August 1, 2022
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of God’s revelation. You need milk, not solid food.”
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“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of God’s revelation. You need milk, not solid food. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature – for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish good and evil.” Hebrews 5:12-14
I started working full-time when I was in 8th grade. My poor kids have that to live up to! I held the “cart boy” position at the Fianna Hills country club, and working at the club taught me two important things: 1) NEVER wear plaid polyester pants! 2) Money doesn’t buy class.
From my “caddy shack” vantage point, I observed men yelling at their wives during tennis matches, marital infidelity, binge drinking, gambling away expensive cars…and so on. Being educated and affluent doesn’t make you classy or mature.
Likewise, just because a person attends a church doesn’t necessarily make them a mature believer. Maturity comes when we apply the Bible’s teaching and move beyond being “hearers” of the Word to being “doers” of it. If we fail to employ the Biblical teaching we learn, our maturity as believers is stunted.
Imagine my adult son eating the same baby formula as an 8-month-old. How pathetic would that be at a barbecue? It’s the same image Paul uses for believers who refuse to faithfully employ Biblical teaching.
How did Jesus mature as a young Jewish man?
“Though a Son, He learned obedience through what he suffered.” Hebrews 5:8
In our efforts to make our churches more attractive and “relevant,” have we, perhaps, missed the most important lesson of faith? Faith must be employed for a person to realize its worth. Only after we have chosen to trust God, endured the conditions of our calling, and been delivered through various trials can we truly say we were faithful.
The problem with the world is not that they don’t have access to the Gospel or good preaching. With the internet, we have more access to Gospel answers and good preaching than ever in History. The problem is that people don’t have VALUE for the Gospel preached. Those who value the Gospel will be willing to suffer for it.
The author of Hebrews begged his disciples to share in his suffering. He knew faith-in-action moves “Faith in Jesus” from theory to reality. Maturity grows, faith-upon-faith. Our challenge is to press on faithfully, transcending intellectual ascent and striving to obtain the life that makes suffering worthwhile. This moves from milk to meat, training our senses to distinguish good from evil and obeying the Spirit’s leading.