Hebrews Chapter Five
The epistle then develops the priesthood of the Lord Jesus, comparing it with that of Aaron; but, as we shall see, with a view to bring out the difference rather than the resemblance between them, although there is a general analogy, and the one was a shadow of the other.
This comparison is made in chapter 5:1-10. The line of argument is then interrupted, though the ground of argument is enlarged and developed, till the end of chapter 7, where the comparison with Melchizedec is pursued; and the change of law, consequent on the change of priesthood, is stated, which introduces the covenants and all that relates to the circumstances of the Jews.
A priest then as taken from among men (he is not here speaking of Christ, but of that with which he compares Him) is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; he is able to feel the miseries of others because he is himself compassed with infirmity, and offers therefore for himself as well as for the people. Moreover no one takes this honour to himself, but receives it, as Aaron did, being called of God. The epistle will speak farther on of the sacrifice-here of the person of the priest, and of the order of the priesthood.
So that Christ glorified not Himself to become a High Priest. The glory of His Person, manifested as man on the earth, and that of His function, are both of them plainly declared of God: the first, when He said, "Thou are my Son, this day have I begotten thee" (Psalm 2); the second, in these words, "Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec." (Psalm 110) Such then in both personal and official glory is the High Priest, the expected Messiah, Christ.
But His glory (although it gives Him His place in honour before God, and consequent on redemption, so that He can undertake the people's cause before God according to His will) does not bring Him near to the miseries of men. It is His history on earth which makes us feel how truly able He is to take part in them. "In the days of his flesh," that is, here below, He went into all the anguish of death in dependence on God, making His request to Him who was able to save Him from it. For, being here in order to obey and to suffer, He did not save Himself. He submitted to everything, obeyed in everything, and depended on God for everything.
he was heard because of His fear. It was proper that He who took death on Himself, as answering for others, should feel its whole weight upon His soul. He would neither escape the consequences of that which He had undertaken (compare chapter 2), nor fail in the just sense of what it was thus to be under the hand of God in judgment. His fear was His piety, the right estimation of the position in which sinful man was found, an what must come from God because of it. For Him however to suffer the consequences of this position was obedience. And this obedience was to be perfect, and to be tried to the utmost.
He was the Son, the glorious Son of God. But thought this was so, He was to learn obedience (and to Him it was a new thing), what it was in the world, by all that He suffered. And, having deserved all glory, He was to take His place as the glorified Man-to be perfected; and in that position to become the cause of eternal salvation (not merely temporal deliverances) to them that obey Him; a salvation which taken in consequence of His work of obedience, saluted by God as "High Priest after the order of Melchizedec."
That which follows to the end of chapter 6 is a parenthesis which refers to the condition of those to whom the epistle is addressed. They are blamed for the dullness of their spiritual intelligence, and encouraged at the same time by the promises of God; the whole with reference to their position as Jewish believers. Afterwards the line of instruction with regard to Melchizedec is again resumed.
For the time, they ought to have been able to teach: nevertheless they needed that some one should teach them the elements of the oracles of God-requiring mild instead of meat.
We may observe that there is no greater hindrance to progress in spiritual life and intelligence than attachment to an ancient form of religion, which, being traditional and not simply personal faith in the truth, consists always in ordinances, and is consequently carnal and earthly. Without this people may be unbelievers; but under the influence of such a system piety itself-expended in forms-makes a barrier between the would and the light of God: and these forms which surround, preoccupy, and hold the affections captive, prevent them from enlarging and becoming enlightened by means of divine revelation. Morally (as the apostle here expresses it) the senses are not exercised to discern both good and evil.
But the Holy Ghost will not limit Himself to the narrow circle and the weak and futile sentiments of human tradition, nor even to those truths which, in a state like this, one is able to receive. In such a case Christ has not His true place. And this our epistle here develops.
Milk belongs to babes, solid food to those who are of full age. This infancy was the soul's condition under the ordinances and requirements of the law. (Compare Gal 4:1, seqq.) But there was a revelation of the Messiah in connection with these two states-of infancy and of manhood. And the development of the word of righteousness, of the true practical relationships of the soul to God according to His character and ways, was in proportion to the revelation of Christ, who is the manifestation of that character, and the center of all those ways. Therefore it is that, in chapter 5:12,13 the epistle speaks of the elements, the beginning, of the oracles of God, and of the work of righteousness; in chapter 6:1, of the word of the beginning, or of the first principles, of Christ.
── John Darby《Synopsis of Hebrews》
The office and duty of a high priest abundantly answered in Christ. (1-10) The Christian Hebrews reproved for their little progress in the knowledge of the gospel. (11-14)
Commentary on Hebrews 5:1-10
(Read Hebrews 5:1-10)
The High Priest must be a man, a partaker of our nature. This shows that man had sinned. For God would not suffer sinful man to come to him alone. But every one is welcome to God, that comes to him by this High Priest; and as we value acceptance with God, and pardon, we must apply by faith to this our great High Priest Christ Jesus, who can intercede for those that are out of the way of truth, duty, and happiness; one who has tenderness to lead them back from the by-paths of error, sin, and misery. Those only can expect assistance from God, and acceptance with him, and his presence and blessing on them and their services, that are called of God. This is applied to Christ. In the days of his flesh, Christ made himself subject to death: he hungered: he was a tempted, suffering, dying Jesus. Christ set an example, not only to pray, but to be fervent in prayer. How many dry prayers, how few wetted with tears, do we offer up to God! He was strengthened to support the immense weight of suffering laid upon him. There is no real deliverance from death but to be carried through it. He was raised and exalted, and to him was given the power of saving all sinners to the uttermost, who come unto God through him. Christ has left us an example that we should learn humble obedience to the will of God, by all our afflictions. We need affliction, to teach us submission. His obedience in our nature encourages our attempts to obey, and for us to expect support and comfort under all the temptations and sufferings to which we are exposed. Being made perfect for this great work, he is become the Author of eternal salvation to all that obey him. But are we of that number?
Commentary on Hebrews 5:11-14
(Read Hebrews 5:11-14)
Dull hearers make the preaching of the gospel difficult, and even those who have some faith may be dull hearers, and slow to believe. Much is looked for from those to whom much is given. To be unskilful, denotes want of experience in the things of the gospel. Christian experience is a spiritual sense, taste, or relish of the goodness, sweetness, and excellence of the truths of the gospel. And no tongue can express the satisfaction which the soul receives, from a sense of Divine goodness, grace, and love to it in Christ.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on Hebrews》
 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
For every high priest being taken from among men — Is, till he is taken, of the same rank with them.
And is appointed — That is, is wont to be appointed.
In things pertaining to God — To bring God near to men, and men to God.
That he may offer both gifts — Out of things inanimate, and animal sacrifices.
 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
Who can have compassion — In proportion to the offence: so the Greek word signifies.
On the ignorant — Them that are in error.
And the wandering — Them that are in sin.
Seeing himself also is compassed with infirmity — Even with sinful infirmity; and so needs the compassion which he shows to others.
 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
The apostle begins here to treat of the priesthood of Christ. The sum of what he observes concerning it is, Whatever is excellent in the Levitical priesthood is in Christ, and in a more eminent manner; and whatever is wanting in those priests is in him.
And no one taketh this honour — The priesthood.
To himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron — And his posterity, who were all of them called at one and the same time. But it is observable, Aaron did not preach at all; preaching being no part of the priestly office.
 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
So also Christ glorified not himself to be an high priest — That is, did not take this honour to himself, but received it from him who said, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee - Not, indeed, at the same time; for his generation was from eternity. Psalms 2:7.
 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
The sum of the things treated of in the seventh and following chapters is contained, Hebrews 5:7-10; and in this sum is admirably comprised the process of his passion, with its inmost causes, in the very terms used by the evangelists.
Who in the days of his flesh — Those two days, in particular, wherein his sufferings were at the height.
Having offered up prayers and supplications — Thrice.
With strong crying and tears — In the garden.
To him that was able to save him from death — Which yet he endured, in obedience to the will of his Father. And being heard in that which he particularly feared - When the cup was offered him first, there was set before him that horrible image of a painful, shameful, accursed death, which moved him to pray conditionally against it: for, if he had desired it, his heavenly Father would have sent him more than twelve legions of angels to have delivered him. But what he most exceedingly feared was the weight of infinite justice; the being "bruised" and "put to grief" by the hand of God himself. Compared with this, everything else was a mere nothing; and yet, so greatly did he ever thirst to be obedient to the righteous will of his Father, and to "lay down" even "his life for the sheep," that he vehemently longed to be baptized with this baptism, Luke 12:50. Indeed, his human nature needed the support of Omnipotence; and for this he sent up strong crying and tears: but, throughout his whole life, he showed that it was not the sufferings he was to undergo, but the dishonour that sin had done to so holy a God, that grieved his spotless soul. The consideration of its being the will of God tempered his fear, and afterwards swallowed it up; and he was heard not so that the cup should pass away, but so that he drank it without any fear.
 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
Though he were a Son — This is interposed. lest any should be offended at all these instances of human weakness. In the garden, how frequently did he call God his Father! Matthew 26:39, etc. And hence it most evidently appears that his being the Son of God did not arise merely from his resurrection.
Yet learned he — The word learned, premised to the word suffered, elegantly shows how willingly he learned. He learned obedience, when be began to suffer; when he applied himself to drink that cup: obedience in suffering and dying.
 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
And being perfected — By sufferings, Hebrews 2:10; brought through all to glory.
He became the author — The procuring and efficient cause.
Of eternal salvation to all that obey him — By doing and suffering his whole will.
 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
Called — The Greek word here properly signifies surnamed. His name is, "the Son of God." The Holy Ghost seems to have concealed who Melchisedec was, on purpose that he might be the more eminent type of Christ. This only we know,-that he was a priest, and king of Salem, or Jerusalem.
 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
Concerning whom — The apostle here begins an important digression, wherein he reproves, admonishes, and exhorts the Hebrews.
We — Preachers of the gospel.
Have many things to say, and hard to be explained — Though not so much from the subject-matter, as from your slothfulness in considering, and dulness in apprehending, the things of God.
 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
Ye have need that one teach you again which are the first principles of religion. Accordingly these are enumerated in the first verse of the ensuing chapter.
And have need of milk — The first and plainest doctrines.
 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Every one that useth milk — That neither desires, nor can digest, anything else: otherwise strong men use milk; but not milk chiefly, and much less that only.
Is unexperienced in the word of righteousness — The sublimer truths of the gospel. Such are all who desire and can digest nothing but the doctrine of justification and imputed righteousness.
 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
But strong meat — These sublimer truths relating to "perfection," Hebrews 6:1.
Belong to them of full age, who by habit — Habit here signifies strength of spiritual understanding, arising from maturity of spiritual age. By, or in consequence of, this habit they exercise themselves in these things with ease, readiness, cheerfulness, and profit.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on Hebrews》
Chapter 5. Superior to Aaron
To Be a High
No One Takes Upon Himself
I. About Earthly Priests
II. Learn Obedience from Suffering
III. Slow to Learn
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》
Christ's Qualifications As High Priest (5:1-10)
1. A recurring theme in this epistle is that of Jesus as our High
Priest; He has been described as:
a. A "merciful and faithful High Priest" - He 2:17
b. The "High Priest of our confession" - He 3:1
c. A "great High Priest who has passed through the heavens" - He 4:
d. A High Priest who can "sympathize with our weaknesses" - He 4:15
2. This is in keeping with the overall purpose of the epistle...
a. Which is to show the superiority of Jesus and His new covenant
b. We have considered Jesus' superiority to...
1) Prophets - He 1:1-3
2) Angels - He 1:4-2:18
3) Moses - He 3:1-6
...it is only natural that a comparison to Aaron and his
priesthood be made
3. The actual comparison with Aaron will follow later, but first there
is a need to...
a. Review the qualities required in high priests
b. Establish that Jesus does indeed qualify as a High Priest
-- Which is what we find in the text for our study today - He 5:1-10
[For non-Jewish readers who may be unfamiliar with the role of high
priests, this section of Scripture can be enlightening and increase our
appreciation of Jesus as our High Priest.
We begin by noticing...]
I. THE QUALITIES REQUIRED IN HIGH PRIESTS (1-4)
A. DIVINE APPOINTMENT (1,4)
1. The work of the high priest involves "things pertaining to
God" - cf. He 2:17
2. He must "offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins" - cf. He
-- Thus only God can rightfully select a high priest, even as God
called Aaron - e.g., Exo 28,29; Lev 8,9; Num 16-18
B. HUMAN SYMPATHY (1-3)
1. A high priest is selected "from among men"
2. This helps to ensure a spirit of "compassion"...
a. Toward "those who are ignorant and going astray"
1) Note that the high priest was to make a distinction
between sins of ignorance and sins of presumption
(rebellion) - Num 15:22-31
2) Sacrifices were to be offered in behalf of the former,
but not the latter
b. For "he himself is often beset by weakness"
1) A high priest who knew his own weakness would be more
likely to be understanding of his brethren
2) It also explains why the high priest in the OT offered
sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of
the people - cf. Lev 16:11
-- Thus a high priest would need to be well acquainted with the
"human condition" (i.e., the struggle against temptation)
[The parallel between high priests in the OT and Jesus as our High
Priest does not hold true in every minute detail (e.g., He 7:26-27).
But certainly in the most fundamental ways Jesus has the qualities to
be our High Priest, as we now consider...]
II. CHRIST'S QUALIFICATIONS AS HIGH PRIEST (5-8)
A. DIVINELY APPOINTED (5,6)
1. Christ was Divinely called to serve as High Priest, just as
2. As evidence of His calling, two Messianic prophecies are
a. His position as God's Son - cf. Ps 2:7
b. His appointment as a priest after the order of Melchizedek
- cf. Ps 110:4
-- As God's Son, sitting and ruling at the right hand of God
(cf. Ps 110:1-3), His calling as a priest is only natural
B. SYMPATHETIC BECAUSE OF HIS OWN SUFFERINGS (7,8)
1. While "in the days of His flesh", Christ...
a. "offered prayers and supplications with vehement cries and
b. He prayed "to Him who was able to save Him from death"
c. He was heard "because of His godly fear"
2. That Jesus would have "godly fear" and offer such prayers
provides insight into the extent of His temptations and
sufferings in the flesh - cf. also He 2:18; 4:15
3. Even though He was God's Son, by the things which He suffered
"He learned obedience" - what does this mean?
a. Certainly He knew obedience as the Son of God
b. Perhaps it means He came to know what obedience involved as
one "in the flesh" (i.e., the challenge of obedience in the
midst of suffering, temptations, etc.)
-- Through His suffering, Jesus certainly understands the "human
condition" which qualifies Him to serve as High Priest
[Qualified by virtue of His calling and His compassion to be a High
Priest, what kind of High Priest is Jesus? The next two verses
introduce two themes that will be developed much further later on...]
III. CHRIST'S CALLING AS OUR HIGH PRIEST (9,10)
A. "THE AUTHOR OF ETERNAL SALVATION" (9)
1. "Perfected" by virtue of His sufferings "in the flesh", He has
become the "author" of eternal salvation
a. The word "author" comes from aitio, meaning literally,
b. Later, we will see how Christ is the "cause" of our
salvation - cf. He 7:24-27
2. But for now, note that He is the cause of salvation for "all
those who obey Him"
a. Is obedience necessary for salvation? Consider these
1) Jesus will bring vengeance on those who have not obeyed
the gospel - 2 Th 1:7-9; cf. 1 Pe 4:17-18
2) Paul sought to bring about the "obedience to the faith"
among all the nations - Ro 1:5; 16:25-26
a) But not all had obeyed the gospel - Ro 10:16
b) Yet he was grateful for those who had - Ro 6:17,18
3) Those who have obeyed the truth have purified their
souls - 1 Pe 1:22
b. If obedience is necessary for salvation, are we then saved
1) Not if by "works" you mean "meritorious works" (works by
which we EARN salvation)
2) But if you mean by "works" the "works of God" (works by
which we RECEIVE God's unmerited gift of salvation)
which God has ordained, then yes!
a) E.g., believing in Christ is a "work of God" - Jn 6:
b) Since repentance and baptism are likewise enjoined by
God, they too would be "works of God" that we must
obey in order to receive salvation - e.g., Ac 2:38;
-- Thus salvation "by grace through faith" does not preclude
the necessity of obedience to Christ and His gospel!
B. "ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK" (10)
1. Here we begin to learn the distinct nature of Christ's
2. As prophesied in Psa 110:4, the Messiah would be "a priest
forever according to the order of Melchizedek"
3. Thus His priesthood would be different from the Aaronic or
a. Different, but would it be superior?
b. Would the difference be enough to persuade them not to
-- The difference between the two priesthoods and the
superiority of Christ's over Aaron's is taken up later in
this epistle (cf. He 7:1-28)
1. The spiritual immaturity of the Hebrew readers will necessitate a
temporary digression (cf. He 5:11-6:20)
2. But for the moment, the author has established "Christ's
Qualifications As High Priest"...
a. He was Divinely appointed
b. He is sympathetic because of His own sufferings
3. This makes Jesus suitable as the "author of eternal salvation"
a. But don't forget that He is the author of salvation "to all who
b. Have you rendered obedience to the gospel of Christ? - cf. Mk 16:
15-16; Ac 2:36-39
Marks Of Spiritual Immaturity (5:11-14)
1. Just because one has been a Christian for many years, does not mean
they are "mature"
a. They may be like the person who had been teacher for twenty-five
1) When she heard about a job that would mean a promotion, she
applied for the position. However, someone who had been
teaching for only one year was hired instead.
2) She went to the principal and asked why. The principal
responded, "I'm sorry, but you haven't had 25 years of
experience as you claim; you've had only one year's experience
-- During that whole time the teacher had not improved!
b. So it may be with many Christians; they have not grown, but
simply repeated their first year of spiritual life many times!
2. The lack of spiritual growth (i.e., spiritual immaturity) is a
a. For there may be blessings to be enjoyed in Christ that only the
mature Christian can truly understand and appropriate
b. If one remains spiritually immature, they do not come to fully
appreciate their standing and blessings that they have in Christ!
-- Deprived of a greater understanding, they are more susceptible to
the wiles of the devil
3. The author of the book of Hebrews found himself faced with this
a. He had much to say about Christ as our High Priest
b. But the spiritual immaturity of his readers made it difficult
-- And so he thought it necessary to temporarily digress - He 5:
4. How about you?
a. Are you growing as a Christian?
b. Or are you repeating your first year over and over again,
remaining spiritual immature?
-- Do you know how to determine whether you are spiritually mature?
[In our text we find some of the identifying "Marks Of Spiritual
Immaturity", indicators that reveal when one is in need of "growing up"
spiritually. For example, one mark of spiritual immaturity is...]
I. DULLNESS OF HEARING (11)
A. THE HEBREWS HAD BECOME "DULL OF HEARING"...
1. This prevented the writer from continuing with his argument at
2. While the material he had to share was "hard to explain"...
a. It wasn't so much the difficulty of the material itself
b. As it was their own inability to receive it!
3. That they had "become" dull of hearing may imply a
a. At one time they were not "dull of hearing"
b. They may have been like the Bereans at one time, "who
received the word with all readiness" - Ac 17:11
c. Indeed, most converts are truly "sharp" in their listening
at the first
1) They are excited about what they are learning
2) They listen with great "readiness", and spiritual growth
d. But it is not uncommon for apathy to set in, making one
"dull of hearing"
-- When one becomes "dull of hearing", they begin to regress
to a state of spiritual immaturity
B. ARE YOU "DULL OF HEARING"?
1. Ask yourself these questions:
a. Is the Bible dull?
b. Are the Bible classes dull?
c. Are the sermons dull?
d. Is anything that is spiritual in nature (like singing,
2. If so, then you have become "dull of hearing"!
a. If you listen at all, it will be to those who are willing
to "tickle your ears"
b. And you will be susceptible to being mislead - 2 Ti 4:3-4
[When one is "dull of hearing", it is only natural that the next "mark
of spiritual immaturity" will be evident...]
II. THE INABILITY TO TEACH OTHERS (
A. THE HEBREWS SHOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TEACH OTHERS...
1. They had been Christians for some time ("by this time you
ought to be teachers")
a. They had time to learn, to grow
b. A natural response to growth is to bear fruit
c. One way we bear fruit is by teaching others
2. In one way or another, they should have been able to teach
a. Perhaps not in a formal sense, for not all are gifted in
that way - cf. 1 Co 12:29; Ep 4:11; Ja 3:1
b. But all can share the good news and hope they have with
others - cf. Ac 8:4; 1 Pe 3:15; Ti 2:3-5
-- Their need for someone to teach them again "the first
principles" demonstrated their spiritual immaturity
B. ARE YOU ABLE TO TEACH OTHERS?
1. Assuming that sufficient time has passed, are you teaching
a. Either formally as a teacher instructing others in the
b. Or informally by sharing your faith with others?
2. Do you find yourself saying "I don't know what to say?"
a. Then it sounds like you have forgotten "the first
b. And you need to have someone teach you again!
[If one has not progressed to the point where they are somehow teaching
others about Christ, then they are still spiritually immature! One
reason why this may be true is also another indicator of spiritual
III. A DIET OF "MILK" (12b,13)
A. NOW, A DIET OF "MILK" IS OFTEN NECESSARY...
1. Certainly it is needed for those who are "babes in Christ"
- e.g., 1 Co 3:1-2
2. Also for those who have regressed (as with the Hebrews) - cf.
3. Such a diet includes what is described as "the first
principles of the oracles of God" (later called "the
elementary principles of Christ" in He 6:1-3)
B. BUT OUR DIET MUST ONE DAY INCLUDE "SOLID FOOD"...
1. Just as a physical baby must graduate to solid foods in order
to grow to maturity
2. So a "babe in Christ" cannot mature unless the diet goes
beyond the "first principles"
3. Wiersbe offers an interesting explanation as to what may be
a. "milk" refers to what Jesus did on earth: His birth, life,
teaching, death, burial and resurrection
b. "solid food" refers to what Jesus is now doing in heaven:
e.g., His priesthood
4. If our diet remains "milk only"...
a. Then we will be "unskilled" (lit., without experience) in
the word of God
b. We will remain "babes" in Christ - cf. He 5:13
C. WHAT HAS YOUR "DIET" BEEN LATELY?
1. Has it been limited to "milk"?
a. Has it even included "milk"?
b. Some Christians may not even be getting the "milk" of the
2. Are you getting any "meat"?
a. Studying portions of God's Word that challenges your
b. Stay with us in this study in Hebrews, and you will be sure
to get some!
[A "milk only" diet leaves one immature, and by default one who is
"unskilled in the word of righteousness". This will in turn produce
another trait of spiritual immaturity...]
IV. THE INABILITY TO DISCERN (14)
A. NORMAL SPIRITUAL GROWTH EXERCISES THE SENSES...
1. Even the "milk" of the word is designed to train one's
a. By exposing us to the difference between right and wrong
b. In this way our spiritual sense is "exercised"
2. Then "by reason of use" we learn to "discern both good and
a. With clear examples set before us in the Scriptures, we
learn right from wrong
b. We thereby develop the ability to "distinguish" between
good and evil
c. We become able to apply general principles to specific
1) Specific condemnation of a practice is not always
2) We can discern when something is more like the good, or
more like the bad
B. SPIRITUAL IMMATURITY LACKS THIS ABILITY TO DISCERN...
1. A babe in Christ often has difficulty discerning the
a. Good teaching (truth) and bad teaching (error)
b. Good conduct (righteousness) and bad conduct (wickedness)
2. Inability to discern leaves them open to being...
a. "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of
doctrine" - cf. Ep 4:14
b. Like "a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind...a
double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" - Ja 1:6-8
C. DO YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO DISCERN?
1. Can you apply general principles to a specific situation, or
do you require a clear "Thou shalt not" to determine if
something is wrong?
2. Are you able to recognize when a doctrine is true to God's
3. Or are you dependent upon someone else...
a. To "spoon feed" you?
b. To "take you by the hand and lead" you?
-- I.e., to tell you what is right and wrong, what is truth
and what is error
1. There are certainly other indicators of spiritual immaturity...
a. E.g., behaving in a carnal way
b. E.g., possessing strife, envy, and jealousy - cf. 1 Co 3:1-4
2. But in our present text we have focused our attention on the four
a. Dullness of hearing
b. The inability to teach others
c. A diet of "milk"
d. The inability to discern
-- All of these should serve as "warning signs" that something is
amiss in our lives as Christians, for they are truly "Marks Of
In our next lesson ("The Peril Of Not Progressing"), we shall see why
it is so important to grow spiritually. As Peter warned, growth is the
"antidote" to falling away:
"You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware
lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away
with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now
and forever. Amen." - 2 Pet 3:18
Are you growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord?
To be a High Priest
No one takes upon himself
I. About earthly priests
1. Selected from among men
2. Subject to weakness
3. Change all the time
II.Learn obedience from suffering
1. With loud cries
2. Experience suffering
3. The source of salvation
III. Slow to learn
1. The third warning
2. The elementary truths
3. Live on milk
－－ Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》