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. Hebrews 5:12-14
Welcome, Young Believer! We have covered a lot of ground this last month on the basics of what it means to be a Christian and we're going to keep building up that foundation in our next few studies. This has been a wonderful time of review for me as well. Sometimes when you've been a Christian for years it can be easy to get bogged down in deep theological arguments and forget the simple truths of Scripture.
This was happening in the early Judeo-Christian Church but almost in reverse. Instead of diving deeper into the Scriptures and growing closer to God through faith, they were continuously sliding back into the idea that they needed to keep all the instructions and traditions of the Law in order to earn their justification. Instead of being motivated to good works by the overflowing of the work of the Spirit in their hearts and lives, they were still afraid that if they didn't keep the Law to the letter then they would be cast out. Having the knowledge of what would save them but not yet having accepted it, they were struggling.
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 instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. Hebrews 6:1-8
The church in Corinth was struggling with division over which teacher they preferred to follow: Paul, or their new teacher Apollos a Jew from Alexandria who was helping to evangelize Greece, or the Apostle Peter, and a final party who said the Church should follow Jesus. Doctrinally Paul, Apollos, and Peter were teaching exactly the same thing which is the Gospel of Christ Jesus.
But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building. 1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Paul explains to these young believers that he and the other men who have been teaching them the good news of the Gospel should not be the focus of their devotion or a reason for their division. God is the one who is planting and growing His Church through the work of these men, just as He is at work today.
What should become clear to us from both of these instances is that change takes place from the moment we are born again as Believers. The change doesn't stop there, no! We are to keep growing in our faith, keep growing closer to God, and continue growing in the good fruit produced by the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
At the same time, we will never grow out of a need to have a right understanding of the basics of the Gospel. We simply go from merely hearers and receivers of the Good News to proclaimers and teachers of the Good News!
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:11-16
In large part, this is the goal of Equipped for The Kingdom! We want to help you as you mature in your faith to equip you to go out in service of your churches, sharing the Gospel with others, and rightly understanding the Word of God so that you can combat the false doctrines so prevalent in our churches and culture today.
If you have more questions about what it means to grow in maturity of faith please place those in the comments. We would also love to hear about the work you're seeing God do in your life! I also highly recommend, as always, that you find a mentor in the faith that will help to walk you through these issues as you grow in your faith. This is one journey you were never meant to take alone!