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The Hebrews Commentary Project

Contents:

Hebrews 5:11-6:3

  1. Murray McLellan
  2. Kenneth M. Mick, Jr.
  3. Kevin Hartley
  4. Michael Cruz
  5. Jim McClarty
  6. Maurice Bergeron
  7. Tim Clifton
  8. Reid Ferguson
  9. Donald E. Blind

Hebrews 5:11-6:3

5: 11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12 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. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 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. 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,  2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit.

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1. Murray McLellan

11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12 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. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 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. (Heb. 5:11-14)

We've been looking at the superiority of the new priesthood to the old. The writer has been contrasting the picture with the reality; the shadow with the substance, which is Christ. The old covenant was God's system of pictures and types, which are fulfilled in Christ. The writer turns now to another warning for those who neglect so great a salvation found in so great a High Priest. There needs to be concern for any "professor" of Jesus Christ who ceases to grow. A characteristic of living things is growth. That is also true of those who have been granted spiritual life. They grow in spiritual maturity. It seems that these particular "professors" addressed by the writer seemed to be clinging more to the pictures of the old than the Christ of the new. The old was the elementary principles. It had a purpose - to lead us to the full-grown truth of the new covenant. There is such a danger when people become "dull of hearing." Perhaps they have heard the truths over and over - so that they have a familiarity in their hearing but no penetration in their heart. Oh may we never become dull of hearing! May we never tire of hearing of Jesus Christ and Him crucified! May we never be satisfied to remain only with what we know of Him now, but may we continually study and search the Word to know our Beloved intimately from head to toe.

    What is thy beloved more than another beloved,
        O thou fairest among women?
    what  is thy beloved more than another beloved,
        that thou dost so charge us?

    My beloved is white and ruddy,
        the chiefest among ten thousand.

    His head is as the most fine gold,
        his locks are bushy,
        and black as a raven.

    His eyes are as the eyes of doves
        by the rivers of waters,
    washed with milk,
        and fitly set.

    His cheeks are as a bed of spices,
        as sweet flowers:
    his lips like lilies,
        dropping sweet smelling myrrh.

    His hands are as gold rings
        set with the beryl:
    his belly is as bright ivory
        overlaid with sapphires.

    His legs are as pillars of marble,
        set upon sockets of fine gold:
    his countenance is as Lebanon,
        excellent as the cedars.

    His mouth is most sweet:
        yea, he is altogether lovely.
    This is my beloved, and this is my friend,
        O daughters of Jerusalem.
        (Song of Songs 5:9-16

These immature "professors" could not seem to get out of the "externals," "ceremonies," and "rituals." These can all be done in the flesh. However, the reality of a love relationship with Jesus Christ was not understood. Christ was not worshipped and adored. Verse 14 tells us maturity comes to those "who by reason of use have their senses excercised to discern both good and evil." Notice it does not say by reason of exposure. Those who, for God's glory, live out what they are learning gain an appetite for more. For what reason should God reveal Himself more to those who do not practice what they know? Hearing a truth over and over, without responding to it, eventurally causes one's conscience to harden over and the ears to become very dull of hearing. Our High Priest is a King - like Melchizedek. He reigns, and it is an honor for us to be directed by such an all-wise Ruler. He is the perfect Mediator, for He mediates between God and man, and He is God and Man! Do we not appreciate such a One and His grace toward us? "Come follow Me," should be the thrill of our hearts - though it be through suffering and tribulation - where He leads, let us follow. He knows where He's going - and where He goes we know and the way we know (Jn. 14:4,6). There is no turning back!

 

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, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (6: 1,2)

The word "leaving" in v.1 means to forsake or abandon. I believe the writer is exhorting his listeners to abandon their trust in the pictures of the old covenant and go on to the perfection found in Jesus Christ alone.

For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. (Heb. 10:1)

I do not believe he is telling his listeners to drop the basics of Christianity, but that the shadows and sacrifices of the old priesthood can never make them acceptable before God.

 

And this will we do, if God permit. (6:3)

Verse 3 seems to express the writer's desire to teach them the new covenant truth of Jesus Christ that will bring them to perfection. In fact, in the remainder of this epistle, he will do just that, if God gives them ears to hear. Do you hear the Good Shepherd's voice and follow Him? Then you are His sheep. For He Himself said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." Praise God and the glory of His grace if you hear and are delighted to follow the Master. This is His work and His alone.

But if the servant plainly says, "I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free," then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever. (Ex. 21:5-6)

O, Lord, pierce this servant's ear! Your yoke is easy. Your burden is light. In Your service I find rest for my soul. Your commandments are not burdensome. As for Your ways, I find them perfect. As for Your Person, I find You perfect! Incline my heart to forget those things which are behind and reach forward to those things which are ahead. Let us together, as one flock, press toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!

Murray McLellan
m.mclellan@sk.sympatico.ca
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2. Kenneth M. Mick, Jr.

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. (5:12)

Are you dull of hearing in any commands or doctrines of Scripture? How quick will you be to answer, "No, of course not. I believe in New Covenant, sovereign Grace truth"? Is it not true that Christ’s own disciples who heard directly from Christ were "slow of heart to believe" all that the Scriptures declared (Lk. 24:25)? Christ began at Moses and all the Scriptures to declare what all the scriptures said of Him. Are we people of the Book? This phrase 'dull of hearing' refers to being sluggish, or lazy or stupid. Could these words apply to us? "He that turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination" (Proverbs 28:9).  How often do we turn away our ear from hearing by refusing to read and study? Is there any one of us whose prayer life is getting a little dry? Do you believe you are not being "heard for your much asking"? We ask and receive not that we may consume it on our own lusts, and we receive not because we refuse to hear the law. Stay in the book and be humbly open to instruction from others. Were not the the Bereans considered noble minded for continuing to search the Scriptures to see whether what they were taught was so? Yet we get lazy and rest on our haunches, not wanting to really stretch our minds. Let us "gird up the loins of our minds" (I Pet. 1:13) and search the Scriptures. Let us pray, "Lord, open mine eyes that I might behold wondrous things out of Your law." Galatians 3:2,5 indicates that we learn by the hearing of faith. Since faith is a gift of God, let us go to Jesus who alone can open our eyes. Luke 24:30-31 reminds us that it is of the disciples that we read "their eyes were opened," and they were opened by Jesus. The lack of growth in Christian churches comes in part due to our lazy attitude toward the Scriptures we say we love. Let it not be said of us that even during this study of Hebrews we become "dull of hearing."

 

"...unskilled in the word of righteousness: (5:13)

What a terrible thing, to be unskilled in the very thing that will teach us to be righteous. In the KJV (1611 edition) the margin reads "has no experience" for this word ‘unskilled.’ How do you get experience in anything without practice? It always amazes me how so many single people have all the answers for the marriage problems of others. Why is it that some person without children can be the expert on child rearing? When one has no experience in something, he will be unskilled in it. May there not be a ‘famine in the land’ as far as our study of the Word. Will we rest comfortable that we have studied the word? Is it not our duty as believers to get to know our Savior more? And how else do we learn of Him, but by the Word which He wrote. When we study the Word, we are studying Christ’s Word. Surely we are not so na´ve as to think that all knowledge will come naturally, or easily, do we? As II Tim. 2:15 urges us, we must "Study to show ourselves approved unto God."   Study - Make an effort to show, be prompt at it. For those of us who are elders are reminded that "those who labor at the word" are the ones worthy of double honor. Perhaps some of us need to spend more time in the word and less at the computer or in books, worthy though these be. May we ever be like Ezra of old who searched the Scripture "to do and teach it."

 

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. (5:14)

This verse continues this theme, "who by reason of use."  This is how we keep from becoming dull. Unlike the knife that becomes dull with use, our spiritual eyes and ears become sharpened as we use them. Habitual reading and studying will perfect us. This is what the phrase means. Let us go on to perfection by studying and living like the Perfect Christ.

 

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,  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.  And this will we do, if God permit. (6:1-3)

Let us just ask this question. Have you grown in knowledge in the past year? Have you done any learning that really challenged your mind? Have you responded to new truth? I once heard of a preacher who said, "I preach the same things I did 50 years ago. I’ve never changed one iota from anything I taught 50 years ago." Brethren, that scares me. I do not want to have this said about me or by me. Change me, Lord. Teach me. May I be like my Lord who on this earth as a lad "grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men." This is a High Priest I can learn to love even more as He teaches me patiently.

Won By the Master,

Kenneth M. Mick, Jr.
kmickjr@juno.com
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3. Kevin Hartley

5: 11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12 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. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 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.  (5:11-14)

Commentary:

When Luther was a child, he drank in the sweet milk of the gospel of grace. In his treatise upon Christian liberty, one can almost hear him suckle as his jowls constrict the sweet milk of justification by faith alone from the gospel’s bosom. It is in his opening that he writes, "many people have considered Christian faith an easy thing, and not a few have given it a place among the virtues." He also writes,

should you ask how it happens that faith alone justifies and offers us such a treasure of great benefits without works in view of the fact that so many works, ceremonies, and laws are prescribed in the Scriptures, I answer: First of all, remember what has been said, namely, that faith alone, without works, justifies, frees, and saves.

It is in this tract of 1520 that Luther, the infant of the reformation, poured forth the sweet milk of the righteousness by faith alone which the gospel brings. In our current passage of Hebrews 5, we find this doctrine of justification by faith alone is the foundation of the gospel itself. Our author chides his readers for their insolence and sloth, chastising them for their sluggishness and regression from the basic elements and principles of faith, declaring, "for every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe" (5:13). 

It is here we are brought to understand the chief concern of the author of this letter: the mingling of Christ, alone, with the works of the law. The regression of the readers from their sole dependency upon righteousness apart from the law is the cause for our author's grave concern. For, like Paul, he understands the perilous course of apostasy, where men turn from the course of faith alone, to the deadly poison of faith and works. Of this peril Paul writes, "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain" (Gal. 2:21). The elementary teaching of the Christian faith is justification by faith alone, this word of righteousness of which our author speaks.

What is the formula the Holy Spirit mixes for the infant Christians to drink? The pure and unspoiled milk of Christ's righteousness imparted unto the unrighteous. It is this imputation and standing alone, in the righteousness of Christ without works, that is the milk that brings strength and maturity. Christian infancy is all about learning aright the sufficiency of Christ's High Priestly service. Oh, but consider how oft men are seen tainting the pure milk of righteousness. When Elisha's man gathered wild gourds from the field for the sons of the prophets to eat, we read, "and it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, 'O thou man of God, there is death in the pot'. And they could not eat thereof" (2 Kings 4:40). The gourds were gleaned from a wild vine and the vine produced nothing but death. Israel of old, the vine of God, did produce a righteousness that soured the covenant pot with death. Ah, but with the sweet meal of the bread of life, from the honeyed grain of the tender shoot found growing from the dry ground, the sting of death has been turned to sweetness. For it is the righteousness of Christ that has turned us from all our death and labors under the law to this basic and elementary sweet gospel milk. Hear the frustration of our author, consider how he longs to delight in the imparting upon the fatness of the gospel Lamb, but cannot, for they are perishing for want of nourishment. They have been eating that which brings death, rather than that which imparts life.

 

Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. (5:11)  

See how he is constrained, see how he longs to speak of sweeter things, to unravel the mysteries of grace and partake together in the divine glories of Christ, but cannot, for their ears are dull of hearing, their eyes are waxed dim, and the hearts are settling in as fallow ground. There remains one cure for the readers: grace, sovereign, and free. They need the great Physician to take the dirt from the ground, mix it with His spittle, and to wipe their eyes with the blessed salve of life. O that they would see that their lovers in the law, their ceremonies, their sacrifices, their works, their laws, are as the harlot's sweet call leading them to her bedside, a place of death. How they are ensnared, and, as a dying man, their life is all but gone. O that they would look, that divine grace would let them see, that they would drink and live.

Oh but how good is the grace that the gospel brings! For as the sickly readers lie dying in their miserable labors under the law, the author comes with the words of life and raises their heads, and in their parched and dulling mouths is poured grace. But as the dead widow's son, no gospel potion can breath back life into their troubled souls, they need the breath of life breathed within them by a most remarkable of prophets. But as a faithful minister of grace, our author pours the milk within their lips, in hopes that God above will demonstrate their election sure. For if they are of Christ they shall not perish. The gospel never falls upon deaf ears, to those hearing. If they are of Christ, though they may be sluggish and sickly, life will not leave them, and the remedy of grace, rather than law, shall quicken their souls. But if they are dead men, no gospel preaching shall ever bring forth life, lest the sovereign Lord of life and salvation so wills them to live

Keep yourself, Christian, from sluggishness. Let no work be mingled with the pure righteousness of Christ. Eat, drink, feed upon Him, learn Him, know Him, cherish Him, love Him, and take your eyes not off of Him; look to the cross for there is the place where all His righteousness and all our unrighteousness met, and life was given to His own. May He have mercy on us all. Amen.

Kevin Hartley
kartleyk@erols.com
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4. Michael Cruz

Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. (5:11)

This verse has much to say about the sinful nature of man. When I say this, I do not limit myself to the unregenerate sinner but to the believing one as well. Certainly, the epistle is written to believers and what does the second part of the verse state about this group of believers? They are slow to learn! The author has been expounding upon the relationship between the high priest of the old covenant and the high priest of the new. After thirteen verses of writing on this topic, we are assured there is more to relate. As a matter of fact, the second part of the verse is the lead-in to a gentle rebuke of these believers. As a young believer, someone pointed out to me the hard verses pertaining to God's sovereignty found in the Exodus, Deuteronomy 2, Joshua 11, and Romans 9. So I had a good Biblical understanding of God's sovereignty early in my Christian life, but I was slow to learn to apply this knowledge. I did not shy away from the above passages but it would be ten years before I more fully understood the nature of God's sovereignty in salvation, especially in regard to the doctrines of grace. In other words, I was slow to learn in this area. If I had taught on the sovereignty of God during this period, I would have been at a loss of truth to teach whether or not I recognized it.

 

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. (5:12)

Such slowness of learning has handicapped the Hebrews in their teaching ministry to others. Because of their lack of knowledge concerning the relationship of the old to the new, the Hebrews have not grown to a point where they have the ability to teach. Evidently, as a function of time alone, they should be able to relate these truths to others, yet this has not happened. The last part of verse twelve is evidence that the relation of the old covenant to the new is an elementary truth. There should be no question who our high priest is, that in Him we are to find our rest and that the Lord Jesus is superior to Moses. The recipients of this epistle need to get back to the basics, i.e. milk.

 

For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (5:13)

The most important point in verse thirteen is that those who are spiritually immature are not in a position to accept advanced concepts. Unless they understand the basics previously mentioned concerning the relationship of the old covenant to the new, any further teaching would be wasted. When I taught Algebra in college, I had to deal with an abundance of students who did not have the foundational math skills needed to be successful in the course. In some cases, this did not stop them from attempting to solve problems. With their superficial confidence and faulty understanding of fundamentals they tried to work the more advanced problems. In some cases, only a few fundamental errors were carried through, resulting in problems that needed only minor correction to be valid. In a majority of cases, however, fundamental errors in understanding created greater errors in the more advanced topics, resulting in a process that bore little resemblance to any currently known Algebraic process. Quite simply, they invented their own faulty methods that, not surprisingly, gave faulty results. When confronted with the problems, they did not understand their mistakes nor did they have any desire to learn what they had done wrong. They had gone too far and invested too much time in their own methods to learn valid skills. Most who did this simply gave up, stopped coming to class, and thus failed. There were a few brave souls who went all the way through the class still taking tests and expecting to pass by their own perseverence but they still were not able to make passing grades. Many churches and believers operate much like that today. They do not understand the basic difference between the old and new covenants. Many confuse the nature of the conditional covenant God made with Israel with the covenant of Grace that believers in Jesus Christ enjoy. So common is it to hear those who try to make the covenant with Israel a covenant of grace or make faith the condition of the covenant of grace rather than the means. It goes without saying that many are so far from understanding fundamental doctrine that they are not in a position to teach. To make matters worse, some who teach do not even recognize their inability, but for those who do recognize their shortcomings, the Bible should hold great joy for those caught in these errors. I rejoice when I learn there were believers in the early days who suffered from the same form of ignorance I have suffered.

 

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. (5:14)

It is quite evident from verse fourteen that we will not be entrusted with the advanced concepts until we have mastered the basics. Oh how greatly today's church could benefit from an infusion of discernment!

 

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, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (6: 1,2)

Verse one essentially shows the author embarking on a new course. It is a gearing up for the more meaty material that lies ahead. The writer has chastised the Hebrews for not being grounded in elementary truths, but has also endeavored to give them some instruction they so desperately need. Most of this verse is a transition or a shifting of gears between the two lines of thought. I think it is important to point out the writer considers repentance as elementary to the Christian faith but he believes they need no further instruction in this area. This gives weight, along with other passages, to the belief that both faith and repentance are necessary for true conversion. We can also be sure the other topics mentioned are elementary as well.  For teaching on baptism see Acts 8:26-39. There is much to be said of the laying on of hands in Acts and 1 Timothy . We know about the teachings concerning the resurrection from Romans 6 and 1Corinthians 15. Likewise, teaching on eternal judgement is elementary from many passages, including Matt 12, 2 Cor 5:10, 2 Peter 2, 1 John 4:17, Jude and many more in Revelation. These concepts are basic to the Christian life.

 

And this will we do, if God permit. (6:3)

To finish out this section, it is important to notice in verse three the author gives God the glory for the effectiveness of the words which come from his mouth.

Michael Cruz
a_la_cruz@technologist.com
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5. Jim McClarty

INTRODUCTION:

One aspect of the Bible I've always marveled at is its universal ability to address every reader, regardless of their social status or intellectual capacity.  The simplest mind can grasp "this is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent" (John 6:29). A child can have such faith; a mentally challenged person can believe on Christ. The most wretched drunk can be brought to faith by Christ.  A wounded, legless Viet Nam vet, grown dependent on pain-killing drugs, can get to this Savior. The dying thief knew only this - look to the Savior and beg, "remember me." The true gospel reaches all the way down to the simplest and lowest of us.

But, the word of God is also capable of challenging the most intellectually proficient of us. Ingenious men through the centuries have grappled with the truths laid out in Scripture, and yet none have been able to proclaim absolute expertise. The Word is too far reaching, too indepth, for any man to command in one lifetime.

So, the question arises - what is our responsibility where these theological depths are concerned? Is it enough to understand the simplest construct and rest on what little we know? Or, is there an expected, even mandated, growth from our original point of understanding to a more complete knowledge? That's the question which is at issue in this week's passage.

 

COMMENTARY:

Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. (5:11)

After as startling a notion as the idea that God became flesh and was in fear, crying to the Father to save Him from death, but gaining perfection through His obedience, it's hard to imagine that the author has even more difficult things to say about this Christ. But, he's going to. However, he's not going to take the time to review the doctrinal basics, and indeed he never systematically lays them out in this letter. Rather, he is pulling detail after detail from their Hebrew history and testament, showing how they relate to, and are fulfilled by, Jesus. These are new interpretations, new ideas, to this first century audience. But, it's difficult to press these issues. His audience is buried in tradition and spiritually deaf. Throughout His ministry Christ proclaimed, "He that hath ears, let him hear!" But, it was uncommon to find men whose eyes, ears, and hearts were tuned to His words. Nevertheless, the author had a depth of knowledge he wished to impart to them - many things to say, hard to be uttered.

 

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. (5:12)

From the time of Moses, these people had been blessed with God's word. They had prophets; they had priests; they had the temple and the Scriptures. They should have been more educated in the ways of God than any nation on earth. They should have been able to teach openly the things which God had said and done for His elect people. But, no... They had become entrenched in the repetitions of religion. They had slain their sacrifices with no recognition of the One they represented. They waited as the High Priest entered the Holy Place every Day of Atonement, and they missed the One who was being prefigured. They had heard about the blood on the doorposts in Egypt. They knew about the unbroken law which had been placed within the ark and covered with the mercy seat. They knew about the promised seed and the coming of Messiah. But, they had failed to understand the fulfillment when it rose up in their midst. So, rather than move into the deep things of God, it was necessary they be reminded of the basics which were presented in the oracles of God. They were spiritual infants who needed to mature.

 

For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (5:13)

It's amusing that such an obvious example was necessary to convey this idea to these people. Babies crave mother's milk. That's all they know. Their systems cannot tolerate food which needs to be chewed and digested. But by means of this parable, the author has labeled these people as "unskilful," lacking experience in the Word of God. So they required the milk of elemental Christian doctrine. They needed to be taught again the "first principles."

 

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. (5:14)

Good, substantial food is for those who can tolerate it. The point is, of course, that this audience should have been able to understand the deeper things concerning Christ and should have grown to a spiritual maturity. The only way to achieve such growth is through consistent study of God's Word. Experience in the Word creates a knowledge base which will guide us in our earthly decisions. On the deepest level, this sort of insight into the Word would have guided these people into the "good" of Christ and the "evil" of religion run amuck. Had they lived in the word, and been exercised thereby, they would have known and been able to teach the very things they were reading here. They would have guided others along the paths of righteousness had they been skilful "in the word of righteousness." That being the case, the author is going to press on into the deeper things, prodding his readers to go on with him.

 

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, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (6: 1,2)

Is it fair to accuse this Hebrew audience of not understanding these basics? Well, yeh - the author thinks so. The basics can all be learned from the Old Testament writers, and they are taught as the foundation stones of the New Testament church.

Compare the following O.T. passages to their N.T. counterparts, in teaching the foundation of...

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people. (Isa 64:6-9 )

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance; and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father; for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham. (Matt. 3:8,9)

But, go ye and learn what that meaneth, 'I will have mercy, and not sacrifice': for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Matt. 9:13).

And he (Abram) believed in the Lord, and He counted it to him for righteousness. (Gen. 15:6)

Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:4)

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Rom. 1:17)

But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. (Exodus 14:29)

Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; (1 Cor. 10:1,2)

And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,) That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho. And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan. (Joshua 3:15-17)

Then went out to him (John) Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. (Matt. 3:5-6)

And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock before the Lord; and the bullock shall be killed before the Lord. (Lev. 4:15)

And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. (Lev. 16:20-22)

And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. (Mark 5:22-23)

Then laid they (the apostles) their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. (Acts 8:17)

Therefore prophecy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. (Ezekiel 37:12)

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. (Matt. 27:51-53)

And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. (John 6:39)

But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked: judgment and justice take hold on thee. Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee. (Job 36:17,18)

But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness. (Ps. 9:7,8)

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal. (Matt. 25:46)

Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (Mattt. 9:44)

These are the basics. If you don't understand that these things are truly proclaimed in Scripture, then you're stuck in the starting gate. In order to go on unto "perfection," or completion, in your Christian education, it's of primary importance to understand the following:

  1. You must turn from your works and trust in Christ's complete redemption.
  2. You must have faith that God is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. (Heb.11:6)
  3. You must understand that the Father sent the Son, and only through the Son do we have admission into the presence of the Almighty.
  4. As an act of submission to Christ's commands, you should be baptized in His name, publicly identifying yourself with His death, burial and resurrection.
  5. You need to understand the proper order of things within the church and the necessity of Godly leadership. ""Lay hands suddenly on no man..."" (1 Tim 5:22).
  6. You need to know that Christ promised a complete redemption which includes the full restoration of our bodies at the final resurrection.
  7. And, you need to know that God will judge His enemies and pour out an eternal punishment on those who will bear their sin.

This is Christianity 101. But, strong meat builds on these truths to even fuller revelations. The church needs to be mature enough to learn them, and the teachers need to be brave enough to teach them.

 

And this will we do, if God permit. (6:3)

It's not up to us, eh? This is all God's doing. And, by His grace we will continue to endeavor in the gold mine of His word.

 

CONCLUSION:

So, as concerns our question (in the introduction), it does appear the author is admonishing believers to grow up and be able to hear every truth God has revealed. The original readers seemed to have a problem clinging to their traditions so tightly they refused to destroy them in favor of learning the whole of God's word. That's not an uncommon problem today. We all approach the Scripture with our personal set of "truths" which we will doggedly defend, sometimes even in light of contrary verses. One of the most difficult things to do when reading the Bible is to allow it to say what it's actually saying. And, if it contradicts our theology, we must reconstruct our theology to accommodate each and every revealed truth. But that's tough to do. On the larger, corporate scale, modern churches wallow in the milk week after week. They refuse to grow. They are comfortable in their infancy. They approach the basics and that's as much as they desire. The doctrines of Christ which would challenge them to grow and mature are conveniently ignored, or explained away. But, that's a christianity which stands in opposition to this book of Scripture. We would do well to hear the admonition. Are our ears open? Do we joy in every word which comes down from above? Do we yearn to hear more about our Savior and the riches of His mercy toward us? Are we thrilled at every insight which increases our knowledge of Him in every aspect of His ministry? Certainly we ought to be. May God help us all to be.

Jim McClarty
McClartyfam@juno.com
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6. Maurice Bergeron

Called of God an high priest. (5:10)

As we have proceeded through verses 5 to 10 we can clearly see the reasons for the elevation of our Lord to his office of high priest. Essentially, his unique human life of faithfulness to his Father fitted him for the office in which he presently functions. Jesus Christ did perfectly accomplish the work of reconciliation through his fulfillment of his Father’s will. For that victory he was called of God to be their high priest.

 

Of whom we have many things to say, (5:11a)

He is Jesus Christ, God's and man’s Champion and much, much more.

 

And hard to be uttered, (5:11b)

There are a good many hard sayings in God’s Word and unless our hearts be tender to the things of God how shall we receive anything of use?

 

Seeing ye are dull of hearing. (5:11c)

Of slow understanding--what a pitiful condition! How this describes the current state of the church when so little of truth is enjoyed and so few are the hearts that desire to walk in it. Do these words describe you my friend?

 

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, (5:12a)

They sound as if they have been rendered useless. We live in a day when Christian people charge each other with spiritual negligence, yet, how can we teach when we haven’t labored to nurture our own selves?

 

ye have need that one teach you again...the first principles of the oracles of God; (5:12b)

Could this be why they ran the danger of being carried off by strange and different teachings? "Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines" (Heb. 13:9).

 

For every one that useth milk . . . is a babe.(5:13)

Everyone loves a new born child of God but the hardest professors to teach are those who unnaturally have remained as babes. They soon become irritable and unteachable unless God show them further mercy.

 

[Is] unskilful in the word of righteousness: (5:13b)

Such ignorance, if it continued, would eventually see them fully down by-path meadow. The enemy loves the ignorant and foolish. These sort of sheep tend to kick the shepherd.

 

Strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, (5:14a)

In this life there’s nothing like being in the company of those precious saints who know Immanuel’s menu well. They know the location of  the best eatery in town. My children prefer McDonald's cheesy hamburgers and cheap candy over prime rib.

 

have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (5:14b)

What can someone who has lived all of their life in spiritual poverty tell you of right and wrong or of God’s riches? They can't discern the times.

 

leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, (6:1a)

Leaving and moving on is the desire of the true teacher and the ambition of the wise disciple.

 

let us go on unto perfection; (6:1b)

God has not shortchanged his people. Progress to perfection is theirs if they would have it. There is no reason for any to lag behind.

 

not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, (6:1c)

There would be no moving forward unless they pressed on towards the prize set before them, even as they would leave behind the vanities of yesterday, while they renewed their love and trust in God.

 

...Of the doctrine of baptisms, ...of laying on of hands, ...of the resurrection of the dead, ...of eternal judgment. (6:2)

Here the writer lists the areas where these professing saints failed to go beyond. Could it be that they quarreled over these teachings?

 

And this will we do, if God permit. (6:3)

Have you ever considered the magnitude of our loss, and the loss of the church throughout the ages, if God did not permit the writer to move on in his exposition? Dear Reader, shall we not also cry out to God with tears and plead with him to enlarge our hearts and the hearts of his people so that we will not be content with little when there is so much more of the knowledge of Christ to be had?

Maurice Bergeron
ic@mdc.net
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7. Tim Clifton

Commentary: Hebrews 5:11 - 6:3, "LET GO!"

Of whom we have many things to say.. (5:11)

What if the author had said more about Melchisedec? We can speculate. We can study what he has given us later. Was he a man? Was he an angel? Was he Christ? I believe God has given us enough about this 'order of Melchisedec.'  It is the order of a new and better way, and actually the rest of the book lays it out very well. We know Messiah's goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. We know Melchisedec, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of God, abideth a priest continually. And we lastly seem to see here that the Hebrew audience just didn't want to really think about the connection (dull of hearing). Perhaps they didn't like the implications that this order ended their ties to the law. I sometimes get tired of hearing that battle over and over today. There is a better way. The answer is to 'let go'; just let go. This new order is better. Let go!

 

and are become such as have need of milk, (5:12)

Some people profess to be Christians, but they have failed to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The author, of course, is calling them a bunch of babes (v.13) by his analogy. I have said to my children to make the same point, "do I have to put a diaper on you like I used to do?" I am afraid Christianity in America, and perhaps the world is a "diaper" sort of religion, and in serious need of this verse and this exhortation. First of course, we must examine ourselves. Are we hanging onto the past and not growing because of it? Are we such as have need of milk because there are closets we keep shut? I'm sure the Lord would have us go to the throne of mercy and grace to find help, as this is a very real need. Let go! Take off the diaper and take in a bigger dose of Christ.

 

is unskilful in the word of righteousness: (5:13b)

When you hang on to things that hold you back, you are unable to rightly divide the Word of Truth. So many words by supposed 'good' men, so much 'wisdom' by those who have really never embraced a better order and a better covenant. Perhaps we put too much weight on what these men teach. God calls them, "unskilful." Should we call them more? Nay, but look to the Words of God Himself, which are quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. There you will find the road as straight as a rule can make it! Why would you look elsewhere where the road is crooked because men have not let go.

 

by reason of use... (5:14)

I believe here we can see God calling us back to the straight and taking us to task for not abiding there. How can you deal with meaty things if you are not in the Word? Certainly the Hebrews could read, and meditate, and truly study this order of Melchisedec and then let go of the 'vast wisdom' of all the 'doctors' who would keep them on Sinai. Surely you and I can keep God's Word paramount in our priorities and let it color whatever else we read, as opposed to our reading causing us to be tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine. Stay in the Word; hold it precious above all others; use it well, and it will clarify the rest.

 

let us go on unto perfection: (6:1)

Perfection = teleiotes:
1a) the state of the more intelligent;
1b) moral and spiritual perfection.

Doesn't that just sum up this whole "get out of your diaper and get in the Word" exhortation we have just received? We don't need to keep going over the things that have brought us this far. There is more, and it will truly stretch your mind to let go of your childhood and get into a more serious approach to the things of, to the Words of, God. You'll be helped morally (and we all need that daily), and you'll be helped spiritually (perhaps truly seeing this order and this man who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.). So let's add to our 'let go,' by saying 'go on!'

 

And this will we do, if God permit. (6:3)

Yes, we will go on to this order, and to meat, and to a view of Messiah that transcends the blood of bulls and goats, but first let me share things that accompany those who do not  let go and do not go on, but who go back...

In Christ,
Tim Clifton
tclifton@hotmail.com
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8. Reid Ferguson

11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12 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. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 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. 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, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit. (5:11-6:3)

 

Just how far reaching is the power of the principles in these few verses remains for eternity to tell. But bound up in them is truth so critical to our spiritual growth as to be aptly called "essential."

Notice first, the sweet sufficiency of God's Word. How it is meet for every stage of growth and development. It is both mother's milk to the new born Christian, as well as strong meat for the well developed. In other places we are reminded that it is also water and common bread too. It is without debate God’s complete provision for our souls. No wonder Paul tells Timothy that having received it, it is so effective, “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:17). It is always a sad state of affairs then, when some new Christians are put off portions of the Word by those who "know more." If God has communicated it, we should have no fear to let them have at it. It would be unthinkable that Moses, descending from Sinai's pinnacle with the decalogue in his hands, would deliver up all but one or two to the whole congregation because they may be "difficult" or above them. Spurgeon was admonished by some foolhardy rascal not to preach the "hard doctrines" of election or predestination to his listeners indiscriminately because they might not understand them, or might abuse them, or might be put off by them. His answer? "All of God's truth, for all of God's people." Yes! This should always be our banner. For this blessed holy Breathing is crafted in such infinite wisdom, that in any one moment, the very same passage, verse, or word will fill the soul of the new convert with instruction as well as thrill the soul of the aged saint with truth unfolded and illuminated anew. O what vast and exhaustless store.

But this is a two-edged sword. Just as the babe in Christ should not be discouraged from plunging headlong into God's Word, neither should the Christian, walking long with his Lord, ever relegate some portion of this divine provision to the realm of "kid's stuff." I believe it was Alan Redpath who noted that whenever he addressed an audience, invariably there would be some who would sit with sour faces, their arms folded in rigid defiance, with that "bless me IF YOU CAN" look in their eyes. It is all too true. To watch some, you would think that having come to the Lord's table once, they need never partake of Him again, for they have all there is to get. How many are still living on their "experience" of 5, 10, 25, or 50 years ago? There is no freshness or sweetness in their concourse with Christ and therefore none with the saints either. All is memories; the life and the vitality is gone. Their hearts haven't melted over sin (theirs or anyone else's) in decades. They've long since given up their waiting for the sound of the Lord in the Garden in the cool of the day. When one can look at their Bible and think, "its just milk, and I'm past that," they have sentenced themselves to a heart that's as hard as their heads. Dear one, if you can read John 3:16 today and not weep, the problem isn't that the Word is stale or beneath you, but that your own sinful hardness has jaded your heart and mind.

Notice too, that growth is the natural expectation of the Christian life. We should think it as strange and tragic that Christians make no progress from the day of their conversion as we would  if an infant should never grow out of its diapers, past its bottles, and on to higher things. We are born to grow; we are destined for His image, and the diet of His blessed Word is His own provision for all of it. Let me ask you - have you changed in these past 6 or 12 months? Has there been growth in your knowledge of the Word itself, and in the treasures it holds? Are you more equipped to access them than you were a year ago? Has there been progress in sanctification? Do you experience longer and longer periods of victory over temptation? Or are you still wrestling with things that should have been put away long ago? What of the fruit of His Spirit? Do you go to that blessed tree oft to partake of those things that they might fill you up? Or are you still trying to accomplish things for God in your own strength? For the years that you have named the name of Christ, are you still in need for others to constantly rehearse the basics for you? Or, for the time gone by, are you now an instructor of others concerning the truth you've mastered? Beloved, these things are not options. This is the natural course of life. How much more our life in Him? This Lord's Day, as you enter His house, will you be coming to praise Him for His incomparable bounty poured out to you this week in prayer and study? Or will you be looking around, waiting for someone else to lead you to worship? Children wait at the table. Adults prepare meals.

Notice lastly, though, the real force of this passage. It is captured in these words,

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. (5:14)

Please don’t pass this by. Herein is the great cause of the spiritual decline of our day. We live in a generation that, more than any other in all of history, enjoys a glut of God’s Word. When have Bibles ever been more available, in more forms, with more helps and in more accessible translations? Never! And never has a generation so endowed, been so utterly ignorant of the truth this Holy Writ contains. Why does it seem to have so little effect? How is it that we can hear some of the finest preaching ever to fall upon the ears of man virtually 24 hours a day belched from our televisions, radios, computers, and tape players and still find the Evangelical church the number one recruitment ground for the cults?

The plain answer is right before us in our text – “strong meat belongs to them who are of full age,” i.e. the mature. And how do the mature get that way? These are those who “by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Simply – God’s Word holds no benefit for those who are not committed to be subject to it in obedience. O that we would grasp this! It is a vital imperative. James Montgomery Boice, in his fine work titled Standing on The Rock makes this observation in his “Ten Principles for proper Bible Interpretation": (The nineth principle is "The Principle of Obedience."):

In its simplest form, it means we must obey the Bible if we are to understand it in the fullest sense…. We can understand the Bible superficially, enough to know what it is we are refusing to obey. But God hides the deep things of His Word from any Who are unwilling to obey Him.

How we need to hear this! Upon the giving of the Law in Exodus 35, it is written: “These are the words which the LORD hath commanded, that ye should do them.” Not just hear them or know them, but DO them. No wonder then that Jesus Himself repeats this principle in John 13:17 where He says: "If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” Listen to the words of A.J. Gordon in his excellent book The Ministry of The Spirit:

The Bible is a sensitive plant which shuts itself up at the touch of mere critical investigation…Not only does the Bible not yield up roses to the critic, it yields thorns and briars of hopeless contradiction. “Intellige ut credas verbum meu,” said Augustine to the rationalists of his day, “sed crede ut intelligas verbum dei.” “Understand my word, that you may believe it; believe God’s Word, that you may understand it.”

This was driven home to me with great power not two months ago. A young husband and father of three beautiful little girls came to my office seeking some scriptural “loophole” that would let him divorce his wife and abandon his home, yet remain “OK” with God. Believer hear me – there is no such thing. Do you imagine for one minute that this (or any other of like mind) can think to sit down to study God’s Word and hope to receive one scintilla of insight? I tell you it is not possible. When we willfully abandon the practice of His Word, we abandon hope of partaking of it too. When we have not, by reason of use and practice, exercised ourselves in the discipline of recognizing sin that we may mortify it, and conversely to discerning the paths of right- eousness that we might flee down them, then we will have no light.

But know this too – you who apply yourselves to these holy pages, searching out every device and equipping unto holiness and righteousness, know that you will not go away unmet. To those whose hearts pour over each word that they might know the power of canceled sin, and rise up in life to glorify their God and King with every drawn breath – I tell you on the authority of this very Word, it will speak to you in the night hours. It will overflow with wisdom, grace, mercy, instruction, and consolation. This blessed fountain will cool your parched soul in the heat of the day;  it will give you skill for battle, light in the darkness, and peace in the storm. Songs will fill your heart while others' hearts fail them for fear. On every page you will find such sweet and holy sustenance that all will wonder of the hidden reserves that replenish and renew you, while all around, the world crumbles and fades away. This is His promise. This is the heritage of the saints. Do not fail of it. It will never fail you. In this, beloved, we go on to perfection (if God permit) not laying again the foundations.

Reid Ferguson
reidf@frontiernet.net
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9. Donald E. Blind

10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. 11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12 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. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 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. 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, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit. (5:10-6:3)

 

As the first portion of chapter 5 has to do with the fact of Christ replacing Aaron as High Priest, actually fulfilling the office, so this portion is concerned with the people of Israel, to whom the teaching is directed. The inspired writer, by the tenor of the epistle, knows he is in for a difficult time trying to impress upon the people to embrace the truth with their whole heart. It appears now, with the the introduction of Melchisedec, it's going to be even more of a struggle. He admits they are lazy of hearing. They must have been under his tutelage for a long time, seeing he expected them to be the tutors by now. The concept of the "first principles of the oracles of God," as chapter six elucidates, surely places them in a precarious position, to be defined in the sixth chapter. At present, they are babies, lacking the skills to enable them to comprehend the "better things," which he began in chapter one, verse four: "better than the angels." The "strong meat" is for those mature enough to be able to discern the changes that came about in Christ Jesus. They must discern both "good and evil," or a better understanding of those words; the fulfillment of all things in Christ, as opposed to the "shadow or good things to come." Kalos = good, in this case; sound, mature understanding. Kakos = Evil, in this case; incapacity or weakness of understanding. A study of The Theological Dictionary Of the New Testament concerning the words, can show us it is not moral judgment that is in view here. Trench, Synonyms of the NT, Eerdmans, 8th printing, May 1975, page 315, "an unskillful judge." So too, in the scriptures it is often used without any ethical intention.

Concerning chapter six, Paul's passage in Philippians three is apropos. He speaks of what was, and now what must be:

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by thesame rule, let us mind the same thing.

"Of the doctrine of baptisms,"  I believe should be "of washings." We have already attained to all of this concerning the shadow of good things to come, so let us press on. There will be time to review these teachings as God permits

Donald E. Blind
dblind@erols.com
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