Saturday, May 23 2020
How would you rate your level of understanding God’s Word from 1 to 10 with 10 being fully mature Christian capable of teaching others on more than the elementary teachings of the Scriptures? All Christians are growing, and the faithful will never stop growing in knowledge. Peter closed his last letter commanding, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18 ESV). Many Christians should be concerned because have stopped growing and are falling behind.
The apostle Paul by the Holy Spirit answers many questions about Christian maturity and understanding the Bible in Hebrews 5:11–14. The apostle explained the implications of Jesus as the high priest in the previous verses and he noted that these are hard to explain to many Christians because they have become hard of hearing (cf. Heb 4:14–5:10). Paul expressed, “About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing” (Hebrews 5:11).
How did they become hard of hearing? By the writer assuming the Pauline author of Hebrews is Paul, he observed previously that these Hebrew Christians were apostatizing. Paul warned, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12). Their problem was that they were hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (3:13). Paul urged these Christians to encourage one another every day and hold to the original confidence as they share in Christ (3:13–14). For this reason, the apostle warned them not to harden their hearts as the Israelites did in the rebellion against Moses (3:15–19).
If you struggle to understand, do not be discourage Peter noted that much of Paul’s writing was hard to understand (2 Pet 3:15–16). However, if you know that you should have matured to teaching God’s Word to others, then you should be concerned. You can progress quickly by constantly studying God’s Word and talking with others.
The apostle Paul expanded and observed, “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, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child” (Hebrews 5:12–13). The lack of discipline and study has hurt the church as the faithful watch others give up and no words seem to persuade any change of their thinking. Jesus had good reasons for training His disciples constantly every day by example and teaching.
These Christians were not mature. Paul explained, “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14). The apostle is not talking about the mere judgment of right and wrong behavior but distinguishing “good from evil” teaching. Paul urged them, “Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity” (6:1). The apostle saw that they should not need to establish the foundation of elementary teachings any more (6:2–3). Paul saw that they needed again to be taught the foundation of repentance, faith, baptisms, laying on hands, resurrection, and the judgment day. These Christians should be studying and teaching these subjects in-depth and not needing someone to teach them again.
Can you teach foundational teaching from the Scriptures on these six subjects? Then you know that you are mature in teaching. Do not give up on the contemplation of God and His Word. The best help that I get is to listen to other brethren in conversations, books, articles, and recorded sermons and studies. We need each other. Wherever you are, stay close to God and return if you need to the contemplation of His Word so that you can confidently teach the truth.