Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Hebrews: The Superiority Of Christ To Errant Religions
Part V: The Superiority Of Christ's Priesthood To Other Priesthoods, Hebrews 5:1-10:39
B. Warning About Immaturely Neglecting Christ's Priesthood, Hebrews 5:11-6:20
1. The Cause And Cure Of Prolonged Immaturity
(Hebrews 5:11-6:3)
  1. Introduction
    1. Christians who have recently trusted in Christ for salvation are understandably immature in the faith.
    2. However, many suffer from prolonged immaturity, and the cause and cure of such a problem is given in Hebrews 5:11-6:3, a passage we view for our correction and edification as the case may be (as follows):
  2. The Cause And Cure Of Prolonged Immaturity, Hebrews 5:11-6:3.
    1. Though the author of Hebrews had begun to write on the great, meaty and incredibly important subject of Christ's High Priestly Ministry (Hebrews 5:1-10), the "immaturity and sluggishness of his audience . . . made him wonder how much exposition they could digest" ( Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 792), so he addressed this problem in the parenthetical section of Hebrews 5:11-6:20.
    2. Hebrews 5:11-14 describes the cause of such prolonged immaturity, and Hebrews 6:1-3 tells of its cure:
      1. Prolonged spiritual immaturity arises from a threefold failure -- the (a) lack of using one's time to (b) increase his knowledge of Scripture (c) in order to apply it to discern between ever deeper levels of good and evil one's life, Hebrews 5:11-14; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Hebrews 5:14:
        1. The author of Hebrews claimed he had many things to reveal to his readers about Christ and His High Priestly ministry (Hebrews 5:8-10, 11a), but that he was hindered from doing so effectively by his readers' slowness to learn such spiritual truths, Hebrews 5:11b NIV.
        2. Their prolonged immaturity had come from the readers' failure to utilize their time (Heb. 5:12a) to get to know Scripture and to become teachers of its truths by applying it to life when all they could still handle was basic truths as babes in Christ, Hebrews 5:12c-13; 1 Corinthians 3:1-2.
        3. In contrast, the mature believers are those who have used their time to get to know Scripture and have applied it in their lives to discern between increasing levels of good and evil, Hebrews 5:13-14.
      2. To solve prolonged immaturity, the author of Hebrews urged his readers to cease being preoccupied with elementary doctrines about Christ that lead to dead ritualism that they might mature, Heb. 6:1-3:
        1. Hebrews 6:1 called the readers to leave the basic doctrines of Christianity to go on into maturity.
        2. This did NOT mean one was to deny such basic doctrines as true, but to cease being preoccupied with them to the extent that they could not grow in the knowledge of Scripture's deeper truths.
        3. Namely, the readers were to avoid laying a foundation again of beliefs in repentance from acts that lead (literally) to "dead works", of faith in God, instructions about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment, Heb. 6:2; Ibid., Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 793.
        4. Since the "dead works" expression "seems to refer to the Levitical ritual (9:14)" of the Judaistic cult that was luring the epistle's readers to abandon Christ (Ibid.; cf. Hebrews 13:10-13), the author of Hebrews was warning against a deadened form of ritualism typical of ritualistic Judaism!
        5. Thus, the author asserted that, God permitting, his readers would indeed leave such dead, Judaistic ritualism, leaving a focus on basic truths to go on in their knowledge of God's Word, Hebrews 6:3.
      3. This call has huge implications today: though we Gentile believers may not be lured to enter ritualistic Judaism that is culturally foreign to us opposite the Hebrew recipients of the Epistle to the Hebrews (cf. Hebrews 1:1), we yet face "Christianized ritualism" that highlights "getting saved and baptized, reading the Bible, praying, going to Church, giving to the Church and missions and witnessing" as if these were the totality of Christianity! A preoccupation with such basics versus growing in Bible knowledge and its use hinders the growth of huge realms of conservative Christianity today!
Lesson: Prolonged immaturity is caused by a preoccupation with true but basic beliefs versus learning Scripture's depths and applying them in our walk so as to discern higher levels of good and evil. We must thus cease a preoccupation with basic truths and learn and use the depths of Scripture to mature!

Application: May we cease focusing on just basic truths and grow in learning and applying Scripture!