Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,Hebrews 6:1(NASB)
Whenever we see the word, 'therefore' in the Bible, we have to ask the question, 'what is it there for?' We must understand that this word is qualifying something that went before. We must read the Bible in context, and recognise that the word, 'therefore', is joining us to something important that went before.
Because of some issue that was mentioned in the previous chapter or verses, we are instructed: "Therefore, leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God."
We are being instructed to grow up spiritually in our Christian faith, and not to remain stuck in early Christian infancy. We are also prompted to look for the reason that we are to advance to spiritual adulthood, instead of remaining in spiritual childhood or adolescence, and we are cautioned against being stunted in our spiritual development, in the preceding verses.
Once we are saved by grace through faith in Christ, we are to grow and mature in our Christian walk. And so we are urged to move on from the initial salvation message, where we are justified by faith, and are urged to grow in a knowledge of our Lord and Saviour - as we press on to spiritual maturity.
We are not to simply remain with the initial joy in believing that we are a sinner for whom Christ died, but are to grow in grace so that our joy may become full. We are not to constantly revisit the sins that have already been forgiven and keep on repenting of those same sins. We are to move on from the simple understanding that good works cannot save us, to a life that is lived in the power of the Spirit, as we abide in Christ and He in us. We are to progress into a deeper relationship with the Lord, and to develop a more secure faith in Christ's sufficient grace, in every circumstance of life.
We are to grow from being a baby Christian, whose main focus is the importance of repenting of our pre-salvation sins and bathing in the joy of being saved, into becoming a mature believer, where we develop an abiding fellowship with the Father, by walking in the light of His glorious truth and being continuously cleansed through His sufficient grace - as we rest in our Saviour's love.
We are to abide in Christ and He is us, which is achieved by a continuous cleansing - as we live out our Christian life in spirit and in truth. We are to stop being bottle-fed with the simple justification truths of Scripture and are to start to wrestle with the tougher aspects of our Christian faith, where we learn obedience by the things that we suffer, through a process of ongoing sanctification - where we are being conformed into the likeness of Jesus, Himself.
We rejoice at the birth of a new-born baby in the natural realm, but we would soon become concerned if that little baby did not begin to develop and grow through infancy and childhood, into adolescence and mature adulthood - and it is the same in the Christian life. The spiritual growth of a believer should be the outcome of our new life in Christ.
At salvation, we are given ALL that we need for life and godliness - as recorded in the Word of God. The privileges we have in Christ will ensure that we develop from infancy into spiritual maturity. God has given us His sufficient grace so that we may live as Christ lived - in spirit and in truth, but we are to appropriate all that is ours in Him... by abiding in Him, submitting to the Holy Spirit's guidance, and trusting in His Word.
How important, therefore, that we read, mark, learn, inwardly digest, and apply all that is ours in Christ. How essential that we do not remain in spiritual infancy or become deaf to the great biblical truths that are ours in Christ. How vital to mature in the faith and feed on the meat of the Word of God - so that we may progress in the faith, share the good news of the gospel with others, and be ready to give an answer for the hope that we have - to all that are interested.
Heavenly Father, I pray that I may mature in the faith and walk in the light, as He is in the light. Help me to move on from dabbling in the elementary teachings of Christianity and I pray that I may grow into a deeper awareness of all that You would teach me. Help me to grow in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus. Keep me walking in spirit and truth and enable me to learn patient endurance so that I may become perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Help me to increasingly abide in Christ and He in me, to Your greater praise and glory. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.
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