Although by this time (due to being exposed to the Truth of the Word for a period of time) you ought to be teachers (replicating others), you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again (need again – cannot get the basics down). You need milk, not solid food (John 4:34). Now everyone who lives (exclusively) on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant (immature). But solid food is for the mature (teleios) – for those whose senses have been trained (by use) to distinguish between good and evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14, HCSB)
We started this particular blog with the command (Matthew 5:40) and looked at the great Christian writers’ view of the command of Jesus to be perfect. Now we can tackle teleios in Scripture.
The Author of Hebrews in this passage is contrasting those who are spiritually mature (teleios) with those who are spiritually immature. Remember that we are not discussing Christian perfectionism, rather Christian maturity. Our goal should be Christian maturity or sanctification. How do we grow as expected according to the Bible?
In our passage the Greek word for infant means a baby, a little child, or a minor not of age: untaught and unskilled. The word for mature in context is speaking of a person spiritually mature.
How does one become teleios in this passage? By reason of use, or practice’ or by habit through our learning, understanding, and application of God’s Word. We learn at the feet of others and then we in turn teach those who follow behind us. If this is not your Christian experience, this passage flashes a big warning to us to become mature. Move forward, not backward. Become a learner, and then become a teacher. Follow the natural progression of the Christian life.
Think about where you are on your journey. What is the specific application of this passage to you? Are you drinking milk like an immature baby? Or are you eating solid “big kid” food? Are you teaching others or are you stuck in kindergarten?
Do you want to be perfect?