< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Christian Maturity

Monday, November 06, 2006

Christian Maturity

As we grow in God’s word and put it into practice, our capacity to understand it will grow. The writer of Hebrews says in 5:44 “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their facilities trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.” We must learn discernment. We must train our minds to distinguish the correct use of scripture from wrong. Christianity can’t be learned in a day. It takes time to teach and effort to learn.

Most of the book of Hebrews is a call to Christian maturity, which means making Christ the beginning and end of our faith and to center our lives on Him. Chapter 6 of Hebrews tells us to go beyond the elementary doctrines of Christ; repentance, being saved by faith, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.

It’s like children going through school. They learn the very basic things in kindergarten and first grade, but then move on, building on that knowledge. The 2nd and 3rd grade teachers don’t just reteach what they’ve already learned over and over again. If they did, no one would ever get out of grade school!

Christianity and our faith is a process. We need to be constantly growing, a little bit at a time and daily – like the manna in the desert. As we become more mature in our faith we need to think things out more for ourselves. We should eventually be able to answer the question, “What would Jesus do?”

As we mature we should reflect Christ more and more to others. We should get rid of old faults and put on new virtues. Sometimes we will go through dry spells and we’ll fail to mature. We’ll lose our enthusiasm, the sermons will bore us, service will seem a burden, but we need to keep doing the routines of a Christian life. And the joy will return.

The author of Hebrews considers our lives to be a journey to Christ. And it is the end of life that makes the process of life all important. A journey will often take us through deserts, along refreshing streams and up to the top of mountains. The Bible encourages us to hold firm and to finish the race. In other words – keep moving! God will complete His work in us. He will mature us.

Forgive us for living shallow in deep times.

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