Summary: new believers
Intro: in the weeks ahead I would like to have a growing up seminar on Wednesday nights, discussing the doctrines of Christ using Hebrews chapter 6, moving toward perfection, and having an understanding of repentance, faith toward God, baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection from the dead, and eternal judgment. Also in Hebrews 6—backsliding, things that accompany salvation, blessings and multiplication of blessings, covenant, the High Priest of heaven.
But before we have a growing up seminar, we need to understand the problems of spiritual infancy that was the preface for Chapter 6 found in Hebrews 5:11-14. So this week we will look at the problems of spiritual infancy, and then in the weeks ahead move toward a spiritual excellence in Christ.
The Problems of Spiritual Infancy
I can’t remember what it was like to be a baby, or toddler, but as you grow up and face real life, the problems and pressures and responsibilities of adulthood, you realize a baby has it made. Constant care around the clock, never lifting a finger to do anything, a feeding every time you cry, and everyone ooing and going over you all the time. In Hebrews 5, before the meat of Chapter 6, the writer paints a picture of the problems of Spiritual infancy, and gives an encouragement in chapter 6, to move on.
Let’s look at verses 11-14, and see if we have any signs of infancy still in our lives.
1. dull of hearing—v.11—a dangerous sign for any of our lives is when nothing that is said to us impacts our lives anymore. Spiritual infancy is only hearing what we want to hear and spitting out anything we don’t like.
Examples—there are a lot of people who want to hear teaching on blessing, prosperity, gifts and anointing—that don’t want to hear anything about submission to Spiritual authority in our lives, humility and servanthood, stewardship, faithfulness and suffering for the cause of Christ.
The mute button—we live in the mute button society, if we don’t want to hear what is on, we can mute it.
Symptoms of infancy hearing:
a. you better be exciting and interesting and loud and emotional or I will say, you don’t have the anointing, or you don’t feed me.
b. I have heard everything in the entire bible, how in the world do you think you can give me anything tonight. Normally this attitude causes people to go off on tangents into demonology, study of angels or getting lost in eschatology.
c. Zero retention ability—dull of hearing is another way of saying the inability to retain anything I hear.
II. Ought to be teachers instead of being taught—v.12
I think most churches have lost the goal of what the church is all about, to recreate teachers from the teacher. Simply put, everyone should be growing to the point that all can adequately expound scripture to family, friends, and co-workers.
The dangerous consumer trap—people shop until the drop in every area of life, and the same holds true in the church. Many people see the church as a place for them to be ministered to, and that be an end in itself. But the church is a building block, a growing place.
a. not all preacher, teachers—but all should be able to share their faith. All should be able to give scripture that points to Christ. All should be able to have a working knowledge of the doctrines of the Bible.
b. the more exciting of the two. Being the taught is wonderful, an experience we all need, but being the one who shares their faith, one who helps others grow, this is the greater blessing.
III. Staying on First—v.12 first principles of the oracles of God.
Two words fit this point, satisfied or complacent. Some believe the sole purpose of Jesus Christ in their lives is to wash away their sins, and take them to heaven. But Jesus wants a relationship in every believer’s life.
God wants to bestow blessings and benefits into all the lives of his children.
IV. Milk over Meat—v.12
I have already covered this somewhat in the introduction but to further illustrate this point lets look at a few more things.
a. limited nourishment—many people want just enough to get by or survive on. Milk is okay for babies, but to become full age, you need additional nutrients.
b. Easier to swallow—as you follow Christ, meat becomes part of the growing process. Meat is harder to swallow. Some things in serving Christ are more difficult, so we can revert back to infancy which is a more enjoyable stage.
V. Unskillful in the Word—v.13
A while back I bought a chain saw to help around our lot. Especially after the Hurricane. But since I am unskillful I got Roger Lashley to show me how to use it. For him it was a piece of cat, because he uses one all the time.