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Press On To Maturity Heb.5

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PRESS ON TO MATURITY

HEB.5:11-6:3

INTRO: (EX: THE PILOT COULD HARDLY BELIEVE HIS EYES WHEN HIS PLANE FLEW IN LOW & HE SAW BLACK BEAR WITH 20IB COFFEE CAN STUCK ON ITS HEAD—THE BEAR HAD BEEN WALKING IN CIRCLES IN AREA OF DEVILS CREEK, ALASKA. IT HAD BEEN RUMMAGING IN GARBAGE—STUCK HIS HEAD IN CAN & COULDN’T GET IT OUT—HE HAD BEEN WALKING FOR MILES IN CIRCLES—HE HAD WORN OUT 6 CIRCULAR PATHS IN AREA AROUND THE GROUND—THE RESCUE PARTY USED TRANQUILIZERS, CUT VAN OFF AND  SOON THE BEAR WAS WALKING IN STRAIGHT PATH)  SOMETIMES WE CAN BE LIKE THE BEAR—JUST GOING ROUND & ROUND IN ENDLESS CIRCLE OF ACTIVITIES—BUT MAKING LITTLE PROGRESS. IT CAN BE THAT WAY SPIRITUALLY TOO—GOING THRU MOTIONS (MATT. WEST SONG) BUT LITTLE PROGRESS TOWARD SPIRITUAL MATURITY. IT WAS LIKE THAT FOR ISRAEL IN WILDERNESS. IN DEUT 2:3 GOD TOLD ISRAEL THEY CIRCLED MT. LONG ENOUGH—START HEADING NORTH—TOWARD PROMISED LAND. SO AUTHOR OF HEB. ENCOURAGED READERS TO GO FORWARD—KEEP MAKING PROGRESS IN YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE (EX: ROMAN LAW—CHILD COMES OF AGE GETS TOGA OF ADULTS)

I.                  SHARPEN YOUR HEARING  (V.11)

THIS IS 3RD WARNING PASSAGE—HERE READERS ARE WARNED NOT TO BE DULL OF HEARING—WORD DULL IS LAZY, SLUGGISH, APATHETIC.  THESE READERS WERE NOT ALWYS THAT WAY BUT BECOMING THAT WAY—THE AUTHOR WOULD LIKE TO EXPLAIN MORE ABOUT MELCH AND PS.110 BUT THEY WERE NOT HEARING—BUT HE WILL EXPOUND MORE ON PRIESTHOOD OF JESUS IN CH.8-10.

WE KNOW JESUS OFTEN TAUGHT IN PARABLES—HE TOLD HIS DISCIPLES “WHILE HEARING THEY DON’T HEAR NOR DO THEY UNDERSTAND”—AND OFTEN DISCIPLES WERE DULL & FAILED TO UNDERSTAND---LOOK AT MATT.16:6-12

PAUL WROTE IN LETTER TO GAL. “STAND FAST IN GOSPEL..YOU WERE RUNNING WELL..WHAT HINDERED YOU?” 

WHY DOES LOVE GROW COLD IN RELATIONSHIPS?  WHY DO WE SET OUR AFFECTIONS OF EARTH & NOT ON HEAVEN?  WHY DO SOM MANY REFUSE TO HEAR THE TRUTH? (EX: JOURNALIST BRIT HUME TALKED ABOUT TIGER WOODS LOSING HIS FAMILY & THAT HIS BEST CHANCE FOR RECOVERY WAS IN CHRISTIAN FAITH—BUDDHISM DOESN’T OFFER KIND OF FORGIVENESS & REDEMPTION FOUND IN CHRISTIAN FAITH—WOW! DID THAT STIR UP HORNETS NEST—JESUS STIRS HATE & CONTROVERSY). WHEN MIND IS SET ON THINGS OF EARTH ITS VERY HARD TO WORSHIP

NOW THE AUTHOR IS PERSUADED HIS READERS DO KNOW BETTER AND THEY CAN RESPOND (6:9)  BUT WILL THEY? HOW CAN WE SHARPEN OUR HEARING?  WE CAN PURPOSE TO CLEAR OUR CALENDER/SCHEDULE—CUT BACK ACTIVITIES—SPEND MORE TIME IN WORD & PRAYER, WHICH INCLUDES LISTENING TO GOD  (EX: A STEAMSHIP CO. WANTED TO HIRE A WIRELESS OPERATOR & SEVERAL PEOPLE ARRIVED TO APPLY—AS THE ROOM FILLED WITH PEOPLE & CONVERSATIONS—ONE MAN HEARD SOFT SERIES OF DOTS & DASHES OVER LOUD SPEAKER. HE RUSHED TO THE OFFICE & GOT THE JOB—THE OWNER SENT THE MESSAGE IN MORSE CODE THAT SAID THE FIRST ONE WHO REPORTED WOULD GET THE JOB—THAT MAN LISTENED AND WAS HIRED)

II.               BECOME PRODUCTIVE!  (V.12)

BY NOW THESE BELIEVERS SHOULD BE USEFUL TO OTHERS—THEY SHOULD BE TEACHING (V.12)—NOT NECESSARILY A FORMAL CLASS—FEW OF THOSE BACK THEN—BUT IN SENSE OF BEING ABLE TO TELL OTHERS ABOUT JESUS (GOSPEL)—THEY SHOULD HAVE A TESTIMONY  (PARENTS ARE RESPONSIBLE TO TELL THEIR CHILDREN;  BURDEN FOR NEIGHBORS & CO-WORKERS; FRIENDS)  THE WORD TEACH IMPLIES ABILITY TO THINK.  JESUS COMMANDED HIS FOLLOWERS TO GO AND MAKE DISICPLES (MATT.28:19,20)—THIS IS WHAT EARLY CHURCH DID---THEY LISTENED TO & TAUGHT WORD/BROKE BREAD/PRAYED/HAD FELLOWSHIP—AND PEOPLE TOOK NOTICE AND CHURCH MULTIPLIED---IT CAN STILL HAPPEN!  WHEN AN IMPORTANT EVENT TOUCHES YOUR LIFE YOU WANT TO SHARE—BIRTH OF CHILD/SALE AT STORE/RECOVERY FROM ILLNESS/GOOD MOVIE/RESTAURANT.

BUT THESE BELIEVERS NEEDED “ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES” (THE ABC’S)—THEY REGRESSED TO KINDERGARTEN LEVEL & NEEDED TO LEARN ALPHABET. THEY SLIPPED BACK  FROM ADULTHOOD TO BABYHOOD  (EX: LADY WHO GREW BACKWARD)

SO THE AUTHOR SAYS “YOU OUGHT”—YOU HAVE OBLIGATION TO SHARE TRUTH OF GOSPEL—TO TEACH THE WORD (PAUL TOLD TIMOTHY THAT OLDER MEN & WOMEN SHOULD TEACH YOUNGER—BUT THESE READERS HAD STAGNATED/STALLED & NEEDED MILK—(IF AN ADULT NEEDS BABY FOOD USUALLY ITS BECAUE THEY ARE SICK OR SOMETHING IS WRONG—THESE BELIEVERS WERE ACTING LIKE NEW CONVERTS & SOMETHING WAS WRONG!  WE KNOW MANY JEWS (ESPECIALLY RELIGIOUS LEADERS) COULDN’T ACCEPT JESUS AS MESSIAH—THOUGH HE PROVED IT OVER & OVER—THEY WANTED TO STAY IN BONDAGE OF OLD COVENANT OR GO BACK TO IT. BUT IT WAS TIME TO GROW UP & REMAIN FAITHFUL TO CHRIST (PAUL’S WORDS IN EPH.4:11-16. 

III.           TAKE SOLID FOOD  (5:13-6:3)

A MATURE BELIEVER SHOULD DESIRE SOLID FOOD (“WORD OF RIGHTOUSNESS”)—THAT IS GODS PLAN REVEALED IN SCRIPTURE ABOUT SALVATION—JUDAISM (LAW SYSTEM) CANT SAVE—TO GO BACK THERE IS TO REGRESS & MISS BLESSINGS & JOY OF KNOWING CHRIST & POWER OF RESURRECTION.  THE MATURE THROUGH PRACTICE OF THEIR FAITH & EXPERIENCE ARE ABLE TO DISCERN GOOD & EVIL. (EX: SMALL CHILD WILL PUT ANYTHING IN THEIR MOUTHS, TOUCH ANYTHING & GO ANYWHERE—NOT AWARE OF WHAT IS GOOD OR BAD---AS WE GROW OLDER WE DEVELOP THAT KNOWLEDGE/DISCERNMENT)  THEIR SENSES ARE TRAINED (SENSES HERE REFER TO EYES/EARS/BODY)—THIS IS LIKE AN ATHLETE  (IDEA IS ONE WHO HAS TRAINED FOR LONG TIME WITH LASTING RESULTS)  (OLYMPICS ARE COMING UP AND THESE ATHLETES HAVE PUT NOT JUST HRS BUT YEARS OF THEIR LIVES INTO THEIR EVENTS—TO GET MEDAL & GAIN HONOR FOR THEIR COUNTRY)—ALL THAT TAKES SACRIFICE & EFFORT---WHAT WE LEARN SHOULD BE APPLIED—NON LONGER A NEED TO LIVE IN SHADOW OF OLD COVENANT—MOVE ON IN POWER OF THE NEW---THEREFORE (6:1) LEAVE (LET REMAIN) THESE ELEMENTARY TEACHINGS—THEY ARE THE FOUNDATION BUT BULID ON THAT—NO ONE SHOULD BE CONTENT WITH JUST A FOUNDATION (CONNECT 5:12)—ITS TIME TO EMBRACE THE BETTER COVENANT.   “KEEP WALKING” (PRES.TENSE)—KEEP MAKING THE EFFORT TO GROW OR YOU MAY GO BACK—THESE 6 PHRASES ARE FOUNDATIONAL—SOME HAVE ROOTS IN OLD COVENANT—BUT WE ARE TO KEEP GOING TO MATURITY!

CONCLUSION:  (EX: SHARKS STAY IF CONFINED WILL STAY SMALL BUT IN OCEAN GROW TO FULL LENGTH)  GOD HELP US TO NOT BE CONFINED SPIRITUALLY TO A LITTLE POOL OF INSECURITY—BUT SEE THAT JESUS IS LORD OF ALL—WE ARE CALLED TO LOVE HIM & SERVE HIM WITH OUR WHOLE BEING—CATCH BIG PICTURE OF HIS KINGDOM—HIS VISION FOR A LOST & DYING WORLD!  PRESS ON TO MATURITY    (READ NEXT CH. AND DO MEMORY VERSE!)

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