What does Hebrews 5:11-6:12 really mean?

Hebrews 5:11-6:12 is about the importance of spiritual maturity, urging believers to move beyond foundational teachings and to persevere in faith, lest they fall away and miss out on the fullness of God’s promises.

11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food.
13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.
14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
1 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
3 And this we will do if God permits.
For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit,
5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,
6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.
8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.
9 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.
10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.
11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end,
12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.


Setting the Scene for Hebrews 5:11-6:12

The scene in Hebrews 5:11-6:12 takes place in a gathering of early Christian believers, likely in a house church setting. The group consists of both Jewish Christians who were familiar with the Old Testament scriptures and Gentile converts who were new to the faith. The room is dimly lit by oil lamps, with cushions and mats scattered around for seating. The atmosphere is one of anticipation and reverence as they gather to study and learn more about their newfound faith.

Among the group are individuals like Apollos, a learned man from Alexandria who is well-versed in the Scriptures, and Priscilla and Aquila, a couple who have traveled extensively to share the gospel. As the discussion unfolds, the author of Hebrews addresses the group, expressing concern that some of them have become spiritually dull and sluggish in their understanding of the deeper truths of the faith. He urges them to move beyond the basic teachings of Christianity and press on to maturity, reminding them of the importance of perseverance and faith in the face of trials and tribulations.

The room is filled with a mix of emotions – some feeling convicted by the exhortation to grow in their faith, while others are encouraged by the reminder of God’s faithfulness and promises. As the discussion continues, the group is challenged to imitate the faith and patience of those who have gone before them, trusting in God’s unchanging character and the hope set before them. The scene is one of spiritual growth and renewal, as the believers are spurred on to deepen their relationship with Christ and live out their faith with boldness and perseverance.

What is Hebrews 5:11-6:12 about?

It is so crucial to ponder this verse deeply. The author of Hebrews in this passage is cautioning against remaining spiritually immature, stagnant, or even regressing in our faith journey. It serves as a gentle reminder to constantly seek growth in our relationship with God, to deepen our understanding of His word, and to live out our faith through obedient actions. Just like children who need to grow and mature physically and emotionally, we are called to progress and mature in our spiritual walk.

Now, reflect on your own spiritual life. Are you continually seeking to deepen your understanding of God’s word? Are you growing in your faith through obedient actions and a lifestyle that reflects Christ’s love? Let us press on towards maturity, being firmly rooted in God’s truth and steadfast in our pursuit of obedience, instead of becoming complacent or stagnant in our faith. Our faith needs nurturing and tending to flourish and bear fruit for the glory of God, just as a plant needs water and sunlight to grow. Let us take this verse to heart and strive towards spiritual maturity by pressing on with perseverance and faithfulness.

Understanding what Hebrews 5:11-6:12 really means

In Hebrews 5:11-6:12, the writer addresses the issue of spiritual maturity and the necessity of progressing in faith. The context of this passage is crucial, as it speaks to a specific audience – likely Jewish Christians facing persecution. The author expresses concern about their spiritual stagnation, highlighting the urgent need for growth in their faith journey.

One striking phrase in Hebrews 5:11 is “dull of hearing,” indicating a lack of receptiveness to deeper spiritual truths. This phrase underscores the importance of actively engaging with the teachings of the faith, rather than remaining passive recipients. Moving on to Hebrews 6:1, the mention of “elementary teachings” urges believers to advance beyond basic doctrines and deepen their understanding. Building on foundational beliefs is essential for achieving spiritual maturity and a more profound relationship with God.

The metaphor of “solid food” in Hebrews 5:14 symbolizes deeper, more complex teachings that require spiritual discernment and wisdom. Just as physical food sustains and nourishes the body, spiritual “solid food” enriches and strengthens the soul. Additionally, Hebrews 6:12 encourages believers to imitate those who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises of God. This highlights the significance of perseverance and following the example of faithful individuals in the Christian walk.

Drawing parallels with other biblical passages, 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 and Philippians 3:12-14 emphasize the transition from spiritual infancy to maturity, stressing the importance of progressing from “milk” to “solid food” in understanding. James 1:4 further reinforces the idea that perseverance leads to maturity and completeness in faith, underscoring the role of trials and patience in spiritual growth.

The relevance of these teachings to modern believers is evident, as many struggle with spiritual complacency. The call to maturity remains timeless and applicable to all Christians, urging them to assess their spiritual growth and pursue deeper understanding. Anecdotal evidence can powerfully illustrate this point, showcasing the transformation that occurs when individuals move beyond basic teachings and actively seek spiritual growth.

In conclusion, the pursuit of spiritual maturity is paramount for every believer. Actively engaging in one’s faith, seeking deeper understanding, and emulating the perseverance of faithful examples are key components of this journey. Let us heed the call to progress in our faith, leaving behind spiritual stagnation and embracing the richness of a mature relationship with God.

How can we progress from spiritual immaturity to maturity?

We can progress from spiritual immaturity to maturity by diligently seeking to understand and apply the teachings of the Word of God. This involves actively engaging with Scripture, meditating on its truths, and allowing it to shape our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. Through consistent study and reflection on the Word, we can develop a deeper understanding of spiritual principles and grow in wisdom and discernment.

Additionally, we can progress towards spiritual maturity by moving beyond the elementary teachings of the faith and striving for a more profound knowledge of God. This includes developing a personal relationship with Him through prayer, worship, and fellowship with other believers. We can experience transformation and growth in our walk with the Lord by immersing ourselves in spiritual disciplines and seeking to live out our faith in practical ways.

Furthermore, spiritual maturity is marked by a consistent pursuit of righteousness and a willingness to endure through trials and challenges with faith and perseverance. We can mature in our faith, become more like Christ, and bear fruit that reflects His character as we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. We can continue to progress towards spiritual maturity by staying steadfast in our commitment to follow Christ and remaining open to His leading.


Are you ready to level up in your spiritual journey? Just like excelling in your career or nurturing your family, expanding your faith takes effort and dedication. Let’s not settle for the basics but aim for a profound connection with our beliefs. It’s time to dive into the depths of Scripture, absorb its teachings, and let them shape our lives. Will you take the leap and embrace a stronger, more meaningful relationship with the divine?