(a message that I wish everyone in the world
would hear and it doesn't necessarily have to
be delivered by me - I would gladly defer to
Christ's rendition of this but since we are
ambassadors of Christ - "I beseech you in
Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God" -
II Cor. 5:20
5:11-14 - The necessity of advancing to the state
of full-grown Christians who can discern
spiritual things - a reproof for ignorance -
backwardness in religious knowledge.
"to know to refuse the evil and choose the good"-
Is. 7:16 - denotes the age after early childhood -
A discussion of what we might and ought to be
with what we are.
The Hebrew Christians had failed to improve
their faculties and were open to the charge of
being in a "state of infancy".
The Bible deals with the deepest and most
wonderful of themes, such as God and His love in
redemption, the human soul, the problem of sin,
eternity and immortality - there is spiritual food
in Holy Scripture for the shallowest and the
We fear that the Bible is far more widely
circulated than read, and far more extensively
read than studied or understood.
Christians differ in the degree of spiritual knowledge -
some are babes - some acquire so firm a grasp of
truth as to become qualified to act as teachers (v.12)
some are invalids due to their neglect of laws of
Unable to assimilate the "solid food" of the Word -
they had degenerated into spiritual weaklings and
invalids - they heard the gospel indolently (lazily)
which causes them dyspepsia (upset stomach)
in need of some form of spiritual Rolaids.
Continuous spiritual infancy is unnatural and
We are persuaded of better things - Eph. 4:11-15
(Once again Exodus 34:6)
There are treasures of truth hidden in Christ -
vs. 13-14 - Christ is the essence of Scripture,
the Old Testament points to the Cross,
the gospels tell the story of the Cross,
the epistles point to the Throne and
the Revelation tells the story of the
Christ is the "Bread of Life".
What nourishing food is to the body, the
Word of God is to the Divine life in man!
There is a distinction drawn here between
those truths which merely sustain life and
those which increase it!
The doctrines of repentance, faith, the
Holy Spirit, Christian service, the
resurrection, the Judgment - these are
the milk - the deeper, fuller truths about
Christ, His character, work, relation, grace,
Son of God and Son of man, our Prophet,
High Priest and King, with the height, depth,
length and breadth of meaning all this involves
"strong meat" - not for babes but full grown
Christian maturity depends on the partaking of
truth in these higher forms - the surpassing
glory of the SON OF GOD!
We are to "grow in grace and in the knowledge
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him
be glory both now and for ever. Amen"
II Peter 3:18
When a person is dull of perception, a deficiency
of faculty, or do not have the opportunity, no
moral blame is attached - it is deplorable
but not censurable. To whom little is given,
little is required but most have time and
opportunities to make the most of!
What number of Christians attend church
through the years and never get past the
attainments of the card class (of my youth-
pictures) or do not attend church at all,
such spiritual dullness is not a misfortune,
but is a SIN, evidences of opportunities
How many otherwise intelligent men are
quite ignorant of the structure of the Bible??
Our hearts are quite prone to try to serve both
God and mammon and are tempted to avoid
intimate acquaintance with a religion which
demands of us serious sacrifices.
Thus, the lack of serious Bible study - system-
atically or without sufficient intellectual effort?
They are into business, politics, literature,
philosophy, science or art - to them the Old
Testament is like the Sahara Desert.
Worldliness of spirit dims and diminishes
the perceptive powers of the soul.
If a man's eyes are fixed upon the earth,
how can he see the brilliance and beauty of
the heavens? If a man's affections are fixed
upon the material and perishable things of
this present world, he will gradually lose his
power for perceiving TRUTH (once again
Exodus 34:6 - God is "abundant in truth"
They are irregular in church attendance or
else connect with churches who have
unedifying preaching - having embraced the
simplest gospel, they have finished their
spiritual education - they love a few pet texts
and are content to leave the rest of the Bible
Thus the danger of APOSTASY in the neglect
of or have an immature apprehension of TRUTH.
The fruit of the neglect of truth (Exodus 34:6
"The Lord, the Lord God......abundant in...
truth) shows up in the character (engraving
or lack of it) and lack of spiritual progress!
Intelligent Christians dishonor Him when
they do not press on to perfection - much
less intelligent men who satisfied with
being "spiritual dwarfs" neglect to
"search the Scriptures for in them ye
think ye have eternal life and they are
they which testify of me" - John 5:39
Psalm 1 says that we are to "meditate
on God's law day and night"
Why is it that the Scriptures are to us, to a
great extent, sealed???
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom"
Skepticism, more than anything else, is
unwillingness to receive the TRUTH!
Though not a racial thing, the mind that allows
its personal desires to decide the Pilatesque
"what is truth" becomes increasingly incapable
of discovering truth when placed before it -
NOTHING MORE SURELY BLINDS THAN
Inability to understand is the judgment on
inattention - Scripture is a sealed book to
the heart that neglects it!
Remember Jesus' words - "He that hath ears to
hear, let him hear"
Progress in the understanding of truth depends on
our own disposition. Great attainments in human
sciences are not for all nor for the many ...Pasteur,
Salk, Madame Curie, Edison, Alexander Graham
Bell, Bill Gates, etc... they demand a certain degree
of intellectual power, a certain amount of leisure or
other facilities - all persons cannot be eminent any
more than all can be rich. But God has made progress
in truth to depend on the state of the heart. He has
ordered things so that babes in this world's knowledge
may be as giants in the knowledge of God in Jesus
Spiritual things are to be spiritually discerned - God has
given us the Holy Spirit that we may be led unto all
truth and if we stumble at this stumbling stone, the
blame is upon us as individuals, especially when the
element of time is brought in as a factor. Here we
have a people who have had the gospel truth for a
long time before them and yet they know little more
than the alphabet.
How much spiritual ignorance there is in the world,
how much error and how many there are busy in
misleading men - they are in the forefront today -
whether in Frankfort, Washington, D.C., college
and university positions, Hollywood, Broadway,
University of Louisville, or in the hamlets across
this once great nation where there are those
"who love to have it so" - Jer. 5:31 and are of
"them which destroy the earth" - Rev. 11:18
We are left with freedom and responsibility!
The spiritual man may come to discern the
difference between the true and the false,
the fleshly and the spiritual, the abiding and
the temporary, the earthly and the heavenly.
Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life!
Remember His words:
"Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,
and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my
blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him
up at the last day. For my flesh is meat
indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
What a monstrosity! The natural man,
nourished by proper food, indulging in
perpetual sensual pleasure, seemingly full
of life, connecting itself with a thousand
worldly things (the psyche if you please)
while the pneuma - the spirit within is a
starved and pining babe.
I will end with two examples of Scripture:
Acts 2:40 -".....save yourselves from this
Apostasy - consummation of the Age (end
of time) - work of the Holy Spirit - lesson
learned while watering flowers on 10/3/2006-
weeds in the flower pot - parable of the
tares - "let them both grow" - it will be
sorted out in the end!
v. 1 - encouragement to spiritual progress
Foundations of the Christian faith:
*Repentance and faith (inward
*Remission of sins (experiences)
*Baptism (outward ceremonies)
*Laying on of hands (confirmation)
*Resurrection of the dead (eternal life)
*Final Judgment (two future events)
Salvation - a personal experience -
"made partakers of the Holy Ghost"
"tasted the good Word of God"
"tasted the powers of the world to come"
v. 5 - "the powers of the world to come"
The Messianic kingdom - still future -
v.6 - The crucifixion of Christ was the blackest
crime in human history
To see the Divinest excellence and to call it
Satanic evil - to call evil good and good evil -
there is not state lower than this!
This letter to the Hebrews is one long and
powerful warning against falling away from
an apostasy - a falling away from the faith
Compare ch. 10:26-31
If men have insulted God, poured contempt upon
His Son, counted the blood of the covenant as an
unworthy thing, grieved and quenched the
Holy Spirit, what can possible remain of
a remedy? Heb. 10:29
Backsliding - willingly negligent of benefits
The Bible gives an instance of backsliding in
Demas - "Demas hath forsaken me, having
loved THIS PRESENT WORLD" - II Tim. 4:10
It is not a little treasure from which the
backslider turns, under the dominion of
v. 9 - encouragement - God will keep you from
v. 10 - the use of grace will be rewarded by
continuance of grace.
"Being confident of this very thing, that He
which hath begun a good work in you will
perform it until the day of Christ"
v. 11 - "that every one of you" - without exception
v. 12 - "be not sluggish" - spiritual listlessness
Success in the spiritual life can only be attained
in connection with diligence.