Mature or immature Christians?
“For anyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Hebrews 5:13, 14, NKJV. The listening to and accepting the fundamental doctrines concerning the righteousness, repentance, and judgment is equivalent to the diet of milk only. The doctrines, teachings, and theories made by men, enable one to know a great deal about the righteousness; but, it does not make one righteous. In the same manner, the possession of vast knowledge about evil does not make one an evil person. The righteousness, as well as the unrighteousness, is an experience.
The spiritual maturity, in contrast, is not only the knowledge about righteousness by the faithfulness of Jesus but a visible daily experience. The righteousness by obedience to the law does not exist. To be righteous in the eyes of God, we must have an experiential knowledge of righteousness by the faithfulness of Jesus. The true righteousness does not come by obedience to the commandments and various, Church-specific, rules and regulations. The true righteousness is obtained by obedience to Jesus Christ only. To obey the commandments and multiple rules requires the change in behavior. However, the surrender to Jesus Christ involves the transformation of our mind, our attitude, the way we think. We must become a genuinely new creation; not just a renewed one. The old self could not be renewed and made to be good; it could only be disguised. A best dressed and decorated sinner is still a sinner. He looks good but is full of evil thoughts.
The author of the Hebrews urges the believers to abandon the milk and start eating solid food, spiritually speaking. “Therefore, leaving the discussions of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, …” Hebrews 6:1, NKJV. The incorrect understanding of the New Covenant Truth, Jesus Christ, is not an inherent condition and, therefore, a pardonable condition. The misunderstanding of the truth, that is, the righteousness by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ, results from deliberate and willful neglect, and a gradual working away from the New Covenant Truth – Jesus Christ. We distance ourselves from the righteousness from God, Jesus Christ, by concentrating on our selves, and our obedience to various rules and regulations instituted by men. The concentration on Jesus Christ, in contrast, is always visible in the life of a yielded believer.