Discussion Guide - Go On To Maturity (Hebrews 5:11-6:3)
Monday: Hebrews 5:11-6:3
Tuesday: 1 Corinthians 3:1-4
Wednesday: Hebrews 5:14; 5:7-8
Thursday: Hebrews 6:1; Philippians 3:12-16
Friday: Hebrews 6:3; Philippians 2:12-13
The Christian’s faith should grow and mature over time.
In Hebrews 5:1-10, the author briefly introduced Melchizedek (5:6, 10). He still has “much to say” (v 11) about Melchizedek and Jesus’ high priesthood which he’ll get to in chapters 7-10. But first he shifts gears to address his readers’ immaturity (5:11-6:3), to warn them against falling away (6:4-8), and to call them to endure in their faith (6:9-20).
His concern is that what he wants to say about Melchizedek will be lost on them since they’ve become spiritually lazy, or “dull of hearing” (v 11). While they may go to church and say quick prayers on occasion, the gospel’s relevance to the challenges of daily life had become minimal.
Though these believers had been Christians long enough that they should have been training up younger believers, they needed someone to take them back to square one and learn all over again “the basic principles [or ABC’s] of the oracles of God” (v 12).
As spiritual infants, these believers were “unskilled in the word of righteousness” (v 13), meaning their faith was untried and inexperienced. By contrast, those who live on solid food are those whose faith – like Jesus’ (see 5:8) – grows as it is tested. As they rely on him for endurance, they’ll learn by experience (or be “trained” – v 14) how to make godly decisions in tough situations.
After addressing the condition of their faith (5:11-14), the author addresses the solution. Positively, they should “leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity” (6:1a). Negatively, they should avoid laying another foundation of faith and repentance (v 1b) with its instructions on washings, laying on of hands, the resurrection, and eternal judgment (v 2).
Growing in this way is what God wants for all his children. And at the end of the day, it’s growth that only he can provide (v 3).
Have you ever been in a spot where you had become “dull of hearing”? Where you felt that you were just going through the motions in your walk with Jesus?
Faith can only grow as it’s put into practice and stretched (5:14; see also James 1:22). How have you seen this to be true? Are there any specific ways God is currently calling you to put your faith into practice?
Practically speaking, how can we avoid becoming “dull of hearing” and “go on to maturity”? What role do other believers play in this? (See Hebrews 3:12-14)
Hebrews 6:1a – “Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity…”
 The six items mentioned in 6:1-2 all had parallels with Judaism. These believers may have been highlighting these commonalities and downplaying Christianity’s uniqueness (such as Jesus’ high priesthood) to avoid persecution.
More in Sermon Study Guides
May 26, 2019Discussion Guide - Warning Against Falling Away (Hebrews 6:4-12)
May 19, 2019Discussion Guide - Go On To Maturity (Hebrews 5:11-6:3)
May 5, 2019Discussion Guide - Jesus: The Source of Eternal Salvation (Hebrews 5:1-10)