THE DANGER OF NOT GROWING SPIRITUALLY
SPIRITUAL INFANCY (5:11-14)
The readers who had probably been Christians for a period of time needed to be taught the elementary truths of God’s Word instead of themselves being teachers of the Word. Due to them being slow to learn they were not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness which meant that they did not know how to distinguish between good and evil. The condition that they were in was due to them not maturing in their knowledge and understanding of the truth therefore the writer drew their attention back to these elementary truths in order to motivate them to grow up in their faith so that they would be able to handle the Word of God effectively.
FOUNDATION OF SPIRITUAL LIFE (6:1-3)
Since the readers had been taught the elementary truths of the Word of God the writer pointed out to them that they needed to leave them in order to go onto maturity. He then reminded them of these elementary truths in order to inform them that they were essential to their spiritual wellbeing because without having ‘repented of their sins’, put their ‘faith in God’, being ‘baptised’ into His family and had ‘hands laid’ upon them which symbolised being set aside to be disciples they would not experience the ‘resurrection of the dead’ but would receive God’s ‘eternal judgement’. In saying to his readers that they needed to leave these foundational teachings he did not imply that they were no longer unimportant but rather that because they were familiar with them and had experienced them they needed to press on to become mature in Christ by building upon them so that they would grow up in their faith which would have enabled them to know the difference between good and evil and also be teachers of the Word. The readers needed to move on towards maturity because if they did not apply themselves to grow they would be in serious danger of falling away.
FALLING AWAY SPIRITUALLY (6:4-9)
In order to warn his readers of the danger that confronted them because they were slow to learn the writer pointed out to them that if they had been ‘enlightened’ which meant to have their understanding opened to know the truth about salvation, ‘tasted the heavenly gift’ which meant experiencing God’s favour in their lives, ‘shared in the Holy Spirit’ which meant that they had been challenged by Him to repent and believe the gospel, ‘tasted the goodness of the Word of God’ which meant that they discovered the treasures of God’s truth and ‘tasted the powers of the coming age’ which meant that they had gained strength to resist sin and seek to live as a disciple and they then fell away they would not be brought back to repentance. The words ‘it is impossible to be brought back to repentance’ meant that as a result of them misappropriating and neglecting their spiritual wellbeing they would be guilty of crucifying Jesus they would be fully and finally rejected by God. The word, ‘if’ in verse 6 indicated that the writer used a hypothetical case study in order to confront his readers with the danger they were in due to their immaturity because since they were believers, albeit weak in the faith they could never be lost as he indicated to them in the words of verse 9. The way in which they would protect themselves was for them to mature.
SPIRITUAL MATURITY (6:10-12)
In order for the readers to grow up into maturity the writer urged them to get rid of their laziness and apply themselves to diligently exercise their faith by trusting in God and believe in His Word and to show their patience which referred to them persevering by pressing on going forward so that as they engaged themselves in doing this they would assure themselves of inheriting the promise that they had received. This exercise of working at developing their spiritual lives was to be continued until the very end of their lives which would make their hope sure that they would never be turned away by God.