GROWTH TOWARD MATURITY
                                                             Hebrews 5:12-6:3 (885)

  Introduction
      A.  The exhortation of the writer of Hebrews is to move from the fundamental principles
            of God’s word to the higher teaching of God’s word.
      B.  The increased knowledge will enable growth toward maturity.
      C.  This morning let’s focus on growth in three areas.
  I.  As Christians we should grow concerning pleasure.

      A.  We live in a pleasure seeking and loving society.  Examples:

      B.  God isn’t opposed to Christians enjoying life and the pleasures of life.

            1.  He is opposed to sinning to experience pleasure and to placing so much
                 emphasis on pleasure that in and of itself is not sinful that we aren’t dedicated to
                 Him.  Galatians 5: 16-21 (862); 2 Timothy 3:4 (880); Luke 9:23 (760)
            2.  The greatest pleasure is found in pleasing God.  Psalm 107:8-9 (471); Psalm 37:4-5                        
                 (442); Revelation 14:13 (913)

  II.  As Christians we should grow concerning possessions.

      A.  There are two extremes being taught in religion about possessions.

            1.  Prosperity Theology:  Financial and physical well-being are the will of God for
                 Christians.  God will deliver security and prosperity.  Examples:
            2.  Poverty Theology:  Possessions are dangerous.  Led to monasticism, denouncing of
                 material possessions.
            3.  Both extremes are wrong.

      B.  It isn’t wrong to have possessions.

            1.  We must obtain possessions honestly and place the proper emphasis on the use
                 of our possessions.  1 Timothy 6:10 (878); Luke 12:15-21 (764); 2 Corinthians 9:
                 6-12 (856)
III.  As Christians we should grow concerning popularity.

      A.  It is natural to desire appreciation and the good will of others.  Examples:

      B.  The problem is when we seek to be exalted by others.  Matthew 6:1-5 (706)

      C.  Growth in popularity means to please and glorify God.  Isaiah 26:4-5 (529); James 4:
            6-10 (893); Revelation 22:14 (918)

Closing:  I hope these thoughts about growing toward maturity will be beneficial.