Bible

Just praying

The mature believer does all of these things, yes, but he does more, much more

He studies the Word of God.

He sets blocks of time aside every day to pray and worship.

He lives and moves and has his being in prayer; that is, he continually prays.

He keeps his mind and thoughts upon Jesus and obedience to Him.

He witnesses for Jesus, sharing the glorious salvation from the evil and death of this world.

He discerns both good and evil, and does the good.

The mature believer lives for Jesus. He discerns between the good and evil.

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