Apostasy Warning

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…

Hebrews 5:11-14

We have just been given a brief presentation on the high priestly office of Christ, focusing on the incarnation as qualifying Jesus to be our High Priest, on the choice of God the Father as appointing Jesus to be our High Priest, and on the suffering of Jesus as making Him a High Priest who can sympathize with us. Faith in Christ alone brings us into salvation, but faith in Christ bears fruit in our obedience to the revealed will of God. Real faith in Christ alone will demonstrate itself in works of righteousness. To put it another way, Jesus is not our Savior if He is not also our Lord. Having made his point, the author turns to give a warning and exhortation. We sense the author’s frustration in our verses today. He wants to discuss the priestly work of Christ further, but he cannot because the audience is not ready. They have become “dull of hearing,” referring to spiritual unpreparedness by his readers. They were wishy-washy on whether to remain followers of Jesus and that was impeding their maturing in the faith. Even Peter, in 2 Peter 3:18, warns us that growth in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ comes only to those who are ready for it. A lack of committed discipleship can dull our spiritual senses and even move us backward in the school of Christ. Spiritual immaturity characterized the original audience of the book of Hebrews. The spiritual regression of the readers put them in a situation where they would need remedial education in the “basic principles of the oracles of God.” Although we do not know exactly how long the audience had been believers when the book of Hebrews was written, it was certainly long enough that their continuing immaturity was unacceptable. So, it is for us. God expects Christians to grow. The Lord does not want us to be content with only the basics of the faith, the essential gospel that saves us. As we are able, we should seek to grow in the breadth and depth of our knowledge of the faith. It is good to know the basics of the faith, but growing Christians are never content with only the basics. As we advance in our Christian lives, the Holy Spirit gives us a greater hunger for the truth of God’s Word and for the deep truths of the Christian faith. Let us seek to satisfy that hunger by growing in our understanding of the doctrines of the Word of God when and where we are able.

Source: S C Ball March 27, 2024


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