Friday, 26 November 2021
“…let us press on unto perfection...” Hebrews 6:1 [ASV]
The Christian life should be a life of continual growth and advancing in spiritual maturity and perfection in Christ. We are not called to remain as ‘babes in Christ’, ‘but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.’ (2 Peter 3:18). In Hebrews 5:11-14 the author sharply rebukes believers who continue to remain immature and have not pressed on to spiritual maturity and begins Heb.6:1[AMP] with the encouragement, “Therefore let us get past the elementary stage in the teachings about the Christ, advancing on to maturity and perfection and spiritual completeness…”
Hebrews 6:1-2 gives 6 foundational doctrines of Christianity: repentance from dead works, of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. The foundation has already been laid in our lives. We cannot just remain at the basic foundation, but need to build on the foundation. We are called to “press on to perfection and spiritually maturity.”
In Hebrews 6:4-6, the author reveals the danger of not pressing on to spiritual maturity. Those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come… (Vs 4) refers to people who have received the free gift of salvation by faith in Christ and personally experienced God’s love in their lives, but have not grown or matured in their relationship with the Lord and eventually abandoned their faith. They have drifted away and fallen to the extent that it is impossible to bring them back to repentance. This is a serious warning! Just like the Israelites who in the wilderness had experienced the mighty presence, deliverance and provisions of the Lord, yet failed to trust in the Lord wholeheartedly, perished in the wilderness, not entering His rest.
The author further uses the illustration of a field bearing thorns and thistles to show the life of one who has abandoned Christ and for whom the eternal punishment is a certainty. In John 15:1-8, Jesus Himself speaks of the end for the branches in Him that do not bear fruit - they will be cut off and burned! Understanding the peril of not maturing, let us strive to grow in a closer relationship with the Lord, to be like the land that drinks up rain which often falls on it and produces crops useful for whose benefit it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God (Vs 7). We are called to abide in Christ - the true vine and bear much fruit, proving ourselves to be true disciples and thus glorifying the Father (John 15:8).
Spiritual maturity should be the goal of every believer. How can we grow spiritually?
Continual meditation on the Word of God (Joshua 1:8, Phil. 4:8)
Fellowship with the Lord in prayer (Psalm 105:4, Matt.6:6, 1 Peter 5:6-7)
Evaluate our lives and confess our sins, to keep a clean walk (1 John 1:9)
Walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-17)
We need to be disciplined in pursuing godliness and growing into Christ-likeness. Striving for spiritual maturity should become the habit or way of life of a believer. This is God’s desire for us that “we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. …speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13-15)
Let this be our attitude: “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12)