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KNOWING GOOD FROM EVIL

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Hebrews 5:11–14 ESV
11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

I. GOING BACKWARDS

Hebrews 5:11 ESV
11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
Psalm 95:7–10 ESV
7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, 9 when your fathers put me to the test and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work. 10 For forty years I loathed that generation and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.”
D. Hebrews 3:7, 15
Hebrews 4:7 ESV
7 again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
“The preacher is about to embarrass his hearers for their infantile incapacity to “digest” the solid food he intends to serve. But theirs is not a case of arrested development. It is worse: they “have become” sluggish, relapsing from an earlier, healthier spiritual state, of which he will remind them (Heb. 6:9–10; 10:32–34). A confluence of external opposition and internal misgivings about the sufficiency of Christ threatens to pull them back from their prior confidence and courage.”[1]

II. A NEED TO GROW

Hebrews 5:12–13 ESV
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.
“The Puritan Richard Baxter, in his “Directions for Profitably Hearing the Word Preached,” gives wise advice for all Christians: Make it your work with diligence to apply the word as you are hearing it…”. As we hear God’s Word, we ought to keep our Bible open and follow the textual argument, look up the references mentioned, take notes, identify the theme, list the subpoints and applications, and ask God to help us see exactly where he wants us to apply the Scriptures being preached. Are we “sluggish in the ears”? If so, we are self-condemned to perpetual infancy.”[2]

III. SOLID FOOD NEEDED

Hebrews 5:14 ESV
14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
Luke 8:16–18 ESV
16 “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 17 For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. 18 Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”
John 8:31–32 ESV
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Matthew 26:26–29 ESV
26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
[1]Johnson, D. E. (2018). Hebrews. In I. M. Duguid, J. M. Hamilton Jr., & J. Sklar (Eds.), Hebrews–Revelation(Vol. XII, p. 81). Wheaton, IL: Crossway. [2]Hughes, R. K. (1993). Hebrews: an anchor for the soul (Vol. 1, p. 146). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
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