Summary: The most important decision you can ever make is whether to put your full weight and trust in Jesus Christ. The lesson from Hebrews 5&6 is that you can’t hang out with Christians and be saved.
When it comes to humans - there is a perfect food. One that supplies more bioavailable vitamins and minerals - one that supplies ample amounts of disease fighting white blood cells, self digesting fats due the presence of the enzyme lipase, and special digestive enzymes. Consuming this substance has been shown to raise IQ levels,
doco-sa-hex’ae-no’ic acid which is a brain enhancer. It prevents obesity, and promotes healthier teeth, eyes, ears, and general well being.
This food is perfect - but when given to the wrong group it creates an iron deficiency and lacks the complex proteins and carbohydrates needed for strength and endurance.
What I’m talking about is human breast milk - it’s perfect for babies - but not for adults. Everyone knows this - but when it comes to spiritual food - too many Christians are stuck drinking from a bottle and never graduate to solid food. Because of this they are deficient, lethargic, vulnerable, and unable to endure the stresses and pressures of the Christian walk.
Conversely, you don’t sit a baby down in front of a big slab of meat and expect them to be able to eat. Baby food is best for babies, adult food is best for adults. The problem with the Hebrews is that they were still so much babies in their understanding of the basics of faith, that they couldn’t chew on or digest, understand or appreciate doctrines they needed for maturity.
The Hebrews thought that going back to the old ways of Judaism was preferable because they were suffering from persecution. Judaism provided a "safe," comfortable place. They knew what to expect with the Law, Moses, and the priestly sacrificial system. It was a mistake. But to explain this to them was hard because they simply hadn’t eaten enough of the solid food of doctrine that God has given us in His Word through the witness of Jesus Christ.
Verses 11 - 14
5:11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
You know - there really is a lot to learn about the Lord and our walk with Him. I’ve talked to people who say they’ve read the Bible, or even gone to Bible school and claim they pretty much know it - they’ve got it down.
Let me tell you - if you ever think you have arrived, you haven’t. But telling someone that is next to impossible if they are confident in their idea of what they know.
The author here says the Hebrews had become "dull of hearing." I have become a little dull of hearing myself - I don’t know if it was from SCUBA diving or from all those rock concerts I went to as a kid - but I’ve lost some of my hearing. It’s not the whole range of sound - in fact it’s in the range of human speech (200Hz to 32.kHz). When there is a lot of ambient noise around I have a hard time picking out conversation. Some of my hearing is really good - almost too good - like super high-pitched sounds drive me crazy.
We can get that way spiritually too. Sometimes we have filled our minds with so much noise - bad doctrine - that we can no longer hear the truth. Or maybe we have focused so much on our pet doctrine that we are really sensitive to that - but not to anything else.
There comes a time when we should be able to understand the basics - and move on to maturity. But it’s as if these people got stuck as baby Christians - perhaps not even Christians at all - so it’s no wonder they hadn’t progressed.
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.
As he’s been saying - they are missing the basic point that salvation comes by faith and trust in Jesus as the ultimate rest, the only way to move forward. They act as if they are on a diet of steak but in reality they are so infantile in their understanding that they need the easily digested basic doctrines first - just a baby needs a mother’s milk, not a big T-bone until they have matured.
And how does that immaturity come about? Through a lack of understanding of the Bible. "Unskilled in the word of righteousness." That’s another reason why here at Calvary Chapel Newberg we teach verse by verse through the word of righteousness.
In a more basic way too - they were unskilled in the word of the true gospel, thinking that going back to their roots of Judaism was a good thing.