Heb. 5:10-14 Are you becoming spiritual Mature TPC 5,25
Intro: I want you to think back to HighSchool days / Jr. High days
Remind you of 2 words a teacher could say – that could ruin your Day.
A)Two words that could make your heart sink / nerves race / Body sweat . - What are those two words – POP QUIZ
B)Now if you had that teacher 1st period / notify your buddies in the periods that followed – Everyone geared up
1) Kids Scramble/ Instant study groups formed – smart kids in that first period class became your best friends – You have got to help
C) I hated Pop Quizzes/ In my opinion if you looked up – Pop Quiz in the Dict. – def. A form of Cruel & unusual Punishment /
Well this morning/ Pay back time/ I am going to give a Pop Quiz – but before you panic / start to sweat . I want you to know – One question
A)No one is going to see your answer but you / not going to be graded / and when we are finished / heart either be Encouraged or Challenged / OK
B) Here is the Question : Are You becoming Spiritually Mature ?
1) Think about that – What would you say ?/ How can you Know? – answer is found in our Text this morning
C) Lay out the theme of Ch./ Jesus High Priestly ministry being superior to the Priest in the O.T. – Old Covenant./ Because after the order of Melch
1) Which means He is a King & Priest – his ministry is forever/ Focus of our study last Sun/ Wed. / w/ that in mind – He says this Read v.11-14
Now here in these verses the writer addresses the Problem of Spiritual immaturity / describes some Characteristics of it Describes how it starts
A)But in the process he also tells us – how it can be avoided & what a person who is becoming spiritually mature is like
The first thing I want us to notice is the Characteristics of
their Spiritual Immaturity note 2 things
#1 Their Inactivity in sharing12For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God;
A) This reminds us that in some regard, every Christian is to be a teacher
1) Paul told older women in church to teach younger
B) Parents are to train up children
1) Timothy was told to take the things that Paul had shared w/ him & teach them to men who could in turn teach others
C.) Eph. 4 told The purpose of the church was to teach the Word for purpose of equipping the saints ... work of ministry/ teaching & Ministering to others
1) God’s desire for us as believers is not to be RESEVIORS of information / but channels / Funnels / Take in & give out !!!!
Best way to Learn: We really only master something after we have effectively taught it to someone else; teaching is the final step of learning
A)Jesus said Mk 4:24,25 Context of receiving the Word Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. 25For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”
B) Idea is this : It is as you teach others that you are given more
1) Every study you hear – Make it your own by sharing it w/ Kids / someone you work w/ - More give out / More given
C) So By this time they should have been teachers; disciplers; they had known Lord long enough to be sharing with others/ Impacting others
1.) Bringing others along in their walks
D)Yet that wasn't happening here: they were not teaching they weren't
discipling / they weren’t training up others
1) They were sitting idle, it resulted in Their immaturity/ stunted Growth
So the first Characteristic of their immaturity was their Inactivity in sharing/ they weren’t giving out /
A)2nd Characteristic they were living on a baby food DIET – v.12,13 2For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
B) Milk corresponds w/ the first principles in verse 12; solid food is the "meatier" material such as understanding Jesus and Melchizedek
1) It isn't that the first principles are "beneath" the mature Christian; but that he should be able to teach himself, remind himself of those basic things
C) And It isn't that milk is bad! Peter reminds us all (1 Peter 2:2)as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby
1) Mature Christians are never weaned from this milk; but solid food is added to their spiritual diet
D) The problem w/ these believers in the book of Hebrews was that they were stuck on the milk & had not progressed to solid food
1) They were old enough in years to be going into deeper things - but they were still NURSING on the Basics Principles
E) Sad description of many who call themselves Christians / never develop an appetite for the Meat –
Now for some the problem is that is all they are ever exposed to by their Churches / Never given any MEAT .
A)Salvation sermons – Every week – God’s love / the cross /
B) Even Sadder: A Problem that is increasing in the American Churches today – People are not given the word at all. / Object is to Entertain – ELVIS
1) Sermons that resemble more of a self Help seminar than a Bible study
Full of Pop Psychology / Positive thinking / tools for Success
C) I know of one huge “ Seeker” Church in Chicago – Willow Creek Where people don’t even bring their Bibles –
1)Because although Pastor talks from the Bible – shares principles but doesn’t open the Bible/ offensive or unrelatable to the UnChurched
These churches - keep people babes - and sickly at that!
The result our nation is becoming Biblically Illiterate / Example
A New England teacher quizzed a group of college-bound high-school juniors and seniors on the Bible. Prior to a "Bible as Literature" class .
Among the most unusual answers from his students were: "Sodom and Gomorrah were lovers" and "Jezebel was Ahab's donkey."
Other students thought that the four horsemen appeared "on the Acropolis," that the New Testament Gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, "Luther," and John, that Eve was created "from an apple," and that Jesus was "baptized by Moses."
The answer that took the misinformation prize was given by a fellow who was academically in the top 5% of the graduating class. The question: "What was Golgotha?" The answer: "Golgotha was the name of the giant who slew the apostle David."
A)Our nation & the church as a whole is moving more & more away from the word/ REASON FOR OUR PROBLEMS - POEM
B) Notice the last part of v. 13 again for he is a babe /Lit for he has become a babe. ( Speaks of a regression / Instead of Growth )
1) Now There is nothing more delightful than a true babe in Christ; So excited everything is fresh & New – Like a Sponge/
C) There is nothing more delightful than a true babe in Christ
1) At the same time there is nothing more irritating and depressing than someone who should be mature but who has become a babe!
D) Some one who has regressed / should be mature
1) Picture here is of a person who is adult in Body – but is still eating like
a Baby – adult in Diapers / Gerbers / That is Gross
Consider the similarities between one who is a Baby & Some one who has become a Babe
A)Take a Baby Their capacity to take in and digest is small/ Aaron at 2/ now
B) Become Babes – Capacity for the word is small – longer than 30 minutes looking at watch / bored / sermonettes for Christianettes
1) Babies will put anything in their mouths! Become Babes are weak in discernment, and will accept any kind of spiritual food
C) Babies are handed from one person to another; babes are tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14ff)
1) Babies are focused on one particular person (mommy); babes focus on men (I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, etc.)
D) Babies can be cranky; babes will fuss over any little thing/ never satisfied
E) Babies need to be spoon fed! Or nursed! /Become Babes never get into the word on their own / only spoon fed Coming to church
Now we are exhorted to come to Church/ be in Fellowship / But that can’t be the extent of a persons spiritual Nourishment
A)Physically survive ate once a week? Imagine be like? Some try to do that spiritually - eat once week; or twice month
Physically wouldn't survive! Many try spiritually
B) What is Even more tragic is when that person not feeding spirit, usually feeding their flesh!
1.) Then wonder why -works of flesh are ever more evident in their life
than fruit of spirit
C) Bitterness, anger, hatred, strife, jealousy, outburst of wrath, selfish ambitions/ come out rather than the fruit of the spirit
1) When feeding spirit - result is love, joy, peace,, patience, faithfulness,
goodness , self control / coming forth from your life
Man described - two natures - two dogs - which one wins?/ Feed the most
So we see here some characteristics of spiritual immaturity - but where and how does it start? Answer is in V.11 - Become dull of hearing!
A.)Notice the condition was developed - became that way / it wasn't always case! They had become dull of hearing
B) Being dull of hearing is not a problem with the ears, but a problem with the heart –
1) It is when you aren't really interested in what God has to say to you.
C) Dullness = being sluggish, a laziness, apathy and complacency that prevents spiritual development
Jesus said Matt 5:3 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness ... filled
A)This is the opposite of that - hunger is gone/ thirst doesn’t Exist
B.)It describes a person who's appetite for Word has been replaced by a desire for other things / The fire that once burned bright in life: dim flicker
C.)The zeal and excitement that once characterized their desire for God,
His Word, things of Kingdom / is gone
1) Replaced by sense of duty, of routine even boredom
D)Talked with one man this happened to - asked him what happened? Fire gone; zeal; joy! I have just Matured?
1) Those I see in Word - growing in maturity - more on fire! Not less; more hungry - not less/ More Excited not less /
E) FR Webber A History of Preaching & in America – notes that during the great Awakening Revival – sudden interest in Shorthand / sermon notes
1) So Hungry for the word & had such a desire to study / learn / to hear and to Remember
What causes the heart to grow dull? Note Few insights from Scripture:
A.)Spiritual pride: Rev 3 - Church of Laodecia they said we are rich and had it together!
B) But Jesus perception of them was quite different Poor, miserable, blind, and naked! LUKE WARM – No Fire / No Passion / Stuffy
1) The person who because they have a certain degree of Knowledge or have been in the Church a significant period of time
C) That person can develop this attitude / think no longer need to be fed / don’t need to go to Wed. Bible study / Mens / womans – I know that Book
1) Contrast - Paul bring the scrolls - ( Not Radical to be in Church 2 or 3 times a Week )
#2 - Cares of the World! - Parable of Sower!
A.)Seed sown among thorns Word choked out - become unresponsive to it by getting focused on cares of world!/ Pursuit of Riches
B) People just get distracted from the things of the Lord – can’t make it to Bible study – have to work too Late To much to do
1) Oregon lady told me – Switch wed. to Thurs / Must see T.V. night / What on T.V is a MUST SEE EVENT ?
#3 - Think w/ most it begins w/ a lack of exercise
A.)Spoiled nation freedom and access to the Word via Tapes, radio -studies
B.) But when a person just takes in Word and only digest - get fat - complacent - constipated
1) Red Sea verses the Dead Sea – Out flow is the Key
C) Need to have an Outlet / take in the word & then give it out – You share / you teach – that is when growth & maturity happens
1) More You give out the more you Get
Here we see a major Characterisitic of those who are Mature full age who are able to handle solid food – who’s hearts have not grown Dull
A)Maturity comes when - Word is taken and put to use!
1.) That is who solid food is for – the one’s who puts word into practice
B)Person who says - how can I apply this?/ Pray it in right then
1.) Prays Lord give me something to do - someone to share w/!
C) Person who realizes that this life is not a Playground but a battle ground / there is a lot at Stake / many lives to be touched / enemy who is against us
1) The word is our NOURISHMENT / OUR WEAPON / OUR TOOL
A U.S. Army officer told of the contrast in his pupils during two different ERAS of teaching at the artillery training school at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
In 1958; the attitude was so lax that the instructors had a problem getting the men to stay awake to listen. However, During the 1965; classes, the men, hearing the same basic lectures, were alert and took detailed notes.
The reason for the difference in 1965: those men knew that in less than six weeks they would be facing the enemy in Vietnam.
D)One reason that Bible study seems to be irrelevant & Boring to some Christians is that they are not in the BATTLE / NO IMPACT
1)They have no interaction with non-Christians, no vital ministry to growing believers, / not passing the word on to their Kids
Those who full age the use word – have their senses exercised (trained by practice and habit) to discern both good and evil
A) All five human senses have their spiritual counterparts & the more that we use the Word the more those senses Grow / stronger / for example
B)We have a spiritual sense of taste: (1 Peter 2:3); tasting that the Lord is gracious (Psalm 34:8)Taste and see that the Lord is good!
C) So the more that we get into the word & allow the word to get into us by making it a part of our lives / our spiritual tastes buds develop
1) We develop a greater Hunger & thirst – Our Capacity to study longer & deeper grows - We enjoy the Meat / Challenging things
We have a spiritual sense of hearing: (Is.55:3); Hear& your soul shall live Rev 2:7)He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches
A)The more we use the Word the Better we are able to Hear / Our sensitivity to the H.Spirit’s work thru the Word – gets sharper
B)We have a spiritual sense of sight: (Psa.119:18)Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law; (Eph. 1:18) the eyes of your understanding (heart) being enlightened
C) The more we use the word – the greater our ability to see & Understand Deeper things from the Lord . / Discernment for what is not Right
We have a spiritual sense of smell: In Phil 4:18 Paul describes the gifts that were given to him by the Church in Philippi as a sweet smelling aroma
A)The more that we are in the word / & use the word – the more we are able to smell the spiritual graces in situations / in others /
B) Paul said 2 Cor.2:15 5For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
1) You are able to Spiritual smell those who bear that fragrance
We have a spiritual sense of touch or feeling: 2 Kings 22:19); describes a tenderness to the Lords Word - / Soft heart vs heart
A)The More we get into the word – water our hearts the softer it gets
So Pop Quiz Are You Becoming Spiritually Mature
A)One of the nice things about Pop quizzes is that a lot of times the teacher didn’t count them against your grade
B) Instead they served either as a wake up call / Need to study this more / it pointed out areas of weakness / not where I thought I was
1) But it also served to CONFIRM OR ENCOURAGE - I have got this down – I am strong in this subject
C) Confirmation for you – that you were on the right Track
Today’s Quiz Your reaction? Wake up /
A)Sad some wake up never study – still fail the test
B) 3 Heart conditions here today – ONE Burning heart – Can’t get enough – Guys on the Road to Emmaus – Don’t leave / why Hearts burned
C) Or – Dull Heart – Complacent apathetic – hunger has not grown but has diminished ( Capacity for study has diminished )
D) OR – DEAD HEART – Reason not Born Again
Burning ? Be encouraged / but take note how easy it is to become dull
Dull – Repent / Pray stir up a hunger – get back to study
Dead – give your life to Christ