Grace For Your Day August 15

The Book of Hebrews is an interesting book because, on the one hand, it is full of deep doctrine. It talks about some subjects that really stretch the mind but, on the other hand, it is very practical as well because it gives us some basics warnings. The reason it does this is because church-going people need to be cautioned from time-to-time. We all have a tendency to become apathetic in our relationship with the Lord so the author writes to address that.
 
We have covered several of these warnings before in previous weeks but here is a summary of them. In this Letter, the Author tell us: 
  • Do Not Drift from the Word (or neglect it) – 2:1-4
  • Do Not Doubt the Word (or become hardened to it) – 3:7-11
  • Do Not be Dull to the Word (or be sluggish to it) – 5:11-14
  • Do Not Despise the Word (or sin willfully against it) – 10:26-31
  • Do Not Defy the Word (or reject it like Esau did) – 12:14-17 \

After working through these first two points in previous weeks, we find ourselves in the third one this Sunday. Hebrews 5:11-12 says: 
Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
 
The Author tells his hearers that they are “dull of hearing” which is the word nothros in Greek. It means “slow or sluggish or lazy” because they hear the Word of God but they do not do anything with it. He also says that they need “someone to teach you the elementary principles” again and that phrase refers to your ABC’s. It was a term that was used to describe small wooden blocks that parents would carve Greek letters into in the First Century so that their children could learn the alphabet. The reason he mentions it here is because he feels like his audience had never gotten past that in regards to the Bible. After sitting in church for years, they did not know the most basic principles of the Gospel and needed to hear them again.
 
So his admonition for them is to leave the elementary teachings behind and “press on to maturity” (6:1). Why? Because he cannot go deeper with them until they do. He has so much more to teach them about Jesus but he cannot make any progress unless they grow up.
 
As one pastor said, “Most professing Christians today are ‘Betweeners’ because they live somewhere between Egypt and Canaan. They never make up their mind which one they belong to and, as a result, they never make any real progress in the faith.” This is what was happening to the audience in the Book of Hebrews and the warning is for us not to do the same.
 
This is important because this letter makes it clear that our salvation is all of Christ (4:14-16). It shows us that our redemption is entirely a work of Him because He is our great high priest (5:1-10) but, at the same time, He does expect us to grow in light of that (5:11-14). Our high priest does not want us to stay in the same place forever because we need to move on from milk to solid food (5:14) which is what we are going to talk about this week at Grace Fellowship Church.
 
This Sunday, we are going to discuss the subject of “Pressing onto Maturity.” If you find yourself struggling with apathy and laziness, this sermon should be helpful for you because I will give you some practical tips for how to defeat it. My prayer is that it will help you escape the temptation to be a “Betweener” and allow you to grow past the elementary things as this passage talks about. The sermon will be recorded and livestreamed on our You Tube Channel for any who are not able to make it in person.

-Jeremy Cagle

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