Feb 6, 2019
Growing In Christ Series
WOFCF Adult Bible Study Lesson
GROW UP! (Hebrews 5:11-6:3)
Many homes may have a growth chart (or some sort) for small children somewhere in the house. We sometimes used the inside of a closet doorjamb to mark the height of our kids and the date. Then, perhaps each year on their birthdays, we would measure them again. They were always excited to see how much they had grown!
But can you imagine how shocked and concerned we would have been if, instead of growing up, one of our children had grown down! We would have scheduled an immediate doctor’s appointment to find out what was wrong. Growth is normal and a cause for joy. Shrinkage would have been bizarre and a cause for alarm.
Many of the Hebrew Christians to whom our author wrote had grown down in their Christian walk, not up. He says that they had come to need milk again, not solid food. Imagine a teenager who quit eating regular food and went back to formula and Gerber’s processed peas! Instead of being able to teach others, they now need someone to teach them the ABC’s of the Christian life all over again. The point is we need to grow up (or mature) in the Lord.
You have no doubt been in a situation where an adult was acting like a child: throwing a temper tantrum, or not dealing with a frustrating situation in a mature way. You want to shout, “Grow up! Act your age!” That’s what the author does here with the Hebrew Christians.
Topic#1 Is it possible to be a Christinan, but to be slow to grow?
If there is spiritual life, there will be spiritual growth of some sort, but growth rates vary. Some become Christians and instantly drop the sins that have plagued their lives for years and never fall back. Others struggle to get rid of those sins for decades. The author hits the Hebrews with the fact that they “have become dull of hearing” (5:11). They didn’t used to be that way, but they have developed this spiritual disorder. “Dull” is used only here and in 6:12 in the New Testament, and has the nuance of sluggish or slow. Therefore, the word has the idea of spiritual laziness or lethargy.
When there is an opportunity to get into God’s Word, this person says, “Nah, let’s see what’s on the tube.” When there is occasion to go and hear the Word taught, he says, “I’m tired. I think I’ll stay home and go to bed early.” Verse 11 shows that teaching God’s Word is a two-way matter. There is the knowledge and ability of the teacher to explain things clearly and in an interesting manner. Also, there is the receptivity of the hearers.
It is significant that the best teacher who has ever lived used to exhort His audience, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” “Take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him” (Luke 8:8, 18). If Jesus is the preacher and the message isn’t coming through, guess who is at fault? When hearers are dull, teaching is difficult.