Series: Doers of the Word
Message – Milk or Meat?
Milk or Meat?
“(12) I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. (13) However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. (14) He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. (15) All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”
“(1) I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. (2) Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. (3) You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. (4) Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. (5) “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (6) If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. (7) If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (8) By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. (9) “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. (10) If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (11) “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. (12) This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (13) Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (14) You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”
“(24) Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.”
“(11) of whom we have much to say, and 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 first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. (13) For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. (14) But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
Here the writer digresses to complain of the low spiritual attainments of the Palestinian Christians and to warn them of the danger of falling from light once enjoyed by regressing to only drink “milk” and not eat solid food.
Unskilled = without experience (without practical application of knowledge)
hard to be uttered — means, hard to state intelligibly due to their dullness about spiritual things. So, instead of saying the many things he could say freely, he limits himself to writing comparatively few words (Heb. 13:22).
“(22) And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words.”
Your level of Christian character DIRECTLY affects your ability to see and understand spiritual truths.
you have become dull of hearing— this implies that once, when first “enlightened,” they were earnest and zealous, but had become dull. Their regression in spiritual growth was DIRECTLY connected to the maturity of their diet. The Apostle uses the analogy of only drinking “milk” not because there is something inherently wrong with milk, nor to suggest that milk may not be at times suitable to an adult’s digestion – but only to illustrate a condition of maturity. If milk is ALL they consume, their growth in Christ is on the level of an infant NOT an adult.
This passage shows that the Hebrew believers AT JERUSALEM were dull in spiritual things.
These Hebrews were slow, sluggish, numbed, in their apprehension of the teaching of New Testament truth. This made it difficult to teach them. The difficulty lay therefore not in the writer but in them. But they had not always been in that condition, as is shown by the words translated “have become” which is in the perfect tense which tense speaks of a process completed in past time having present results!
Signs of Maturity and Immaturity
“(11) For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. (12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. (13) These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (14) But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (15) But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. (16) For “WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD THAT HE MAY INSTRUCT HIM?” But we have the mind of Christ.”
1 Cor. 3:1-3,
“(1) And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. (2) I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; (3) for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?”
- The mature Christian (Spiritual man) has discernment (judgment).
- The Immature Christian (carnal) is clueless.
- The Mature Christian (Spiritual man) understands spiritual truths and does not need parables.
- The immature Christian (carnal) needs physical examples to illustrate spiritual concepts to facilitate their grasping their truths.
Growth is NOT one way!
Unlike typical physical growth, spiritual growth can either progress or regress at any time. Things once clearly understood and perhaps even practices can become unclear to the point of no remembrance at all through a lack of practice concerning the Word.
Light is often used to illustrate revelation in the heart, but light is NOT just what you HAVE learned, it is also your aptitude FOR learning.
“(9) Pause and wonder! Blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; They stagger, but not with intoxicating drink. (10) For the LORD has poured out on you The spirit of deep sleep, And has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, namely, the seers. (11) The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, “Read this, please.” And he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” (12) Then the book is delivered to one who is illiterate, saying, “Read this, please.” And he says, “I am not literate.” (13) Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, (14) Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work Among this people, A marvelous work and a wonder; For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.” (15) Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the LORD, And their works are in the dark; They say, “Who sees us?” and, “Who knows us?”
We will pick up here next week…Blessings!
I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
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