2007-07-16 A Call to Spiritual Growth


Passage Hebrews 5:11-6:3:

A Call to Spiritual Growth

11 There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and donít seem to listen. 12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about Godís word.[a] You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesnít know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

Hebrews 6
1 So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we donít need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. 2 You donít need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.

Footnotes:
Hebrews 5:12 Or about the oracles of God.


Passage John 15:1-17:

John 15
Jesus, the True Vine

ďI am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesnít produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

5 ďYes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

9 ďI have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Fatherís commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down oneís life for oneís friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesnít confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didnít choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.


The author of Hebrews again warns his people against falling away.
Why is the author having a hard time getting the message across to his readers?
What does the author mena when he speaks of milk vs. solid food?

The author encourages them to stay true to the foundations of faith, yet also encourages them to move beyond the basics to greater things.

What are the foundations of the faith that the readers should be living and teaching others by now (v 6:1-2)?

How can following Jesus’ instructions in John help us to grow from spiritual infants into mature adults?

In what ways can we strengthen the life-giving relationship with Christ?

The author of Hebrews tells us that mature Christians increasingly learn to distinguish right from wrong.

How does this relate to Jesus’ instruction that we are not only to abide in him, but that his words are to abide in us, and what steps should we take in response?

[written by Kelly Guy]

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