You know, we all like to be recognised and seen as the spiritually mature christians. Me included. And we don’t like to be called ‘baby christians’ and christians who ought to be eating ‘meat’ but are still on milk. We all like to imagine that we are the mature christians and i think the problem and the reason why many christians would never own up to being ‘baby christians’ is because of pride. Some christians think the duration of the time you have been a christian is directly proportional to your level of spiritual maturity; which is not true. And that may be why some people assume that they are matured spiritually.
Well first of all before i start talking about anything else i would like to mention that growing spiritually is a gradual process. It may happen little by little sometimes, and as human beings, we always want things to happen in the twinkling of an eye. In the eyes of God, what matters is not that we’re growing slowly, but that we are not stuck in the same place, or looking back into the past.
I’ve come across the verses below before, but after i re-read it today it meant something totally different to me. Paul defines what the foundation of your growth in the christian Life is through these verses.
Hebrews 6:1-2 says:
1THEREFORE LET us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ (the Messiah), advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity. Let us not again be laying the foundation of repentance and abandonment of dead works (dead formalism) and of the faith [by which you turned] to God,
2With teachings about purifying, the laying on of hands, the resurrection from the dead, and eternal judgment and punishment. [These are all matters of which you should have been fully aware long, long ago.]
If you read those verses, you might just be saying in your head ‘Oh yes i’ve laid the foundation for my spiritual maturity to be built upon’ or you might like me be saying ‘So i’ve been been a christian for 11 years of my life and i’m still trying to lay the foundation’. Paul defines the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ as:
- Repentance(Confessing your sin to God and getting forgiveness, and through God’s help and power constantly repenting until that sin is completely(physically-because we are dead to sin spiritually) dead in your flesh.
- Purification(Continually being completely purified and cleansed by the blood of Jesus making us have right standing with God)
- Abandonment of dead works(Dead Formalism)- This may be interpreted as understanding that we are saved by God’s undeserved gift(Grace) and not because we deserve it; hence, not thinking we can buy God’s love with our works. This may also be dead works( like guilt and condemnation) which were murdered by the blood of Jesus on cross. Understanding that keeping your guilt doesn’t get God to forgive you faster.
- Faith- We receive all of God’s gifts by Faith. Faith is the hand receiving the gifts of God already provided. We are saved by grace through faith.
- Eternal Judgement and Punishment- which i think it pretty fundamental; You either are saved to be with God, or you are not and you are punished eternally by God’s Judgement.
- Resurrection from the dead: This could mean the spiritual significance of Christ resurrecting from the dead and because we shared in his death we are shared in his resurrection into new Life. Being born again is basically being resurrected into a new life in Christ.
- Laying on of hands: The main thing this term reminds me of is how Christ said all believers will be able to speak in tongues, lay hands on the sick and they’ll become well, cast out demons e.t.c. I believe that the gift of healing is available to all Christians, and we should practice the laying on of hands for any sick people that we might meet.
How i have described each of the doctrines above is obviously still very elementary and there’s a lot more to each of them. I believe the reason why we have many christians stuck in one point of their christian lives without any growth at all is because the foundation of their faith is not yet established. Some christians even die sometimes without ever getting past the establishment of their foundations which is quite sad, because even though they’ll go to heaven, they never enjoyed the Life Jesus spoke about when he said ‘I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)’.
The summary of what Paul spoke about above is we need to know about the cross. You need to realise and come into full understanding of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. The Cross is the foundation of your faith. Even as easter approaches, i think its the best time to study on the Cross, and start to live your life like someone that understands the cross. When we don’t understand and accept what Christ did on the cross, we make out what he did to be of no use in our lives. So i think its that important.
I’ll leave you with David’s Psalm in Psalm 11:3-
3If the foundations are destroyed, what can the [unyieldingly] righteous do, or what has He [the Righteous One] wrought or accomplished?