Mature in Christ: Character (pt. 4) – “going beyond”

June 26, 2008

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. 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.

Hebrews 5:12-6:3

Lastly, from this passage, the mature should be beyond the following: 1.) dead works (trying to earn one’s salvation through works rather than by faith), 2.) instruction about washings (the mature should already be baptized and have a clear understanding of the nature of baptism, both physical and spiritual), 3.) laying on of hands (the mature should understand the transference of gifts and authority within the church), 4.) resurrection (Jesus was raised bodily, and we will be too), and 5.) eternal life. Basically, these should no longer be stumbling blocks or issues for the mature – they should be beyond these 5 issues, and if they are not, they should be addressed now, so they may move on to more important matters of discipling and laying these foundational truths and practices in other’s lives. We should, as believers seeking to ‘grow up’ in Christ, solidify what we believe on these matters – seeking the Scriptures, and Godly counsel – in order to move beyond these basics, so we don’t feel the need to continually ‘debate’ or ‘discuss’ them again. These are simple teachings – things that are foundational to the Christian life, according the Bible.

So, a short review from Hebrews 5-6 on the character traits of a mature believer…

The Mature in Christ…

1. …trains others to become more like Jesus.

2. …is skilled in understanding the Word and able to “feed” himself.

3. …is discerning.

4. …recognizes that he/she can do nothing to earn God’s favor and does not try to earn his/her salvation.

5. …has been baptized and understands the nature of baptism.

6. …understands and respects the transference of gifts and authority within the church.

7. …believes in the bodily resurrection of Jesus and our future resurrection

Stay tuned, as we move on to the ‘attitudes’ of the mature Christian from Philippians 3, then the ‘lifestyle’ of the mature Christian from 1 Corinthians 2.

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