SPIRITUAL GROWTH



Hebrews 5:12-14, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” The writer of Hebrews on this passage uses the analogy of an infant to illustrate the spiritual level of the Christians he was addressing this letter to. These early Christians started out well with the milk of the Word when they first came to Christ, but they never grew up. They never got to the meat of mature spiritual truths. The writer was concerned with the lack of growth because all living things tend to grow automatically. Babies first survive on milk because their systems cannot handle solids yet. This is later followed by semi-solid foods, and eventually meats and other solids. Now, imagine a capable adult’s diet consisting of babies’ formula or mashed vegetables only. Would that not be strange? Like babies, Christians are designed to grow spiritually in order to be effective and fruitful in their journey with Christ. God does not just throw us into the deep end though. When we receive Christ, God gives us everything we need in our spirits to grow spiritually (2 Peter 1:3). After receiving the elementary teachings from our pastors, the onus then falls on us to use those spiritual tools to work out our salvation. We then start feeding on solids by pursuing the goodness and qualities of Jesus, studying the Word, and living in obedience. When we are well equipped, we then become fishers of men who not only win souls to the Kingdom of God, but who also teach those who are new in Christ. However, this is rather the opposite with most Christians. Even though they have been in the church for a very long time, they suffer from spiritual dwarfism and expect pastors to spoon feed them all the time, constantly teaching them the very first principles of the oracles of God. When people do not seem to grow in the church, it is important that we go back to the basics and once again give them teachings that are geared towards helping them move from the infantile stage to adulthood. No parent wants to give birth to a child that does not grow. Mothers expect their children to grow in stature, in their emotions, and even mentally. If this natural progression does not materialize as expected, the children may be suffering from some form of abnormality which needs special attention.