Summary: Salvation is a life changing event. When a person receives the gift of salvation the Bible states that they have become a new creation and have been born again.Too many have remained infantile and need to grow up.
Time to Grow Up
Salvation is a life changing event. When a person receives the gift of salvation the Bible states that they have become a new creation and have been born again. 1 Corinthians likens the life of a born-again believer to laying a foundation and then building upon that foundation. The writer of Hebrews is concerned with the fact that those to whom he had written had not started building on that foundation but were remaining infantile in their faith. He tells them it’s time to grow up.
I. There are four levels of spiritual development in almost every congregation.
A. Those who have no foundation – (the Unsaved)
1. These are those who are unsaved and are deceived into believing that they are OK.
a. Their false hopes are based on the following based lies:
• They are not bad that they are basically a good person. These people usually compare their "goodness" to other people’s "goodness," rather than to God’s measuring stick - Jesus Christ. - Romans 3:10 “...There is none righteous, no, not one”
• They do good works: they give to charity & feed the poor. They feel that God will accept them for their good deeds and humanitarianism. - Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
• They belong to a church. They have baptized, confirmed, taken communion, and may have even become deacons or hold leadership positions in a church. – Matthew 15:8-9 “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men”
• They have prayed some rote prayer and now everything is ok. They prayed what is known as the “sinner’s prayer”. They did so without a full recognition of who they are and Who God is; they missed an important element of salvation – REPENTANCE. - Turning from self and sin giving God the ownership of your life. Romans 10:9 “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord (Kurios – owner) and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
b. They are deceived and unless they turn to Christ they will hear the fateful words of Matthew 7:23 “And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me...”
2. Those who are unsaved and know that they are lost.
a. These are those who know that if they died today they would go to hell, but are willing to gamble on tomorrow. Like Agrippa they are waiting for a more convenient time. But they may find themselves echoing the words of Jeremiah 8:20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”
b. These are those who know that they are lost and could care less. They are described in Psalms 10:4-“In his pride, the wicked does not seek Him. In all his thoughts, there is no room for God.”
c. These are those who are under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and need to listen and respond to God’s call.
B. Those who have a foundation but have never started to build on that foundation ( the Saved but shallow)
1. These are those who have accepted Christ but have never developed a spiritual appetite.
a. Satisfied with a smidgeon of God.
b. Hebrews 5:11b-13 “…you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.”
c. Dull = they were spiritually slothful and lazy in their Christian lives.
d. The insightful Puritan writer Thomas Brooks wrote that “A lazy Christian will always lack four things: comfort, content, confidence and assurance... (adding that) an idle life and a holy heart are a contradiction.” - copied
e. Someone else said “If you’re not making time daily to spend in God’s Word and in prayer, you’re not growing, you’re shrinking!”
f. 1 Peter 2:2 “As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby.”
g. Bob DeWaay writes that “Babies are wonderful, so are baby Christians if one means those who have recently come to the faith. The author of Hebrews, however, is speaking of babes of a different variety. These "babes" are in a state of perpetual infancy. They lack the interest and ability to understand Biblical teaching of any complexity and consequently lack discernment. Geriatric spiritual babies love to be entertained and amused like their counterparts in the nursery…” – Bob DeWaay, The Danger of Perpetual Infancy