Bible Exposition on Spiritual Growth — Hebrews 5:11-14

Jesus with a child

Spiritual growth is the gradual transformation of new converts to conform to the image of Christ. It's God’s desire for every of his child to grow spiritually.

In nature some children desire to remain a child forever because of the comfort they enjoy from parents. While some even at a tender age sees the future before them and wish to outgrow childhood and grow up to achieve their life goals. In like manner some in Christianity don’t earnestly desire spiritual growth while some with determination grow at a steady rate.

The book of Hebrews chapter 5 talked about spiritual growth. The writer in the chapter wrote to the Hebrews (the Jews) and emphasize why they need to get spiritual growth and leave the elementary aspects of Christianity.

Hebrews 5:11 says, “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.”

The word “whom” is referring to Jesus Christ. The writer says he has many things to tell them about Jesus but can’t because they haven’t get the spiritual growth that will enable them understand the deep things of Christ. This is because they are dull of hearing which means their spiritual senses is not mature enough to understand it because of poor spiritual growth. This is like a child who is not mature yet and usually do the opposite of what he is told.

This is a great disadvantage for those who are yet to experience spiritual growth. They don’t fully know Jesus and the mysteries concerning him. They profess Jesus but don’t know him in person. Jesus say such confess him with their lips, but their heart is far from him (Matthew 15:8).

Hebrews 5:12 says, “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.”

This means that they have stayed long in the faith for years. They are suppose to have got spiritual growth and mature enough to teach others the faith but still need teachers to teach them simple aspects of the faith which they supposed to have known.

This is similar to a university graduate who is qualified to lecture others only to discover he can’t spell his name correctly.

Hebrews 5:13 say, “For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.”

This means anyone who is yet to be mature in the faith cannot fully understand the word of God neither will he be able to teach others. He is deficient of spiritual growth.

Hebrews 5:14 says, “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.” 

This means for as long as an individual still remain babe in the faith, he can’t gain access to the deep things concerning Christ and the kingdom of God. This belongs only to them that have got spiritual growth. They are individuals that have their spiritual senses mature and can discern good and evil both in writings, people and atmosphere of an environment.

The Jews were further advised in Hebrews 6:1-3 to leave the old and elementary aspects of Christianity which can be found in the book of Leviticus. This include the killing of rams for the atonement of sins and contention of the Sabbath. They were all pointing to Jesus and were a shadow of better things to come (Colossians 2:16-17). Leaving the elementary aspect of Christianity will help them attain spiritual growth.

God desire every Christian to gain spiritual growth. If anyone is yet to get it, he should continually cry to God in prayer to help him grow spiritually.
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