Saturday, October 3, 2020

It's Time to Grow Up!

"Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness" (Hebrews 5:13)

In Hebrews 5:1, the author begins a discussion of the high priestly work of Jesus, who was not just a high priest in the Aaronic sense, but was the Great High Priest in the sense of the priesthood of Melchizedek. But he interrupts himself, writing, “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn” (Hebrews 5:11).

Now ask yourself: How much do you know about the Aaronic and the Melchizedekian priesthoods? Do you know why the latter is superior to the former? If not, don’t feel too bad. We are living in an age of great Bible ignorance. Let me ask you to open yourself up to the message of Hebrews 5:11–14. Let these verses address you.

The author says that discussing the Aaronic and Melchizedekian priesthoods will be hard because you are slow to learn. You have been a Christian for a number of years, and by now you ought to be able to teach anyone about something as fundamental as this. But you are ignorant. You need someone to teach you the basics all over again. You want milk because you are a baby. You have refused to grow up. You just want fellowship and warm, fuzzy Christianity. Even baby food like ground-up bananas is too much for you. You insist on milk.

When are you going to grow up? Do we have to go over the infant doctrines of baptism, manual imposition, and eternal judgment again (6:1–2)? It’s time to go to nursery school and learn about Aaron and Melchizedek. Too bad we won’t have time to get into the more mature stuff (see 9:5).

Whoa! Most of us would regard Hebrews as one of the most complex and profound books in the New Testament, but the author of Hebrews is saying that the book of Hebrews is elementary.

Sadly, the condition pointed to in Hebrews 5:11–13 is the most obvious characteristic of the evangelical world today. Evangelicals talk about the Bible, but they know very little of it. “Bible studies” usually consist of little sixth-grade level workbooks with fill-in-the-blank questions. Real Bible knowledge is very rare in the evangelical world. This is a situation that desperately needs to be changed.

We’re all in this boat of ignorance together. Those who refuse to learn have been allowed to dominate church life. Only when people like you and me rise up and begin serious, in-depth study of the Bible, and only when you pray for your church leaders and ask them to guide you, will this change.