“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…”
Think back to the early days of your faith. Have you grown in your understanding and faith in Christ? What can you do to continue to grow towards maturity and a more complete understanding of the Christian faith?
We have a newborn at our house. And like all newborns, he requires a lot of milk. And only milk. My older two children keep asking if he can have a hot dog or if he can eat a pancake. I have to constantly remind them that the baby can only drink milk. He isn’t ready for solid food yet.
We all start out as babies in life and in faith. When you first accept Christ, you are a baby believer. You require spiritual “milk” or the elementary principles of Christ. Just the basics. You are just starting out. And those basics are really important for your spiritual health.
But babies do not stay babies. They grow and mature. We should continue to grow and mature spiritually as well.
The author of Hebrews admonished the Jewish Christians for their lack of spiritual growth. They should have been able to teach others, but instead, they were stuck in the basics of the faith. They should have progressed in their spiritual understanding by now, but they still weren’t ready for solid spiritual food.
Like the early Christians addressed in Hebrews, we need to move beyond the milk. How do you grow up in the faith and go deeper in your understanding and relationship with Christ? The answer found in Hebrews is “training” and “constant practice.” Spending daily time in Scripture and in prayer is critical for spiritual growth.
In Ephesians 4: 11-14, Paul also encourages believers to be connected with the body of Christ in order to grow in maturity. We need to learn from each other. He says church leadership has been given to us to equip us for our own ministries so that we can build up the body of Christ.
You see, spiritual growth isn’t just about you and your personal relationship with Christ. It’s also about building up the body of Christ.
Lord, I want to know you more. Help me to continue to become more like You so that you can use me to build up your church. Amen.
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