Growth is Not an Option (Hebrews #15)

Text: Hebrews 5:12-14

Growth is expected

  • Notice the word ought.
  • The Jews were given the words of God first.  Had they been receptive as a nation they would’ve become the light to the Gentiles.  Instead they had become a mission field.  The oracles of God were the words of God (Acts 7:38 …lively oracles… from Sinai).  Paul said one of the great benefits of being a Jew is that unto them were committed the oracles of God (Romans 3:2).
  • Stunted growth is unhealthy.
    • Milk is good in its time.  If you’re a baby, no one expects you to eat steak.  But if you’re thirty years old and on a bottle, it means you’re extremely unhealthy.
    • Worse yet, in this case Paul says that their milk diet is not going to be enough to get them through what’s coming.
  • Spiritual growth is suppose to occur naturally over time.
    • It’s being exercised in righteousness.  There is something wrong if growth is not occurring.
    • The flesh is in opposition to spiritual growth because spiritual growth means the flesh is not getting its way.  Learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.
    • Spiritual maturity is Christ-likeness.  Or a continual exercise of forcing the body to yield to the Spirit of God.  Making the senses subject to the will of God.
      • Eyes used to see how God sees.
      • Ears used to listen to God and others.
      • Mouth used to speak for the Lord and eat what’s necessary for energy to do the work of God.
    • Here’s the problem with old immature Christians.  You’re not a teacher but you resent being treated like a child.

Growth is measurable

  • First principles defined as milk are:
    • Repentance from dead works (Galatians 5, religion) and faith
    • Baptisms
    • Laying on hands
    • Resurrection
    • Judgment
  • All these had been given to the Jews first.  They were expected to have grown up and bore fruit, but as a nation they haven’t.
  • This is milk doctrine, and in its time it’s alright to drink milk.
    • Forms a sort of discipleship curriculum.
    • Also exposes spiritual baby killers that always show up immediately after someone gets saved.
  • Growth describes the ability to digest solid food
    • Digestive system functionality.  The ability to turn food into energy, growth, and cell repair.
    • An interesting note here about the law of clean beasts.  They were defined by how they walked and how they digested their food.
    • The danger here with the Jews is they will be unable to discern the truth, particularly in the end (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

Growth has no substitute

  • Bible knowledge is no substitute for Bible application.
  • Harvest of the end (Hebrews 1:3)
    • Either bearing fruit or cursed (6:7-8)
    • One thing matters in a harvest, whether or not this is a productive crop or not.
      • No more watering will take place.  No more cultivating.  No more weeding.  No more planting.
      • The only thing that matters in a harvest is fruit.
    • Skill is the application of the principles.
    • By reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
    • This could also be said as Paul said it in Romans 12:1-2.  Present your bodies a living sacrifice, and be not conformed to this world that you may prove what’s good, acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
    • Learning involves application of information.
    • John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.