Thursday, May 5, 2011

Growing to Maturity | Part IV

Therefore, leaving the elementary message about the Messiah, let us go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, faith in God, teaching about ritual washings, laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And we will do this if God permits.  Hebrews 6:1-3  (HCSB)

As the writer gives us this exhortation, he suggests three things that are necessary if we are to reach Christian maturity.
  1. Maturity Requires a Great Departure
  2. Maturity Requires a Firm Determination

Next the writer says, And we will do this.  That is a statement of determination, of high resolve.  We can't be content to remain infants in our Christian experience.  We must make a commitment to go on to Christian maturity. 

No one drifts into Christian maturity, but you can drift into sin.  The Bible says, For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. (Hebrews 2:1) To drift describes the ship that has broken loose from the dock and has been taken by the current downstream and away from the harbor of safety.  In exactly the same way, many people drift into sin.  They don't intend to do it.  Sometimes they aren't even aware it is happening, but they turn loose of Christ for a moment and begin to drift away from him.  You can drift into sin.  But you cannot drift into Christian maturity.

You can fall into sin.  The Bible says, Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Galatians 6:1  The verb "caught" means to trip up and fall accidentally.  It describes a man who is walking down an icy road when suddenly his feet slip out from under him and before he knows it he is on the ground.  Quite often that happens to people spiritually.  They accidentally fall into sin.  But if you ever become mature in the faith, you will have to climb there.  You reach it only by true determination.

In 1925 George Mallory and a group of Englishmen determined to climb Mt. Everest. Mt. Everest is the highest point on the face of the earth. It is 29028 feet high. The party started climbing the mountain and set up a base camp at 25,000 feet. George Mallory and one of his companions continued the climb while the rest of the men stayed at the base camp below. The two men lost their footing and fell to their deaths. Today their bodies still lie somewhere near the top of Mt. Everest buried beneath the snow.

Later, one of the climbers was giving a lecture before a large audience in London. He told about the trials and the hardships of trying to climb Mt. Everest. He turned to a large slide of the mountain on the screen behind him. Then he said to the mountain, "Everest, we tried to conquer you once, and you overcame us. We tried to conquer you a second time, and you were too much for us. But, Everest, we will conquer you yet, for you can't grow and we can."

It's that kind of determination that will enable you to reach the summit of Christian maturity. It will not happen accidentally. You cannot drift into it. You cannot fall into it. You've got to climb the mountain of Christian maturity with firm determination.

Scripture to Claim:
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  Ephesians 5:15-17

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