Now’s the time to go on to maturity!

By Evan Bartholomew.

“Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.” Hebrews 6:1-3 (NIV).

Evan will help teach our young Christians some basic principles about discipleship. (photo by Chris Directo)

It is no secret that God has been blessing the Hilo church with an incredible amount of young disciples. Over one half of our membership is made up of disciples who have been baptized within the last fourteen months.

Inasmuch as it is exciting to see the growth, we also see the need for continued training, and teaching, for these young disciples. In Hebrews 6, the writer of Hebrews calls all disciples to “leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity.” Earlier, in Hebrews 5:12, the Bible says that “though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!

Therefore, beginning this coming Wednesday, November 14, we will begin teaching our young disciples “the elementary truths of God’s word all over again.” These are known as the “First Principles.” The First Principles study series that we will be going through will be the same First Principles taught in every other church in our movement (1 Corinthians 4:17). The aim of the class is to help our young disciples to “go on to maturity.”

According to Hebrews, being mature is not simply just being “older” physically. Nor is maturity a matter of being “older” spiritually. The call by the Hebrew writer is that going on to maturity is the same as becoming a teacher. In other words, before we go on to solid food, whe should know the first principles, but even more importantly than just knowing them, we should be able to teach them to others.

The schedule of the upcoming First Principles classes are as follows, with the locations to be announced.

Class I Introduction / Seeking God Wed, Nov 14, 7:30pm
Class II The Word of God Wed, Nov 21, 7:30pm
Class III Discipleship Sat, Nov 24, 9am
Class IV The Coming of the Kingdom      Wed, Nov 28, 7:30pm
Class V Light and Darkness Sat, Dec 1, 9am
Class VI New Testament Conversion Wed, Dec 5, 7:30pm
Class VII The Cross Sat, Dec 8, 9am
Class VIII    The Church Wed, Dec 12, 7:30pm

Each newly baptized member (within the last 18 months) will be expected to treat these classes as a high priority in their schedules. It is important that all of us move on to maturity, and therefore we need to make every effort to be at these classes. It is my vision, and my conviction, that every member of the Hilo International Church of Christ can and will move on to maturity, and “God permitting, we will do so.”