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Hope Beyond Maturity (7 of 14)
A People of Hope Series
I Peter 3:8-12
Introduction: Growing up is hard to do, but sooner or later we all have to do it. The sooner we do it the easier our life will become. The problem is: How do we determine whether we have grown up? Does it mean our hair turns gray? No, that just means we're growing older, but not necessarily wiser. Signs of aging do not mean we are showing signs of maturity. How do you know that you are more mature this year than you were last year? Has living 12 months longer made any difference? We know that we are growing older, but how do we know that we are growing up?
Is growing up something God requires of us?
The writer of Hebrews addresses this matter, stating that the objective for every member of God's family is to grow up. Heb 5:12-6:3 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. 1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so. (NIV)
Do you notice that the Lord's concern is that some are perpetually immature: you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again.'' ''You need milk, not solid food!.''
Leave behind elementary teachings, the letter says. Press on to maturity. By elementary teachings, the writer is very likely referring to the Old Testament signs and sacrifices. We've gone beyond that now, he says. In terms of today ...
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