"Why Grow Spiritually?"
From Hebrews 5:11- 6:8, a warning is given as to what can happen if we don’t continue to grow spiritually. The warning is strong and causes great fear to some Christians. If we don’t grow it appears it is much easier to turn away from truth.
Why Grow Spiritually?
A. I am a great preacher. How do I know that so confidently? Well, first of all, you all remember the main points of the sermons that I have preached the last two Sundays and have worked hard a putting them into action. Okay, looking at the face of some of you, I am beginning to question that opening statement.
B. How we do you remember the sermon from two weeks ago? How much did the classes and sermon lead you in your spiritual walk during the week? Ah, now I see my problem. Your growing spiritually is not my responsibility. My job is to give you the tools and to help in your walk, but it’s really your decision as to how much God you want in your daily life.
C. Have you ever felt frustrated with a person when you try to explain something to them and no matter how much you try they just don’t get it. When it comes to our spiritual lives it is also frustrating when someone you love seems to be stuck in their spiritual walk. They are not growing, and it may be difficult to say they are falling away, but the truth is you expect more from them than they expect from themselves.
D. Listen to 1 Cor. 3:1-3. Paul is sharing his frustration with the church in Corinth because they refuse to put into actions the Christian principles they have already learned. He would love to have a deeper study with them, but until they grow spiritually, that study can only go so far. The point is this: It is not so much how much you know, but how much you apply what you know.
I. Kindergarten Mentality
A. The Hebrew writer has an issue with his listeners and readers should already know. At what point in time does a spiritual leader say to a group of people, “It’s time you guys grow up. It’s time to put your knowledge into action”
B. Hear the frustration of the writer (Heb. 5:11-14). By this time, that is his phrase. There comes a time when people who have been Christians for a period of time need to act and grow like Christians who have matured in Christ. The writer uses the phrase “dull of hearing.” This phrase means sluggish, some would translate it as lazy. Not only have these people been not pushed on with their spiritual growth, they are content to be where they are. I can’t make you want more for your spiritual life than you do. That is something you have to determine.
C. Staying immature or even stepping backwards happens when we become content to drift away from the word of God. These readers are slow to hear God. It is not that they can’t, it is that they won’t. By this time they ought to be the spiritual teachers, but instead, they still need someone teaching them the things they should have grasped years ago. It like living in perpetual spiritual kindergarten.
II. Go On To Maturity
A. Then we come to our reading today (Heb. 6:1-3). The idea of “hear, but do nothing” is Satan’s success story. In essence the Hebrew writer is saying is there is a time and a place for Christian kindergarten, but by this point in time you should be beyond that.
B. It is time to “leave the elementary doctrine of Christ.” It is time to get out of kindergarten and move on in your faith. We are on a journey but too often we want to simply sit and do nothing. God is a great God and has given us everything we need for life and godliness. Our response needs to be to “go on to maturity.”
C. I like being saved, but I don’t like repenting. I like calling Jesus my savior, but I don’t like the idea of lordship. I want a religion that makes me feel good but costs me little by way of my time, talents and character. I want to play in the shallow end of the spiritual pool and think I am swimming in the deep end. I need to move beyond the basics of “how to become a child of God” and start growing as a child of God. The elementary things are my foundation to keep moving on.
III. Extreme Warning
A. What happens when Christians don’t grow? Generally, they fall way. Not because of some particular incident, but because they stop drawing near to God. “Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord.” The writer gives a warning that is difficult to accept. One that pushes an extreme. Listen to Heb. 6:4-6.
B. Do these verses cause you to fear just a little? If they do, I think you don’t have to worry about them being true in your life right now. These verses are about people who have made life choices that walk away from God. So I can’t lose my salvation, my gift from God, like I lose my keys. One moment I have them in hand and the next I can’t find them. That is not a Bible teaching about God’s gift of eternal life. When you want to give up on God because you think God has given up on you, that is Satan trying to snatch away your hope. I understand sin, terrible sin, in our mind. But I cannot out sin God’s grace. Rom. 5:18-21 teaches that where sin increased, grace increases all the more. It is not matter of being too sinful for God.
C. When you examine our text and many of the other passages, what you find is NOT that a Christian being condemned because God is angry because of too many sins, but because that Christian refuse to repent and turn again to God. Hear me out. I believe that we do not arbitrarily lose our salvation (we’re saved, we’re lost, we’re saved, we’re lost), but yes, we can ultimately reject our salvation.
D. What I want you to notice is that the Bible is teaching that the problem is with us, not with God. It is not that God is unable to forgive; it is that the Christian is no longer able to repent. It becomes impossible from their choice, not God’s. That is why the writer will tell us in chapter 10 about what happens if we “deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of truth.” The rejection is us to God. We walk away from what God has freely given to us.
A. To keep this whole context together, you have to finish this passage. READ Heb. 6:9-12. The Hebrew writer is giving a warning, not a condemnation. The warning should drive us closer to the God who loves us, gave his son for us, and called us to become his own. That God isn’t throwing me or you away; he’s begging you to stay close.
B. Let the pain of sin in your life drive you to God not away from God. God desires you, I hope you desire Him. If we can encourage your walk with the Lord, then come as we stand and sing.
Because of Jesus,
Jeffrey Dillinger, minister