- Sermon Notes
Desiring Deeper Faith
This book is written to believers in Jesus Christ who are Hebrews, or, in other words, Jews. These Jewish believers are very likely in Jerusalem, the
birthplace of Christianity. That would make it the oldest, most a long-standing church of that day.
Since it’s the oldest church, it might be reasonable to assume it would be the most mature church. But that wasn’t the case at all; it wasn’t growing
into maturity, it was in danger of going backward. They were being drawn back into Judaism, back to the ways of the Old Testament, back to the
laws of Moses. They were moving back to the shadow of the thing, but the substance belongs to Christ.
He writes to challenge them to grow deeper in their faith. By this time, they ought to have been teachers of spiritual things, but they needed again
for someone to teach them the elementary principles of spiritual things. In other words, they had come to need milk and not solid food.
We also should be challenged by these words. Why is it that some people don’t grow in their faith, why is it that some people don’t increase in spiritual
maturity? In one of the parables of Jesus, He taught that the word of God is sown like a farmer sowing seed and that the different types of soils
are like different kinds of hearts.
Some people hear the word of God, “but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”
The writer of the book of Hebrews makes clear to us that in these last days God has spoken to us in His Son. He is the radiance of His glory and the
exact representation of His nature. God sent His Son with the message of His heart, but He didn’t send His Son just to give us an education, He
sent Jesus to seek and to save that which was lost; to reconcile the world to Himself; God sent Jesus to make a way for you to have a relationship
to God as your Father.
We must be careful not to neglect so great a salvation. If God sent His Son, we must receive Him and we must receive all that He has in store for us.
His desire is to bless our lives and to bring us into greater faith and greater spiritual maturity.
I. Desire Spiritual Maturity
- This book shows us Jesus like no other book in the Bible. It gives us some of the richest, deepest understanding of God’s Son and what He has done
- Jesus is our high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. What possibly can that mean? And why is it important?
- This is an example of deeper truths. In fact, he writes, “Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.”
- This takes us all the way back to the days of Abraham. There was a king who was also a priest. He was King of Salem, the city we know today as
Jerusalem. His name was Melchizedek.
- Later, in Chapter 7, he makes the point that Melchizedek was greater than Abraham because Abraham paid tithes to him and because Melchizedek blessed
- Therefore, Jesus, as king and priest in the order of Melchizedek, is Himself greater than Abraham and He is greater than any Levitical priest that
came after Abraham.
- In fact, Jesus is greater than Jonah, greater than Solomon, greater than Abraham, and greater than the Temple itself.
John 8:57-58, The Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and You have seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”
Matthew 12:41, The men of Nineveh… repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
Matthew 12:42, “The Queen of the South… came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
- Concerning Jesus there is much to say and we must be careful not to be dull of hearing.
- Verse 12 – by this time you ought to be teachers… You have come to need milk and not solid food.
- Milk is a great place to start. We would never criticize the milk of God’s word because it is essential to young believers.
1 Peter 2:2, Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.
- Notice the emphasis on ‘longing for’ the pure milk of the word. Even new Christians should have a longing and a desiring after the simple things
so they can grow into deeper things.
Illus – Now that we’re raising our granddaughter, Aviah, we’re emphasizing the importance of school. Learning is the key that unlocks the future. We know that ourselves now that we’re older.
- Any parent expects their child to grow and mature.
Illus- When Aviah first came to live with us she loved playing with her dolls and asked me to play also. I saw it as a great opportunity…
But now she’s growing up and she moved on to DIY projects and making YouTube videos. She’s going to keep growing up toward maturity.
1 Corinthians 13:11, When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
B. Age alone does not produce maturity
- When we think of maturity, we commonly think of age, assuming that people keep growing as they get older, but that’s not necessarily so.
App – Time alone does not heal a person of a hot temper, or a catty tongue, or an unforgiving heart, or a bossy attitude, or a bitter spirit.
- However, it’s very possible to be young and quite mature in your faith. Timothy was a very young man, and yet Paul entrusted great responsibility
1 Timothy 4:11-12, Prescribe and teach these things. Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.
- What does it take to grow spiritually? How does a person move from immaturity to maturity?
- It has everything to do with the desire to grow. When there is a hunger and thirst for the things of God, there is a teachable heart.
- But it’s not just because you want to learn more, you want the changes that spiritual maturity brings.
App – In other words, you come to understand that having a forgiving heart is better than a bitter heart; being gentle and kind is better than being cantankerous and rude. Faith is better than fear. Trusting in God is better than becoming easily offended. Having a thankful heart is better than always complaining.
II. Press on to Maturity
- Verse 6:1 – “Press on to maturity” and leave the elementary things, he writes.
- Deeper faith brings a confidence in living, but we must press on to obtain it. How does that happen?
- When you long for spiritual milk, you grow and then you’re able to handle soft foods and then that makes you stronger. Soon you’re able to digest meat
and potatoes, the deeper things of faith.
Illus – Through the years I’ve known several people that absolutely will not eat vegetables; that’s because they much prefer Doritos and Ding Dongs. The same is true spiritually; some people can’t stand spiritual meat and vegetables; they prefer spiritual junk food.
A. Become accustomed to the word
- Verse 13 – everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness.
- That word, ‘not accustomed,’ means unskilled or inexperienced. In other words, God uses His word to equip you in spiritual things; He wants you to
become experienced and skilled in the word.
2 Timothy 3:16-17, All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Illus – For Father’s Day a few years ago, my wife gave me a book called, The Compleat Gentleman, which described the history of knighthood and into the modern concept of being a gentleman.
One of the things that resonated in the book is that a gentleman masters whatever he does. And, in particular, must be skilled in the use of the sword. He would therefore practice every day, not knowing when he would be called upon to use it.
2 Timothy 2:15, Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
App – If you want to become accustomed to the word of righteousness and become more skilled in how to use it, I would invite you to come to the Wednesday services where we study in depth, verse by verse.
- We are living in days where that is becoming a necessity. We need to be skilled especially in the prophetic word of the scriptures.
Matthew 16:2-3, Jesus replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?”
- Jesus gave us many signs of the times in Matthew 24 and 25 so we can watch and be ready. And then He spoke of the prophecies of Daniel, and then there’s
Zechariah and Revelation.
- History is unfolding before our eyes; prophecy is unfolding before our eyes. A new world order is unfolding and we need to be on the alert and discerning
as we follow the events that are happening in the world.
Illus – This is the most messed up election I’ve ever seen in my life, but isn’t that a reflection of the fact that this country is messed up and this world is broken? All of this has prophetic significance.
Then you look at what’s happening in Europe, Russia’s growing presence in Syria, the growing alliance between Russia and China, Iran is developing nuclear weapons, and the fact that for the first time in history a Muslim is the mayor of a major city in Europe. And then there are the Syrian refugees dispersing throughout Europe. And then there’s ‘Brexit.’
The world order is changing and there is prophetic significance to what is happening.
B. Train your senses to discern
- Verse 14 – Solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
- In other words, because you are growing accustomed to the solid food of God’s word and are putting it into practice, you are training your senses to discern good and evil.
Job 34:3, For the ear tests words as the pallet tastes food.
- Instead of becoming dull of hearing, you listen carefully to discern if a biblical word applies to life. The more you know of the truth, the more you
will be able to discern that which is false.
Illus – A few years ago my wife and I were given tickets to the Singing Christmas Tree. At one point in the concert everyone was standing up so I took the opportunity to put my arm around Jordi and was holding onto the back of her arm. At first I thought, “Wow, I didn’t realize she had such muscular arms; what triceps.” Then my deep spiritual discernment kicked in and I realized, that wasn’t her arm.
- But notice the phrase, ‘because of practice’ they have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
- Jesus said that it is the one who hears His words and lives according to them, or in other words, puts them into practice,
he is the wise man building a strong foundation that will sustain him through the storms.
Illus – When you fly they tell you that in case of emergency place the oxygen mask on yourself before you help someone else. There’s a good reason for that…
- If you’ve been through a storm and know that God is with you, you can strengthen someone else who is also going through a storm themselves.
Illus – Believers who have conquered alcohol or drugs in their lives are often asked to help those who are struggling. You have something to say that others need to hear.
Our daughter was tragically killed and we can understand the grief and pain of others who have lost their children, especially in such a tragic and evil way. We have something to say to strengthen and encourage others who are going through pain themselves.
- God wants us to move beyond the elementary things and grow in spiritual maturity. Immaturity is costly, it will bring great harm and destruction to
a person’s life, but there is great treasure in the wisdom and the knowledge of godly things.
Hebrews 5:9-6:1 NASB
9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, 10 being designated by God as a high priest according
to the order of Melchizedek. 11 Concerning him 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 have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have
come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.
14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works
and of faith toward God,