“Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity: Not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God; and of instructions about washings; the laying on of hands; the resurrection of the dead; and eternal judgement. (And) this we will do if God permits.” Heb 6:1-3.
There is a key imperative in this passage: “…on to maturity.” The implied exhortation is to press in, to pursue becoming mature; don’t get stuck at the beginning of the Cross journey and be satisfied. There is soooo much more ahead…
I was taught that when I see the word “therefore” I need to see what it is “there for?” In this case I roll back and take a look at the end of Hebrews 5 to get a run up into Hebrews 6: “About this we have much to say (and it is hard to explain) since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the Oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food-for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the Word of righteousness since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature; for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (verses 11-14).
I see the writer of Hebrews isn’t much restrained from telling it like he sees it.
I wonder what the readers of this Letter are doing? If they are doing something, it stands to reason I am may be leaning the same way. Why do I become dull of hearing? Why do I need to hear again the basic principles of Christ and the Cross? Why aren’t I pushing along to maturity? I think that the answers for me are the following:
1. I am not awestruck. When was the last time I was stricken with the Awe of God? When did I last think about anything majestic about my Savior, His Father, and/or the Holy Spirit? Why am I not continually in Awe??
2. I do not take a Principle and apply it with diligence. Take a scriptural principle, any of them. Work to make the outside knowledge of that Principle an internal habit-change in my heart, mind, and conduct. Man, I don’t even try to hold myself accountable to the face in the mirror, much less to my wife, or other men in my life.
3. I give up easily. I have to face that there are moments, long moments, that I am the “sandy soil” Jesus talks about in that parable: I take root quickly but when the heat and the drought come I shrivel up and stop growing.
4. I forget. Just like the constant sin of Israel I forget-I forget quickly and thoroughly. I think that is why teaching of milk principles is so prevalent-the sin of forgetfulness. This is more than being absentminded: It is forgetting the Goodness of God, the Character of God, the Attributes of God, etc. I forget about Him because I let something else come into that place.
Father-Life is hard. I feel it today deep in my bones. I want relief. So did You, Lord Jesus. Even though my life isn’t anywhere like Yours was, you know what I am whining about. Give me power and gumption, Lord, to press into maturity-when things are good feeling, let me press in harder so that, when things are bad feeling I have strong mature habits in You to fall upon. Let Your Word dwell in me richly so that I can accurately discern and distinguish good from evil. AMEN.