Hebrews 5:11-14 – 6:1-3: Are you a Baby who still needs milk or Are youa mature Christian who can handle solid food?

  1. Babies Instead of Mature Christians
 
11 About this we have much to say,
and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
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.
  • 14 But solid food is for the mature,
for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
Word Study: The word “dull” means to be lazy and in the context means to be slow to understand. The word “Oracles” means a saying or message originating from God and received as a direct revelation. The word “Unskilled” means to be inexperienced or ignorant, that is, without knowledge. The word “Mature” means to be complete or of full age or fully grown.
 
Message: Verse 11 starts with the words “About this” and this refers to the fact that Jesus is the eternal source of salvation and a High Priest appointed by God as indicated in verses 9-10 of Hebrews chapter 5. The writer of Hebrews is indicating that about this, he has much to say but it is hard or difficult to explain since they, the Jews, have become dull or lazy or too slow to understand. The writer continues to say that although by this time, they should be teachers, they instead  still need someone to teach them the basic principles of the oracles or messages or sayings of God. Meaning that, although by this time and with the amount of information that they have already, they should have been teachers, but because of their slowness to understand, they still need to be taught but, not only that, they still need to be taught the  basics. They have not even graduated from the basics as yet.
The writer then continued to  say that, since they have not yet even graduated from the basics, they need milk not solid food. By milk, referring to the basic principles and by solid food, referring to the fact that Jesus is the eternal source of salvation and a High Priest appointed by God.This is too advanced for them as they still need milk. The writer says they need milk because, they are still unskilled or inexperienced or ignorant and lacking in knowledge, in the word of righteousness or holy living. The writer calls them children when it comes to the word of righteousness. Having called them children who still need milk and not solid food, the writer then explains that solid food is for the mature, the fully grown, the complete. Then the writer goes on to describe what a mature person is and says: “It is someone who through constant training, has the ability to distinguish between what is good and what is evil”.
Clearly therefore, the writer calls the Jews children and inexperienced and ignorant in matters relating to the fact that Jesus is the eternal source of salvation and a High Priest appointed by God.
The question to you now becomes, have you graduated from the basic principles of the oracles of God, which the writer explains in the following verses as the Old Testament? Are you still immature when it comes to matters relating to the fact that Jesus is the eternal source of salvation and a High Priest appointed by God? Do you still need milk and not solid food?
Now, we know that solid food relates to the fact that Jesus is the eternal source of salvation and a High Priest appointed by God but, what is milk? What are these basic principles of the  oracles of God that the Jews should have graduated from? The answer is in Hebrews 6:1-2 below. Lets look at it:
 
  1. Leave Infancy and be Mature
 
​1 Therefore
let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ
and go on to maturity,
not laying again a foundation of repentance
  • from dead works
  • and of faith toward God,
  • 2 and of instruction about washings,
  • the laying on of hands,
  • the resurrection of the dead,
  • and eternal judgment.
3 And this we will do if God permits.
 
Word Study: The word “leave” means to let go
 
Message: The writer of hebrews then describes clearly what he is referring to by milk. He starts again by saying, let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity. Firstly, the word leave here does not mean discard altogether. One must read it in the context and together with the words “go on”. When one does this, it becomes clear that the word “leave” here means to let go, to stop holding on to, to not remain in one place but to move forward. Secondly, the words “elementary doctrine of Christ” carries the same meaning as “the basic principles of the oracles of  God”.In the context of Chapter 5:11-14 and 6:1-2, one can clearly see that this elementary doctrine of Christ is the same or included in the basic principles of the oracles of God. Again, it is this elementary doctrine of Christ that the Jews need to let go off and go on to maturity. So, clearly then, this elementary doctrine of Christ, is what the writer calls milk in Hebrews 5:11-14. Then the writer goes on to list some of what is included in the elementary doctrine of Christ that the Jews must let go of and all these form part of the Old Testament. The writer says they must let go of  laying a foundation of repentance from:
  • from dead works
  • and of faith toward God, instead of faith in Jesus
  • and of instruction about washings, mostly ceremonial
  • the laying on of hands,
  • the resurrection of the dead,
  • and eternal judgment.
Now, all these as I said are part of what was required in the Old Testament for repentance and salvation. The writer is saying, all this is not necessary anymore, all these are just foundational, it is all milk for children. The mature thing now is the fact that Jesus is the only eternal source of salvation and a High Priest appointed by God.
The question to you is that are you still holding on to the Old Testament for your salvation or have you graduated to the New Testament which says that only through Jesus, is there salvation. Amen.
Verse 3 of Hebrews 6 is very difficult to interpret since it can be referring to verse 1 of Hebrews 6 which, refers to leaving the elementary doctrine of Christ, indicating that they will leave the elementary doctrines of Christ if God permits. Or Verse 3 of Hebrews 6 could be referring to verse 11 of Hebrews 5, where the writer says that he has much to say about the fact that Jesus is the eternal source of salvation and a High Priest appointed by God,indicating that he will say much about it if God permits. Both these scenarios make sense and I say we take both of them. Amen

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Posted in Christian Attitude and Behaviour, Christian living, Hebrews, Hebrews 5, Jesus Christ, Repent.

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