Key Scriptures: Psalms 110 NKJV
1 ¶ A Psalm of David. The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."
2 The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of
3 Your people shall be volunteers In the day of Your power; In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, You have the dew of Your youth.
First grade teachers aren’t stupid.
It is not that first grade teachers do not understand calculus, it’s that they have the good sense not to try and teach it to first graders.
Success in anything, including Kingdom living, is more than a one step process. We must master the first step before we move on.
It is God’s master design that each person who is born in this world, as well as every individual who gets born again, grows up, becomes mature and productive in life. This is the divine intent.
The Church is God’s vehicle of salvation and education beyond salvation. We have been commissioned and commanded to go into all the world and reach, teach and keep every one who is willing to be gathered, discipled and then used for God’s glory.
Arguably the Apostle Paul wrote the New Testament book of Hebrews to the Jewish Christians who were members in the church at
Paul was afraid that his Hebrew Christian brothers would fall away from their earnest pursuit of Christ. The danger they faced was not from persecution but rather from the circumstances of life which presented attraction for them and made it easy to return to the Jewish beliefs and practice the traditions and Laws of Moses.
Paul encouraged them to realize that it is not enough to merely accept Jesus as Messiah and add Him as an ingredient to merely spice up their religious life, rather Paul argues that Christ came to change everything. And, in order for anyone to be safe, secure and productive in their salvation, they must do those things which accompany salvation. They must grow up and mature in Christ.
The intent of Paul was to show the superior excellence of the Gospel message to that of a legalistic approach to God, as was the case under the Law of Moses which requires continual sacrifice and demands perfection or execution. Perfection however, as Paul describes, can only come through Messiah.
It was important for Paul to show the believing Hebrews that they had lost nothing by converting from Judaism but rather they were actually following and fulfilling the plan God had all along. The Law of Moses was intended to be a school teacher, leading and keeping God’s children on a certain path until Messiah came to deliver them to a new and living way.
In Paul’s argument he continually appeals to the Hebrew Christian’s knowledge of Jewish history. In one such case Paul chooses an historical figure to make his point. That figure, a well known priest from Abraham’s time, was the Prince of Salem, Melchizedek.
The Priest Melchizedek, as the scriptures tell, did not have a father or a mother, neither beginning nor end, was the Prince of Peace, the King of Justice but was not a member of the tribe of Levi from which all priests came by order of the Law of Moses. Of course, as did Paul, we understand that Melchizedek was representative of Christ.
Several times in Hebrews, chapters 5 & 7, the Apostle quotes and makes reference to Psalms 110:4.
Psalms 110:4 The LORD has sworn And will not relent, "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek."
This prophecy of David concerning Messiah was an indication that God was going to do something new when Messiah came. And indeed, Jesus, God’s Son, was not born from the tribe of Levi which according to the Law of Moses, all priests had to be from the tribe of Levi … rather, Jesus, from the tribe of Judah, as was prophesied Messiah would be, became the High Priest forever having received the duty to offer the blood of sacrifice for the sins of the people. This, the Apostle Paul declared, was accomplished both on earth and in heaven by the hand of Jesus, King of Justice and Prince of Peace.
Now, back to our message for this morning … let’s turn in our bibles to the book of Hebrews, chapter 5. We will be reading this passage from The New Living Translation today.
Hebrews 5 NLT
Before we go there, let me first inform you that what the Apostle Paul is about to say to these people may not actually be about these people at all … or was the Apostle Paul being facetious … look first with me a bit farther on down in the passage, Hebrews chapter 6, and we will get back to Chapter 5 in just a moment …
Hebrews 6 NLT
9 ¶ Dear friends, even though we are talking like this, we really don’t believe that it applies to you …
Don’t think it applies to you? What ? … back to Chapter 5
Hebrews 5 NLT
10 ¶ And God designated him to be a High Priest in the line of Melchizedek.
11 There is so much more we would like to say about this. But you don’t seem to listen, so it’s hard to make you understand.
12 You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures. You are like babies who drink only milk and cannot eat solid food.
13 And a person who is living on milk isn’t very far along in the Christian life and doesn’t know much about doing what is right.
14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong and then do what is right.
Hebrews 6 NLT
1 ¶ So let us stop going over the basics of Christianity again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start all over again with the importance of turning away from evil deeds and placing our faith in God.
2 You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
3 And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.
Paul’s admonishment here is not an indictment against the church or the teachers who are teaching the basics. Rather is an indictment to the believer who has accepted Christ and has for a long time been sitting in church on Sunday morning and/or Wednesday evenings without ever applying the principles of God’s word to their daily life in order to grow up and take on some Kingdom responsibilities.
In a time when you are needed to be teachers of others, Paul said, you still have not learned enough or become responsible enough and still must be taught by someone else.
Basically --- Paul told them --- “You aren’t growing up!” “You aren’t becoming productive citizens of the
Now remember Paul also said:
Hebrews 6 NLT
9 ¶ Dear friends, even though we are talking like this, we really don’t believe that it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation.
10 For God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians, as you still do.
11 Our great desire is that you will keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.
12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and patience.
Forget for a moment what these verses were attempting to say to those Jewish Believers in the
“You are meant for better things, things that come with salvation!”
I Challenge You …
1. Desire the milk of God’s Word while you are a baby Christian. (1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk …)
* Attend a church that values milk for your moment and can give you the next bite you need.
* Thank God there is milk in the cupboard of Christ.
2. Don’t stay a baby Christian. (Hebrews 5:12)
* If you do … you will certainly:
> Grow spiritually dull and indifferent
> Not inherit God’s promises on planet earth
> Never be responsible enough to care for others
3. Grow up and become productive adults (Ephesians 4:15)
* Take adult responsibility for the Kingdom – more than merely an adult attending a movie to critique it’s personal worth.
* And if you do … what you hope for will come true.
As with any other life, the Christian life is one which demands that if we are old enough, we take responsibility for our own growth. Are you doing all that you can to grow up in Christ?