Progressing to maturity
Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil. Hebrews 5:13-14 CSB
Closing out this chapter, the author explains clearly the metaphor of the meaning of “milk” from verse 12. The believers who only lived off of “milk,” were called an “infant,” as opposed to a fully grown believer or adult. These believers needed to grow in spiritual maturity, as Paul lays out in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things.” These believers were “inexperienced with the message about righteousness.” This meant that they did not apply the teaching that produces righteous living in their daily lives. They were saved, yet, they did not regularly walk with the Lord and did not apply their faith into their actions. These believers were not ready for more complex teaching that the author was prepared to give as seen in verse 14, “but solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.” They did not even have the basics of knowing what was right and what was wrong for a believer to do. Throughout the first five chapters of Hebrews, we have seen the author clarify how Jesus was superior to the angels, Moses, and Aaron, as well as clarifying the gospel message to them. Once the foundation of the gospel and their salvation was clarified, the author emphasized the importance of leaving the elementary things. There are more things to be learned that will enhance spiritual maturity. When we go to school, we learn the basic ABC’s and numbers, and as we get older and progress through middle school and high school, we use those building blocks to write long essays, perform complex mathematical equations, make speeches and so on. The same is with the Christian walk. We build off of the foundation of the gospel, growing in our faith as believers through study of the Word of God. We learn what God is pleased with and what actions He is against. We gain a biblical worldview, applying that to complex issues in our daily lives, picking the correct actions to take, being guided by the Holy Spirit within us and the Word of God within our minds and hearts. We will be constantly be making decisions and at times, they will be complex decisions that will affect ethical conduct reflecting our ability to distinguish between good and evil. God expects the maturing believers to make decisions that will edify others and glorify His name.
Isaac De Guzman