Jesus is Greater: Session 15- Move on!

Jesus is Greater: Session 15- Move on!
March 12, 2023

Jesus is Greater: Session 15- Move on!

Passage: Hebrews 5:11- 6:12
Service Type:

Series: Jesus is Greater

Title: Move on!

Resources:  Weirsbe

Scripture: Hebrews 5:11-6:12

Subject: Spiritual Maturity

Central Theme:  The Call to Spiritual Maturity

Objective Statement:  We must respond to the call to spiritual maturity by understanding what this spiritual maturity looks like. Here are four truths about Spiritual Maturity that will help us to think rightly about the progress that God is calling us to.

Keywords: Truths


  1. This progress is about leaving spiritual immaturity. (5:11-6:3)
  2. This progress does not affect salvation. (6:4-6)
  3. This progress results in fruitfulness. (6:7-10)
  4. This progress demands diligent effort.(6:11-12)



  • Growing up I had the chance to play sports.
  • It is a blast being a player in sports. Growing and developing your skills to use them on the court or on the ball field can be a lot of fun.
  • Eventually you get old enough where you’re not the player anymore. (Do I sound old right now?).
  • There is also something that is so gratifying for me about helping other people start to "get it".
  • This is a big part of what it means to be a pastor. God told us that pastors are supposed to perfect the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ.
  • Coaching can be an amazing thing to experience. When you see someone go from point a to point b in any skill set it is amazing.
  • Tonight, our student ministry is taking over the service. It’s going to be amazing watching them participate and lead our services.  I’m really very excited about it, and I hope you’ll come support them, and enjoy the services with us as we see this happen.
  • The connection that I’m trying to make is that God has a plan and a purpose for your life.He wants you to grow and get it.  He doesn’t want you to just get saved and stay the same.


  • God does have a plan and purpose for your life.

Ephesians 2:8-10

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.  10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

  • Spiritual Maturity is the condition where we are most likely to fulfill what God would have us to do.
  • The plans that God has for your life are so good for you. He wants to save you, and sanctify you, and grow you into who he wants you to be.
  • His plans for us are so much better than our own plans for ourselves.
  • We are walking through the book of Hebrews verse by verse.
  • This week we come to Hebrews 6.
  • This is one of the most debated passages of scripture in all the Bible.
  • Many commentators have skipped this passage in their commentaries.
  • Many do, because of verses 4-6, which interpreted out of its context some take to mean that one can lose their salvation.
  • It is important to know the correct way to interpret scripture.
  • 2 Principles that we must consider in interpretation:
    • Context is king. Don’t read verses.  Read passages. Read each verse in its context.
    • Never let a difficult passage of scripture be at odds with a clear teaching in scripture.
  • The Bible is so clear, even here, that a person cannot lose their salvation.
  • This is not a passage about someone being saved and then losing their salvation.
  • This is a passage about what accompanies salvation- spiritual growth.
  • This is talking to the Hebrews of the day of the writing of this passage who were saved but were tempted to backslide to what their life looked like before they were saved. This text applies to us in regard to being a backslidden believer.
  • They are saved and going to heaven when they die, but they are not living in maturity.
  • They are not continuing to "move on into maturity".    They are not becoming all that God intends them to be.  They are not at rest in Him.  They are not bearing fruit in their lives as believers.
  • We want to move into all that God wants for us. We want to grow in our spiritual maturity.
  • Don’t go back. Don’t backslide!
  • You and I need to know how to understand this passage clearly so we can live it out.

We must respond to the call to spiritual maturity by understanding what this spiritual maturity looks like. Here are four truths about Spiritual Maturity that will help us to think rightly about the progress that God is calling us to.

1.   This progress is about leaving spiritual immaturity. (5:11-6:3)

  • To really understand this whole passage we must look, as we have said, at the context of the passage.
  • The subject change really happens back in verse 11. This is where the Holy Spirit through the author begins to speak about the immaturity of his readers.  He identifies several marks of the spiritually immature person.  They are saved, but they need to grow.  Let’s look at these marks in the text, briefly to get us oriented to the rest of the passage.

A.    Dullness toward the Word

Hebrews 5:11

11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

  • God has a desire for them to grow in their learning and in their obedience, but a spiritually immature person is “dull of hearing”.
  • That word for dull I told you last week is the word “nothros” and means not only dull but slothful, sluggish, or lazy.
  • It’s the idea that maybe they hear it, but rarely do they seek it out.
  • It’s the idea that rarely does it move them to obedience. We’ll speak to that more soon.

B.    Inability to Share

  • Another indication of spiritual immaturity is an inability to teach or share.

Hebrews 5:12a

12 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;

  • Notice that word “ought”. God’s desire is for everyone who knows Christ and has been born again to grow, and influence and reproduce spiritually.
  • He says that they “ought to be teachers”.
  • Teaching is merely sharing with someone the things that you have learned both in knowledge, and experience and obedience.
  • But instead of teaching and influencing, they needed to still be taught. This was the problem and a mark of their immaturity.

C.    A Baby Food Diet

  • Another indication of their immaturity was what we’ll call a baby food diet.
  • Look at the end of verse 12b and into verse 13..

Hebrews 5:12b-13

and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

  • All they can process is the milk. They can’t process the meat.
  • They do not hear and obey the first things, so it makes no sense that they would hear the more difficult things. If they are lazy or dull to hear, then they never move on to bread and meat.
  • He goes on to say 2 more marks:

D.    Unskillful in using the Word.

Hebrews 5:13-14

13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

14 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.

  • The point of this nutrition is to exercise your senses for discernment.
  • It’s to grow in an ability to live and move. It’s to grow in the ability to obey and make a difference in the lives of others.  It’s to be able to understand the Word of God from the book, and how to live that Word out in your life.
  • Like I said in the introduction, God has an incredible plan for your life. You are his poiema, his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which you will do as you are grown up in Him.
  • Now this leads us to chapter 6:1-3, which although we change chapters, we do not really change topics.
  • We are still being warned about not growing up, or not maturing, a fifth mark of spiritual immaturity.

E.    Not moving on to maturity.

Hebrews 6:1-3

1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection;

  • Now let’s move on from jus the milk, and mature.
  • Let’s move on from the first things.
  • You know that Christ is the Messiah. You know that Christ is better than the angels, and Moses.  He’s the greater High Priest.  He’s the Greater rest.
  • It is on these truths- the truths about Jesus Christ identity that our salvation rests.
  • He goes on to make some interesting statements.

not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

3 And this will we do, if God permit.

  • He is speaking here of the things these Hebrews would have believed before they had believed in Jesus Christ. It was a belief about salvation that was incomplete…
  • Repentance from dead works as a means of salvation apart from Christ…
  • Faith in God apart from Christ…
  • Ceremonial cleansing apart from Christ…. Notice it says “baptisms” which means “washings”.  This isn’t baptism of the HS or Water Baptism as a first step of obedience.
  • “Laying on of hands”- This is what they would do when they sacrificed an animal as a symbol of that animal being the substitutionary atonement. Don’t go back to that.  Jesus is Greater.
  • Resurrection from the dead and eternal judgement is what they believed would happen. Jewish people believed in these things, but outside of Christ were still spiritually dead.  They believed in God’s judgment but were in danger of it outside of Christ and as they rejected Christ.
  • All of these things, if not done in faith and done outside of a belief in Christ were trying to pursue a relationship with God on the basis of the law.
  • Paul talks about this in Romans 9 where he says,

Romans 9:30-33

30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.  31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.  32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;  33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

  • So here is what the writer of Hebrews is saying.
  • Go on to maturity.
  • Move on beyond just believing rightly about Christ when it comes to your salvation.
  • Do not go back to what you believed before you were saved.
  • Don’t go back to believing in the ceremonial law as the way you ought to worship God.
  • Don’t backslide. Don’t be “dull of hearing”
  • The ceremonial law that you believed before cannot save you, and it cannot grow you.

2.   This progress does not affect salvation. (6:4-6)

Hebrews 6:4-6

4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,  5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,  6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

  • Look at what he says in v4-5. “It is impossible for those...” then he begins to give a series of statements. I think there are about four of them which give every indication he is talking about saved people.
  • He says, “those who were once enlightened.” The word, enlightened, means ‘the light has been turned on.”
  • The word “once” there means “once for all been enlightened.”  That seems to be a description of a saved person. When you come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, the light comes on and you are brought out of darkness into God’s marvelous light.  Once enlightened.
  • The same word is used in Hebrews 10:32 but it is translated differently in the King James Bible. It says,

“But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions.”

  • The word “illuminated” is the word enlightened. This is a description of a person who has been saved. They have been enlightened. The light has come on.

2Co 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

  • So, they have been enlightened.
  • Then it says they “have tasted of the heavenly gift.” That is a clear reference to the gift of salvation.  Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Salvation is God’s heavenly gift. He says they have tasted of the heavenly gift.
  • There are some who say that the word “tasted” means they just sampled it. They didn’t really partake of it. They didn’t really get it. This word is used one other place in the book of Hebrews very significantly. Turn back to the Hebrews 2.

Hebrews 2:9 says, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crown with glory and honor that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”

  • He says that on the cross Christ tasted death for every man. Did Jesus just get a little sample of death? No. It means Jesus experienced the fullness of death on the cross. The word “taste” as it is used here does not mean to sample. It means to experience.
  • Back in 6:4 he says they have experienced the heavenly gift. It sounds like saved people. Next it says number three, they “were made partakers of the Holy Ghost.”  The word “partakers” there really means “to take hold with someone; to become a partner with someone.”  When you come to Christ and are saved, then you enter a partnership with God the Holy Spirit.
  • When God saves you, He wants you to grow and become everything He intends you to be. He wants you to become like the Lord Jesus Christ. He wants you to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. He wants you to mature in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • So you and the Holy Spirit are in a joint project together. That’s why in Philippians 2:12 the Bible says,

“...Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

  • Then in the next verse right after that it says,

“For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

  • You see, you and I work out what God is working in. That’s what the process of sanctification is. That’s what Christian growth is. God is working in you.  You’re working it out into your daily life. Sounds like a saved person.
  • Back in our text in v5 he says,

“and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come.”

  • A saved person has experienced the blessing of God’s Word. A saved person has experienced the powers of the world to come. That is, saved people get a little foretaste of heaven. It happens all the time.
  • That’s saved people. V4 says “it is impossible” for folks like that if they shall fall away... That phrase in v6 “fall away” is not the word for apostasy. There’s a different word for apostasy than this word right here. This word means to deviate from the path. It means to wander off the course.
  • Back in the 6:1 he says, “let us move on unto perfection.” Stay on the path toward maturity.
  • But now he’s talking about a believer who has wandered off the path. They are off course. They are in a backslidden state. They are in a pitiful state.  They are going back to what they were believing before they were saved.
  • V6 says it is impossible for saved people, if they shall fall away (that is, get off course), it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance. The word “renew” means to restore them unto repentance.
  • I really have repented more since I was saved than I did before I got saved. Can you agree with that?  When I came to Christ and now as I have tried to live the Christian life, and I’ve come to understand more about the Lord, I see just what a rotten, lowdown sinner I am.  I’ve done a whole lot of repenting in my Christian life.
  • But he says that these backslidden believers that it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance.
  • Is that saying that when you backslide as a Christian, there is no way back? That’s not what it’s saying.  How many of you have gotten away from the Lord at some point in your Christian life and you repented of it and asked God to forgive you and you came back.  I suspect all of us would have to say that’s happened to us.
  • It’s not saying that. Here’s the key. Up to this point, the verbs in this passage are in a particular tense in the Greek language. They are definite in nature. They talk about something that’s a definite action in the past. They were enlightened. They tasted the heavenly gift. Partakers of the Holy Spirit. Tasted the good Word of God.
  • Definite experiences when they were saved. The tenses of the verb change in v6 and it says, “seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and put Him to an open shame.”
  • He is saying in v6, “If they shall fall away, it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance while they are in the condition of crucifying the Son of God afresh and while they are in the condition of putting him to an open shame.”
  • Here’s what it’s saying. A backslidden believer is a pitiful believer because while they are in that backslidden, unrepentant condition. In that unteachable, you can’t do a thing in the world with them.
  • Those Hebrews who were going back to that old way of thinking were saying that Christ’s death was of no effect and that there was some other way to be right with God.
  • Those of us who have been in the ministry for some time all have experiences with those who once served the Lord faithfully, but who turned from serving the Lord to other things. Some left their families; others left the church.  And when they were sought after by those who were trying to help restore them, they simply refused.  They were hard and unrepentant.
  • A believer can get into such an unrepentant state that it feels like a waste of time to talk to them.
  • Talk about dull of hearing! Don’t go there.  Wake up!  Move on!  Don’t go backward.  Move forward.
  • Pastor Warren Weirsbe said this:

The writer’s purpose was not to frighten the readers but to assure them. If he had wanted to frighten them, he would have named whatever sin (or sins) would have caused them to disgrace Jesus Christ; but he did not do so. In fact, he avoided the word apostasy and used instead “to fall by the wayside” (see Gal 6:1 for a similar word).  Christians can “sin unto death” (1Co 11:30-32; 1Jn 5:16-17). This is God’s chastening, a theme the writer of Hebrews will take up in Heb 12:1-29.

4 truths about Spiritual Maturity that will help us to think rightly about the progress that God is calling us to.

3.   This progress results in fruitfulness. (6:7-10)

Hebrews 6:7-10

7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:  8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burnedThere is fruit that should accompany salvation and spiritual growth.

  • When someone gets saved, as they begin to grow in God’s Word, and move on to perfection because of that salvation and the indwelling Holy Spirit, there is fruit.
  • Some of the things we do as we grow spiritually are of the Lord. Those things are of eternal value.
  • Some of the things we do has no eternal value, and when it is burned it will show that it had no eternal value.
  • The author gives a testimony of what he thinks of the fruit that is possible in their lives because He is talking to saved people.

9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.  10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

  • He points to those things that they have done and are doing as a result of that spiritual growth.
  • Work and labour of love…ministry to the saints.
  • Spiritual maturity always results in service. Service to others for the Lord.

4 truths about Spiritual Maturity that will help us to think rightly about the progress that God is calling us to.

4.   This progress demands diligent effort.(6:11-12)

Hebrews 6:11-12

11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

  • The author is not saying that you have to stay diligent in order to be saved.
  • The author is saying that diligent focus must be made to stay close to the Lord so that the fruit of the mature Christian life can be present.
  • Progress in your spiritual life can be made as you rest in Christ.
  • How does it happen?

12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

  • That word “slothful” is the same word in the Greek as the word “dull” back in verse 11.
  • When we take in the Word of God as believers in Christ, and we are not “dull of hearing” but listen to do what it God’s Word tells us, we will grow in maturity.
  • As we do, God will produce all kinds of incredible things in our lives.
  • We will, by His grace, realize all that He has for us.


We must respond to the call to spiritual maturity by understanding what this spiritual maturity looks like. Here are four truths about Spiritual Maturity that will help us to think rightly about the progress that God is calling us to.

  1. This progress is about leaving spiritual immaturity. (5:11-6:3)
    • Dullness toward the Word
    • Inability to Share
    • A Baby Food Diet
    • Unskillful in using the Word.
    • Not moving on to maturity.
  2. This progress does not affect salvation. (6:4-6)
  3. This progress results in fruitfulness. (6:7-10)
  4. This progress demands diligent effort. (6:11-12)
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