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The Warning Against Dullness

Go On To Perfection  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction: Last time we took a look at where we saw that Jesus perfectly fulfilled every qualification in order to be our high priest. He was a man, He was appointed by God, He could sympathize with man, and He offered a sacrifice for man. After the writer of Hebrews pointed out to us that Jesus perfectly fulfilled all of the qualifications of a high priest, he also mentioned that Jesus was a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. Now what does that mean? For now we are not going to answer that question because the writer goes on to say that there is a great message connected to the fact that Jesus is after the order of Melchizedek but it was hard to explain because the Hebrews were dull of hearing. So, this morning we will consider the warning against dullness.
Read Hebrews 5:12-14

Dullness is Dangerous

Read Hebrews 5:12
Because of the length of time they had been under the teaching of the New Testament, these Hebrews should have been mature enough to teach themselves, but because they had never accepted it they could not grow in it. They had a great knowledge of the truth but they had never allowed that truth to make itself at home in their hearts.
Paul gave a similar warning in
Romans 2:17–21 NKJV
Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?
In other words, the Hebrews prided themselves in knowing the Scripture but knowing the Scripture does not amount to much if you are unwilling to believe and practice the Scripture. These Hebrews need to go back to the kindergarten of the faith.
Example: John MacArthur’s story of the pastor’s daughter.

The Need To Be Taught Again

Because the Hebrews had failed to live out the truth of Scripture they were dull and had the need to be taught again of the first principles of the oracles of God. The word used here for first principles literally means the elementary truths or the ABC’s of the faith. What they needed to be taught were the oracles of God. The oracles of God referred to the Old Testament law. These Jews had been exposed to a good amount of New Testament truth but they did not understand the Old Covenant. This is why the writer says that they are unable to handle the deeper truth about Melchizedek. How could this happen?
Jews in the New Testament era, and even today, relied more on the traditions of men than they do the Scriptures themselves.
These Jews did not understand the meaning of their own law and needed someone to take them back to the flannel board. They needed picture books because they didn’t have the ability to read the novel yet. All of the Old Testament ordinances, ceremonies, sacrifices, holy days, and washings pictured and foreshadowed Christ. The Hebrews did not recognize their own Messiah because they did not know what the Old Testament said about him.
The Old Testament is the alphabet and the New Testament is the mature message.
Galatians 3:23–24 NKJV
But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
The law was a tutor, or a child trainer. In the New Covenant we are no longer under the tutor, but we have grown up to be able to replace the picture book with substantial content that we can read.

The Regress of Dulness

These Hebrews, however, had gone back to needing milk rather than solid food. Because of their dullness they had regressed to the point of only being able to handle baby food. It is easy to hear the gospel and hear the gospel and hear the gospel and hear the gospel until it becomes boring and meaningless to you. There comes a time when it is necessary to choose a life that pursues Christ and grows in Christ. These Jews had rejected growing in Christ for so long that they could not handle the difficult truths of Christ.
The contrast here is simple: the one who chooses to feed on the elementary truth will never grow to have any kind of mature spiritual discernment.
Example: The actions of a baby
In the same way, the mature believer has discernment about what is right and wrong, true and false, helpful or harmful. The immature person is willing to try anything. To carry the illustration: the immature person is willing tp put anything in their mouths even if it is poison.

The Call to Maturity

Read
It does not take any skill or maturity to handle milk but it does to handle the solid food of the word of righteousness.
The oracles of God are referred to as the milk and elementary truths while the New Testament is referred to as the solid food and word of righteousness.
The call to maturity is the call to leave the law and come to Christ.
Conclusion: Truth can have two impacts on a person’s life: 1). Truth can make you more dull if you neglect and reject it or 2). The effects of truth can become sharper and sharper in your life the more you exercise that truth in your life. So, what will you do with truth? Will you be dull and immature or will you exercise it so that you can have the discernment of the wise?
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