Hebrews 5:11-6:3 “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.”
Peter’s final word to the Christian is “grow”; “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18). The word “grow” means to grow up or enlarge one’s self. Peter is telling the believer that God expects them to enlarge them self, to mature as a child of God. A question worthy of our consideration might be, “Five years from now will I show signs of having matured or grown any?” Paul writing to the Hebrew believers also addressed the subject of growth in the Christian life.
Paul began by speaking of the believer’s duty, “ye ought to be teachers” (5:12). It is the responsibility of all God’s children to grow in an understanding of the principles and precepts of God’s Word. Paul writing to his young comrade said, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15). The word “study” means to use speed, to make effort, to give diligence, to study. Your increased understanding of the precepts and principles of the Word will give you the sufficient resources to be able to teach others; which is your duty. Again, Paul writing to Timothy said, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (II Timothy 2:2). If you’re growing, you will have resources to be able to teach others.
Paul then addresses the subject of the believer’s diet; “have need of milk, and not of strong meat” (5:12). Your diet reveals growth; those that continue on milk are babies and those that partake of meat are maturing in the things of God. Milk is a food that is provided by and administered by another, while those with the practice of eating meat have learned to provide and feed themselves. Paul is saying that the believer is to move forward in his diet; way from milk and on to the more weighty things of God; “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ” (6:1). The word “leaving” means to lay aside or to yield up. The word “principles” means commencement, beginning, or at the first. Paul is not tell the believer to cast these thing away or to discard them, rather in time those things that were necessary to understand at the commencement of our walk with God should be set aside to embrace greater and more profound truth.
Finally, Paul addresses the believer’s destination; “go on unto perfection” (6:1). The word “perfection” means a finisher, to accomplish or complete in character. Paul’s thought is to be a mature or gown-up Christian. The Bible tells us that we are “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29). The word “conformed” means to be fashioned like unto. The mark of a mature Christian is that they are fashioned like unto the Lord Jesus Christ. While you may not be the best Christian in five years; with growth, you can be a better Christian!