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Heb 5:12-13 milk and solid food

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by dchena, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. Heb 5:12-13 milk and solid food

    I'm trying to figure out just what is meant by milk and solid food.

    In Heb 5:12-13 a comparison is made to needing milk, like needing milk is maybe not such a good thing. The Christians Paul is talking to seem to be at the point where they should be more mature and ready for 'solid food'.

    Is it that their understanding has become dull, so they are no longer able to discern good from evil ( Heb 5:14), they need to remember the heart of the message? Go back to the foundation?

    In 1Cor 1-3 the comparison is made again, it seems in the same way: "For as long as there is jealousy and quarreling amoung you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations?"

    Paul is saying that he could not talk to the Corinthians as spiritual people because they were still people of the flesh, like infants, needing milk, not solid food.

    So far it doesn't seem like a good thing to be needin the milk.

    However, in Isaiah 28:9-13 it seems like God will not teach to those who are weaned:

    "Whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message?
    Those who are weaned from milk, those taken from the breast?
    For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
    line upon line,'
    line upon line,here a little, there a little.

    Truly, with stammering lip
    and with alien tongue
    he will speak to this people,
    to whom he has said,
    'This is rest; give rest to the weary'
    and this is repose';
    yet they would not hear.

    Therefore the word of the Lord will be to them,
    'Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
    line upon line, line upon line,
    here a little, there a little';
    in order that they may go, and fall backwards,
    and be broken, and snared, and taken.

    This sounds like it is a bad thing to be weaned from the milk. It seem like it means here to be disconnected from the truth as God wants us to know it, to have it, in fullness and richness, and unspoiled by human thought.

    And in 1Peter 2:2 it talks about being infants and longing for the pure spiritual milk as it is a very very good thing:

    "Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insinserity, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation - if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good."

    So am I to take from these that

    1: Spiritual maturity means being able to discern good from evil, which means the choices I make, how I behave, will reflect the spiritual principles Jesus brought to us, the commandments he gave.

    2: Eating solid food means to be making the tough choices like choosing to love my enemy and to actually be digesting the Word in very real life-living ways, putting my fleshy desire below Jesus' commandments in my priorites,

    3. While it was refered to in the first two passages as a refernece to immaturity, it is still critical to always take in the pure, spiritual milk, as a foundation to grow upon and out from. But to never really deny or stop taking in. We need to keep the purity of the message, while also being able to apply it in real life, when it might be tough. We need to be able to also start nourishing ourselves through the choices we make, without ever forgetting or distancing from the simple purity and beauty of God's truth for us.

    What do you think? Am I on track?
  2. Sounds good.

    Sounds like your doing just fine in your Study, without a bunch of opinion to cloud it up and tons of other scriptures.

    but you asked, So a few things to "THINK" about, but stay with what you have learned.

    Lot's of so called mature Christians do not know the difference between good and evil. That's why they accuse God killing loved ones early, and yet out of the setting of church they rally against convicted killers.

    Walking in Love is not a choice, but a commandment not connected to feelings. Paul listed things that were basic doctrine to him in Heb chapter 6.

    Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
    Heb 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

    It would seem that most lack in a few of these areas and need the bottle, myself included.

    Yep, be a doer of the Word of God. Just because we have revelation given to us by God, there are subjects that we will need to get that bottle out.
    I have ran into believers that could quote the whole bible almost, but still never heard of or understood speaking in tongues.

    Your doing great!!!

    Jesus Is Lord.
  3. Milk are the easy to understand things in the Bible. The Gospel itself, for example. The deeper things of God are strong meat - they need chewing and digesting. You seem to be doing very well and cultivating a strong digestion.

    God bless us as we learn together.
  4. I'm writing this all down here, because for some reason, I find more helpful than just writing my own notes for myself. I guess I prefer to converse. I know this is all very basic, probably repetative, and I know I'm going to go on and on, but it just works better for me here. If you actually read through all this and join in the conversation, then very cool, and thanks. If not, that's fine to, it still works better for me to be posting. I'm sure I'll need correction, so feel free to help.
    So, about to the letter to the Hebrews:

    • Epistle means letter.
    • Hebrews was written to a Jewsish-Christian audience.
    • Reason for the letter was to prevent apostacy, which is the falling back from faith to more conservative, rule oriented beliefs about salvation.
    • So, in Isaiah 28:9-13 those for whom the truth becomes precept upon precept would be those who believe in rules, not faith, as a means to salvation, which would mean those subscribing to Judaism alone, relying upon the commands and ordinances for salvation.
    • So, in Hebrews, the audience was at risk of falling away from faith, and moving into more traditional Jewish practices, hence the reference to the Hebrews needing to go back and take in the milk. Maybe taking in the milk wasn't necessarily meant as a bad thing in and of itself, but the fact that these are Christians in danger of apostacy, who should at this point, know better, makes it a strong reprimand, like saying 'Grow up! You should know better! What the heck are you doing?' Not necessarily insulting the milk, or those like me who are still suckling.
    • In Hebrews 6:1-2, and beyond, moving on from 'basic teachings about Christ, and not laying again the foundation: repentance from dead works and faith towards God, instruction about baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement" is about having faith, believing that these are looked after in salvation, which has happened by way of faith. Don't go back to square one, they need to go forward to square two. By turning away from faith, and going back to square one, they are in fact like the soil that "soaks up the rain repeatedly", but "yields thorns and thistles", not "a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated". It is "useless, and on the verge of being cursed".
    Now about 1Corinthians:
    • The letter was written because there was division in the church at Corinth. It seems like people were choosing as their leaders the men who baptized them, and boasting about each leader they have chosen, causing division and a falling away from faith in a different way, by quarreling and maybe competing with one another, acting immaturely, dividing Christ Himself, and in the process loosing the basic teachings of Christ and faith.
    • A comparison is made between being infants needing the milk, and being of the flesh. It makes sense here too, that the reference to milk isn't insulting the milk, but it's being used as a strong reprimand, a kind of shaming them into right thinking and action.
    So being able to digest solid food, is a comparison to being spiritually mature? Yes, no? Makes sense to me. And being spiritually mature is taking faith to the next step, rather than falling back to faithless ways, such as (false) salvation, or bickering and fighting amongst eachother. Is the ability to eat the solid food equal to the ability to shape ourselves to imitate Christ, the more we grow in this direction, the more spiritually mature we are?

    If that makes sense, then can I be spiritually mature without being able to quote a whole bunch of scripture?

    I was insulted a while back on another Christian Bible study site because I could not quote a whole bunch of scripture. My feelings then, and still are, that the people who were 'putting me in my place' and asserting their 'authoritive knowledge of scripture' because they had been studying it for years, had forgotten about on eof the central principles behind understanding scripture -love and love in action. It seemed like they were caught up in a whole lot of mental activity and were getting off track by theory and 'figuring stuff out'. While not necessarily wrong about their knowledge of scripture, I wouldn't really know, I thought they were forgetting the heart part of it, and the 'producing fruits' part of it. They told me that I needed to be fed milk, like it was an insult, but I personally thought that they needed to go back to the basic and simple foundation too. Which would be like the letters reviewed above. Sometimes we all need to be kept in check, go back and take in the purity and simplicity of faith and the foundational principles that go with it. Thanks Brother Mike for that insight. The letters aren't meant to be insulting, but to bring people back to the the truth, albiet, the author's could very well have been exhasperated. If someone is throwing those scriptural references at me like they are an insult, then they have probably unkowingly fallen away and would do good to have a drink of milk themselves, no?

    Maybe it's not possible to be spiritually mature with too little knowledge of scripture, but it is still possible to be spiritually immature with a whole lot of knowledge of scripture.
  5. But what do you mean, or how do you define, the deeper things of God? What does that mean to you, or how have these been revealed in your life?
  6. Hi dchena!

    You're not doing too bad at all here! No, you don't have to be able to quote a bunch of Scriptures to be, well, anything. Not that being able to isn't a good thing, cos it is! I know where to search for the Scripture I want, but often can't quote it in toto and certainly don't know where it is. But I CAN find it! Of central importance, however, is that I KNOW ITS TRUTH, I know what its truth is, AND I can mostly integrate what it says with the rest of the New Testament - thus I know true NT DOCTRINE and PRACTICE of the doctrine pretty well.

    In the reverse I can usually pick error pretty quickly and clearly these days because I know what the New Testament is saying.

    As for maturity, don't expect it for a long while! I say that because its a place few seem to ever reach (including preachers), and it's much more than just knowing the difference between good and evil, though that's part of maturity. It's literally taken me a lifetime to reach, and I only know that I have reached it because in 1999 God was so incredibly gracious in giving me a vision and shocking me by telling me I was mature. I've grown quite a way further INTO Christian and Scriptural maturity since then, and continue to go further.

    One interesting thing is that I cannot tell you how actually mature I am. It's a bit like how righteous I've become in Jesus. Can't tell you that either. I suspect those who are righteous and mature may be somehow relatively unaware "of their goodness" for want of a better expression.

    I know that God knows both things; I know I have some righteousness/godliness/holiness, just don't know how much; I know that others MAY be able to see this (maybe even more than I can); I know that I'm not immature; I'm aware that I'm growing further into maturity; I know for sure that ALL CHRISTIANS ought to seek to grow, grow, grow by the Spirit, and grow some more, seeking that one day they may come to see that they are Mature Christians.

    When we say that he's a true Man of God, or Woman of God, I suspect that what we're saying is they have reached Scriptural maturity.

    My aim is to:
    .. grow more,
    .. become more obedient,
    .. love God even more,
    .. sin less and less.

    I've come a powerful long way in these things by His grace and power, but man, am I aware of how far I still have to go (and at age 70 and ill how much longer will He give me?)

    Oh, I am aware of my obedience, that at this MOMENT there is nothing I know in the New Testament that I'm being disobedient on. Maybe that could give you a bit of a gauge re. maturity and how demanding this place is, or a goal for you to shoot for. My obedience obviously had to include Jesus' 1st Commandment. Thus I DO love God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength, so am keeping this commandment - because it's impossible TODAY (and I stress 'today') for me to love Him any more than I totally do.

    Consider this to be like how much I love my Lady. I love her completely today - yet this is considerably greater than I loved her a year ago, and greater than the year before. You get the idea.

    Finally, you need to get off milk onto solid food. I understand, but... Question: how long does it take a baby to do this? By next week or even next month? No. So don't try to do everything at once. Patience is something the NT teaches as important. But don't stop either. Aim for a balance in this, as in all things in the Christian walk!

    Okay, I'll stop rabbiting on here... Love and blessings!

    - BM [​IMG] All are Welcome!
  7. A gentle word about posts. You have my problem: wanting to say too much in a post! (and I seem to be getting worse, but I'm working on remedying this.) I say this because mostly people won't read long posts.

    If it does turn out to be a bit long - this is important - do keep your paragraphs as short as possible. Consider a newspaper. See how short the paragraphs are! We'll read that. We won't read a long ramble on that's important to us - but others will just skip. Hope that helps!

  8. LOL Bondsman One way to shorten your post would be to tape your fingers together. That way you would be back to one finger typing. Hunt and peck. Its much slower. :D:D:D:D

    Your posts are wonderful though. Thanks for them:)
  9. I have always looked upon Milk and Solid food (as given by Paul) to represent:

    Milk: The simple knowledge of salvation. That being the atoning sacrifice of the Messiah Jesus that saves all who believe Him.

    Solid food: In depth knowledge of the Word of God that acts as a fortress against forces in the world that seek to undermine the faith one has in the simple knowledge of salvation.

    I have seen it happen that a very enthusiastic "Milk" Christian, a baby in Jesus. Who will go out and joyfully share the wonderful news of the simple knowledge of salvation, will be met by a well read athiest with a ton of twisted interpretation of scripture and a desire to destroy the faith of the new Christian. The new Christian will have a crushing wall of supposedly contradictory scriptures thrown at them to undermine their faith and because of their lack of deeper knowledge of scriptures they are like a babe thrown to the wolves, their simple faith is shaken to the core and they are left in doubt thinking that they might have been foolish to believe the simple message of salvation.

    Place a Solid food Christian (well taught by the Holy Spirit in the scriptures) in the same situation and very soon the tables are turned and it is the athiest who quickly starts to feel uneasy as they see the foundations of their rejection of God being smashed one by one. I have seen them turn their backs in fear and nearly run so as to save themselves from the knowledge that would undermine their shaky anti-God constructs further.

    Ephesains 6
    10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
    14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

    A Solid Food Christian has the whole armor of God.

    All Praise The Ancient Of Days
  10. Milk is good and necessary for the young. It contains all the nutrients and antibodies a young developing individual could ever need at that stage of life so there is obviously nothing wrong with it.
    It is also quite natural and expected that as one grows that same one would begin to need more different nutrients to sustain his health and so solid food (meat) is introduced.
    I have been studying God's Word for over 3 decades and yet it still never ceases to amaze me . It has just the Word, the revelation, the encouragement I need for where I am in life. The richness and fullness of the Word of God as revealed by the Holy Spirit of God is unsearchable and will nourish the soul of the youngest babe to the greatest Apostle in Christ.

  11. It appears that the Christians in Hebrews had become slow to learn or dull with respect to what they heard. They had initital enthusiasm but had become sluggish and were satisfied with what they already knew. It seems from other chapters 3:13, 10:24-25 and also see 1 Thess. 5:11 that they had not progressed to explaining their faith to others. It seems that what occurred here was arrested spiritual growth. Now we all know that we need to continue growing in the spiritual world just as in the physical world. The deep things of God are not only KNOWING, but PRACTICING in righteousness. The deep things of God can be seen as knowing and constantly practicing and responding to God's revelation of Himself to us through the word.

    At 70 years of age I find new things in the Scriptures day by day. I am at present studying the Atonement, ready to give a talk on the Day of Atonement and its practical application to the Christian today. Now this is proving to be a very "deep thing of God". To break this teaching down so that the very youngest in the congregation can understand is proving a daunting task, but this is good for me as well, because it makes me chew and digest the word of God thoroughly so I am able to be faithful in my ministry.

    Over the last few years I have learned some of the deep things of God through suffering. It is when all our physical and emotional resources are used up that we learn more deeply how God supports and strengthens us. We learn the true value of prayer - not only our own prayer, but the prayers of others whom we do not know, but who draw close to us in the Spirit and support us.

    I look forward now, having come through my last operation, to some more time to learn some more of the deep things of God. What a day when we reach heaven and "I shall know fully, even as I am fully known".

    God bless you as we learn together.
  12. I concure.

    If we really look at the analogy of Milk (for Babies) and Solid food/Meat (for the mature).

    The World:
    Most Babies are Thrilled beyond measure when they see the milk bottle coming their way. Even the screaming babies cease the audible outburst when they receive their milk.

    The Church:
    Many have no desire for even the simplistic form of God's word (Milk). Not only do most never desire the Solid food/meat, many (overtime) seems to even reject the milk. I would be extremely happy to see more WHO LOVE THE MILK, with the desire seen in new born babies.

    If we deligently seek the Milk, the Solid food/meat will follow.

    Proverbs 2:4-5
    4. If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
    5. Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.

    Matthew 7:7-8
    7. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
    8. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

    Good Day and God Bless
  13. It is also good to remember that when babies are present a lot of noise and a fair amount of mess is to be expected.:p

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