Vigorous Spiritual Exercise Is Needed

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Vigorous Spiritual Exercise Is Needed

Vigorous Spiritual Exercise Is Needed

Hebrews 5:11  Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
12  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

In the past 77 verses of the book of Hebrews, God has given such clear and irrefutable facts pertaining to Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Saviour. The verses we looked at yesterday were such a blessing to me; to be reminded again of the great love of the Son of God in being willing to come to this sin cursed world and endure the suffering for mankind is awe inspiring.
Now in verse 11 God has to put the brakes on further teaching and needed to rebuke the readers for their dullness of hearing. The Greek word translated as “dull” means: “sluggish, lazy, slothful”. The Word of God should never be dull for the child of God. That is why God rebuked them here.
God is warning us here of the danger of lacking that fervour for the things of God. The Bible warns us that in the last days there will be a falling away. God is doing house cleaning. We are beginning to see a separation between “secular Christianity” and Biblical Christianity. Secular Christianity wants the world and they want “Jesus” as well. Jesus warned:

Matthew 6:24  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

The governments are using the secular Christians to attack the Biblical Christians. At this point there are still secular Christians among the Biblical Christians. I think back to the “dark ages” when the Catholics were putting dissenters to death. Not all those who were put to death were true born again Christians. There were many who opposed the Catholic dogma, but they did not turn to the truth. That is the sad reality. The same is true today. There are many who oppose the current government overreach but they are not saved. They have been fined and some have been jailed, but they are fighting in the flesh.
We need to see the importance of God’s truth. In verse 12 we see that there was a lack of good Bible teachers in the first century. There still is a lack of good Bible teachers today. There are many self-made teachers who take a Bible and put their spin on It. it is interesting how they can gain such a following. People are certainly very gullible.
God reminds us here that the Christians were not holding on to the things they had been taught. They were still in “baby land”. They still needed their bottles and they still needed to be pampered by “mama”. You cannot withstand the storms when you are not properly grounded. God had already laid out the foundational truths regarding Jesus Christ throughout the Old Testament. He had also reviewed them in the opening verses of this book. However, the recipients were not paying attention.
God would keep teaching them, but they would not be effective in their own walk with God nor would they be able to help others to know the Lord or grow in Him.
In verse 13 God explains further what the problem was. Those who are still on milk are unskilful in the word of righteousness. They lack discernment. They follow every wind of doctrine. Some may be familiar with a book that became quite popular some years ago called “The Prayer of Jabez. That book became quite popular among the Charismatic crowd. It pulled an important Bible truth way out of context and built an entire false doctrine on that distortion. However, people were quite excited about it. I remember trying to help someone who was caught up in that deception, but they were so convinced they had the truth, they would not hear anything else. After all, the author of that book was Bruce Wilkinson. Surely he was a trustworthy man!?? There are more recent examples that could also be used. The point is that people will fall for that kind of stuff when they are dull of hearing. They have the feeling and they do not want facts to get in the way of that.
It is true that many who fall for the many false teachings are lost. There are some who are saved but very vulnerable.
Verse 15 tells us we need to get into the strong meat. Discipleship is a life-long process. Jesus stated:

Matthew 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

The disciples were taught by the Lord Jesus Christ. After He ascended back to heaven, the Holy Spirit would give them recall of things that Jesus had taught them and would also give them further understanding on those things. We see in the book of Acts that they were busy establishing sound local churches where they could teach others the same truths. There is no new thing under the sun. Once someone is going after some new thing, they have gone astray.
Those who can handle strong meat have their senses exercised. They have not been dabbling in all kinds of false teaching. They have been faithfully taught the truth and they have also received the truth. They are like the Bereans who received the word of the apostles gladly and they searched the Scriptures daily to see if those things were so.
God does not expect His children to be gullible. He expects them to be alert and ready to receive the truth and to make sure what they are hearing is from the Word of God. When we are properly taught in the truth, we will discern both good and evil. We do not need to major on the evil. We need to major on the good. When we know the truth, the evil will not slip by. The Holy Spirit will alert the true child of God to the wrong, and guide him to the truth.
Having the senses exercised speaks of vigorous spiritual exercise. That will require faithfulness in a true local church where you are being fed the truth and where you can also learn how to teach others the truth.
As we have noted, those who are able to teach have first of all been properly taught. They demonstrate that by their walk. If they are not walking right, they have either not been taught right or they have rejected the truth. There is a great need for truth today. Those who are saved need to be obedient to God’s way and follow Him faithfully.
Pastor Bartel

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