Go On To Maturity
- October 07, 2019
- Jared Odenbeck
“Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying a foundation again of repentance from dead works and faith towards God.” (Hebrews 6:1)
Those that are moving to maturity recognize the existing foundation of “repentance from dead works,” meaning, sin, and “faith towards God,” meaning, a trust in God that, through faith in the propitiatory work of Jesus Christ on the cross, saves. But, they do not return to that “again”, as if they can be saved “again”. The immature, those that do not understand the Gospel, like myself, think this way.
Many of us sin, and despair quickly follows. We repent, but repent in a way that shows that we have not understood and grown into our foundation. We do not believe that Jesus’ death on the cross brought about the remission of sins, once and for all. And so, we try to lay the foundation “again,” and “again.”
We also worry over trivial matters, such as “instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment” (Hebrews 6:2). These “elementary doctrines” do nothing to cause us to “grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). But, we must become like him.
How will we get there? Well, “this we will do if God permits” (Hebrews 6:3). It is then a matter of his will and a matter of being transformed into the image of the Son. How are we transformed? We are “transformed by the renewal of [our] minds” (Romans 12:2). In order to renew our mind, we must engage our mind. To engage our mind, we must seek him and his mind, so that we “have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). That is maturity – Christ-likeness.
When we grow up into Christ in maturity and become like him, we will put off the lustful desires of the flesh as we enslave ourselves to righteousness. That is what he did. He did not enslave himself to sin, but he enslaved himself to obedience, counting it as gain to submit to the will of his Father. Let us not, in our immaturity, squirm and grumble as little children, but let us enter into maturation, though we pass through hardship and toil, and discover all that we might become as we “grow up…into Christ.”