Wednesday, January 28, 2015

DISCERNMENT or DECEPTION (pt 5)

Hebrews 5:13—

For every one that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.




The word “milk” is only used five times in the New Testament, and only once does it refer to the actual product that we drink from the animal. The other four times, it is used as in this verse to refer to the “milk of the word.”

1 Cor. 3:2—I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
Heb. 5:12-13—For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
1 Pet. 2:2—As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
It becomes obvious, then, that in the passage under consideration, milk refers once again to a state of immaturity. Needing milk is a mark of the baby, not of the adult.

Our contrast in this passage is that of milk with meat. Milk belongs to the babe, while meat belongs to those who are of full age.

Remember—this is a criticism, not a commendation.

Christians often focus on the verse from Peter as the way we should always be. However, even his word is about growth into a mature believer.

In our verse, the babe is “unskillful in the word of righteousness.” The babe in Christ does not understand righteousness or how to talk about it.

Please bear with me as I try to unpack this concept from my years of experience among Christian believers.

Almost all believers will agree that Christ is their righteousness, and NOT their acts. They know that one cannot earn their salvation through anything that they can do.

Yet, when it comes to assessing other believers (and pre-believers) and their fruit, they go immediately to the things the other is doing—as if being right with God hinges on one’s good behavior.


1 Cor. 1:30—But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Therefore, being skillful in the word of righteousness means that a mature believer believes, lives, applies, practices, speaks, and in all other ways allows ONLY for the righteousness that is to be found in Christ.

Anything less is still a mark of immaturity.

The mark of maturity, as found in our passage under consideration, is the ability to chew and digest “strong meat.”

Staying within the context as given, then, strong meat must obviously be the ability to apply the “word of righteousness” in all situations. The writer says that “meat belongs to them that are full age.”

According to Paul, meat belongs to the spiritual person (read mature) as opposed to the carnal person, for the carnal person is likened to a babe (1 Cor.3:1-2).

Hebrews tells us that the person of full age, a mature believer, a spiritual person, is one who has used his or her senses for more than the simple pleasures they bring.

3 comments:

  1. Digesting these new thoughts and grateful to have you as a spiritual teacher...Mary Ann

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    1. Thank you for visiting. Feel free to share in whatever way the spirit moves.

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