Moving On to Maturity
In Hebrews 6:1, the NKJV says, “Let us go on to perfection.” Many other modern translations probably convey the meaning more clearly by using the word, “Maturity.” So, the NIV says, “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity.”
Let us start with the subject of what this verse does not mean before moving to its actual meaning. When the writer commands believers to leave behind or move beyond the elementary doctrines concerning Christ, he does not mean that we are to move on to something different. We do not become Christians one way and then remain Christians in an entirely different way. No, we are converted by faith, and we continue in our salvation by faith. Justification (being made “right” with God) and sanctification (progressively becoming holy) are both by faith. The Scripture says in multiple places that the just shall live by faith. Salvation is from faith to faith. Faith in the beginning; faith in the end; and faith everywhere in between. One does not move beyond salvation by grace through faith. One does not move beyond Christ.
Heb 6:1 is an exhortation to Christians to grow in their faith and in the Faith. To do so, we must move beyond the elementary teachings of Christ in the sense that we must build upon the foundational principles that we have learned in our walk with the Lord. We should not become stagnant by only teaching and discussing the same old things all the time. We should be able to build upon the simple Gospel message that we heard in the first place. We do not move beyond the Gospel, but we can progress much farther in our understanding of that wonderful message. We can grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.
Why is Christian growth necessary? Well, for one, it is commanded by the Lord all over Scripture. This is His will for us. The Lord is pleased and glorified by our continued progress in the faith. Also, continued growth ensures the believer that he/she is not going to apostatize, that is, turn away from so great a salvation. As move grow in our faith, we grow closer and closer to the Lord and farther away from the world. We move more and more into grace and farther away from Hell as we mature in our relationship with Christ.
Thus, my ministry in the church, from the pulpit, and online (progressandjoy.org, Midweek eBulletins, Facebook, etc.) is, “For Progress and Joy in Christ.”