The Danger of Immaturity

by Dennis Michelson
(Painesville, Ohio)

Hebrews 5:11-6:20

Introduction: This passage is the third in a series of warning sections found in the Epistle to the Hebrews. The danger of neglect was found in 2:1-4. The danger of doubt was presented in Hebrews 3:7-4:13.

The current passage warns of the danger of immaturity for those who profess to know Christ as Savior. The warning sections are progressive. First there is aimless drifting (2:1-4); leading to doubt (3:7-4:13); and then dullness (5:11-6:20).

1. The Instruction for Believers (5:11-14)

The constant infusion of doctrine mixed with faith is imperative for Christian growth. This is a major factor in all of the warning sections found in Hebrews. Maturity is accomplished by:

  1. Weaning from Milk (5:11-14) It seems that some believers never progress beyond this point and are constantly afflicted by zeal without much knowledge.

  2. Working in the Word (5:14) Time plus exercise in the Word of God yield maturity. Such a serious concentration on the Word was exactly what the Hebrews were not doing.

The importance of this instruction is seen in -

2. The Impossibilities for Believers (6:1-8)

These verses constitute one of the most controversial sections in all of the Bible. The two major contrasting views on this passage could not be more dissimilar. Some teach that it describes actual believers who fall away from salvation and are ultimately liable to eternal destruction.

Others - myself among them - believe this section depicts those who have come under tremendous spiritual conviction and influences short of actual salvation. Chronic carnality and immaturity may be indications that a "professor" of salvation is not actually a "possessor" of salvation.

I believe verse 9 holds the key to understanding the intention of the writer. In essence he says even though such immaturity may be true of some who are not regenerated that he is "persuaded" of better things "that accompany salvation." With this in mind, notice -

  1. The Potential of Going on to Maturity (6:1-3) This is at the heart of the argument of the entire book - "Let us go on to perfection."

  2. The Possibility of Going Back in Apostasy (6:4-8) Here is a healthy chunk of meat. The apostate is not one who falls away from salvation but one who falls away from the profession of salvation.

3. The Inheritance for Believers (6:9-15)

  1. Obtained by Diligence (6:9-12)

  2. Obtained by Patience (6:13-15)

4. The Immutability of God (6:16-20)

It ultimately comes down to God's faithfulness, not ours.

  1. Based Upon His Promise (6:13)

  2. Based Upon His Oath (6:16)

Conclusion: Immaturity is the end result of drifting by and doubting the Word of God. Every believer must be involved in an active and systematic study of God's Word. When immaturity is found in the life of a believer then it is certain that a steady diet of God's Word has been neglected.

Comments for The Danger of Immaturity

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Jun 03, 2014
Thanks Pastor
by: Pastor Ben Koech

Simply a nut in the broken down christianity that's full of immaturity and confusion.

Oct 12, 2012
follow up

i mean - the hindrances for church growth or expansion are in the box of immaturity

Jun 18, 2011
Church Expansion
by: Jules Verne Arendon

All reasons for church growth or expansion is in the box of immaturity.

Dec 06, 2009
by: Chuck Nelson

Very good message. This must be one of the most avoided passages for pastors, especially in those denominations with Calvinistic leanings. Dr. Michelson brought it to life with his emphasis that these were mere professors and not true possessors. It is not only a personal warning to grow, but a warning for true possessors to always be on the lookout for mere professors - it's a very fine line.

Nov 28, 2009
Great lesson
by: Richard A. Kent

Amen.. Very important message in today's world.

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