Hebrews Chapter 5
: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.”
In chapter 6, Paul identifies the “first principles of the oracles of God” as being “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.” These things pertain to the doctrines and practices and order and government of the New Testament Church. Paul
admonishes the Hebrew brethren in that he said that they had been around New Testament teaching long enough that they ought to be teachers. However, they had failed to progress in their spiritual knowledge and growth, that they now had need that one teach them again the first principles of the oracles of God.
There are basically two main reasons why God’s children who have become members of His kingdom church on earth do not grow in their knowledge of the first principles of the oracles of God. One reason is found when they do not take heed to the preaching of the word and set aside time to read and study God’s word. The other reason is that the preacher is not teaching as He should the
first principles of the oracles of God.
I remember hearing on several occasions as a child brothers and sisters remark about someone’s preaching being “strong meat” when that person preached on election, predestination, and salvation by grace. I discovered later that what was being called “strong meat” was in fact what Paul was calling “milk.” Milk is necessary for the babes in Christ and serves as a foundation for the later
understand of the need for Godly living.
A truly dedicated disciple of Christ needs to grow spiritually. These Jewish brethren had failed to grow in their spiritual understanding and practice, and had become prey to the legalistic teaching of Judaism.
Just as a little baby begins his growth desiring and using its mothers milk, so we as babes in Christ use the teaching of the doctrines of grace as our spiritual milk. A natural baby will continue to need milk, but other stronger foods are added to its diet so that its body will grow more and stronger. Likewise, as babes in Christ, we need to add stronger and stronger spiritual
understanding so that we will grow stronger in our faith and service to God and his people.
“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.” Growth of a natural child will be thwarted by the lack of exercise. Likewise, our growth as disciples of Christ is largely dependent on us exercising our senses to discern good and evil. This does not
mean that we exercise our senses in both good and evil. It means that we exercise our senses to “discern” good and evil. The word “discern” comes from a Greek word meaning “judicial estimation.” By practicing the things that the scriptures teach us are good and withdrawing ourselves from the things the scriptures teach us are evil, then we are exercising our senses so that we can discern good and evil.