Bible Ballistics: Vol. 19 No. 03 Who’s The Children’s Sermon For?
“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.” Hebrews 5:12-6:2
The author of Hebrews was dealing with a group of believers who, to paraphrase some of the verses above, were needing the “children’s sermon” rather that the full, meaty, sermon; and I am convinced that we have churches full of “children’s sermon” believers— “unskilled in the word of righteousness (the Bible)….a babe” — rather than those who are, “of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil”! The thing I’d like us to consider today is, which one are you and I? Are you ready for steak? Or are you still drinking milk?
Are you/I one of those who are skilled in using the Word of God, or are we “unskilled…babes”? Are we so distracted and focused on self and the things of this world that we have not “done our homework” in knowing God through HIS WORD. It is vital to our spiritual wellbeing to know God and His Word; that we will be able to discern between that which is good and that which is evil—not good!
“Give therefore thy servant
an understanding heart
to judge thy people,
that I may discern
between good and bad:
for who is able to judge
this thy so great a people?” 1 Kings 3:9
King Solomon pleased God with his request for wisdom, a request that he made on more than one occasion; and yet we forget that without God’s provision, our wisdom is of very little value. Paul gives us some great insight into this need for wisdom, and wisdom is almost always grounded in The Word of God!
“For our rejoicing is this,
the testimony of our conscience,
that in simplicity
and godly sincerity,
not with fleshly wisdom,
but by the grace of God,
we have had our conversation
in the world,
and more abundantly
to you-ward.” 2 Corinthians 1:12
It is important and interesting to note that this is not the first time that Paul had approached this subject of wisdom to the Corinthian believers; so, they should have been aware of Paul’s opinion regarding wisdom. We can settle for the world’s wisdom, or we can pursue God’s holiness, wisdom, and grace (in HIS WORD) which are the only things that will help us “discern between good and bad”! And oh, how our world needs followers of Jesus who are truly committed to the pursuit of spiritual maturity and excellence (and I know this is a lengthy passage, but I think it gives great insight into the Hebrews passage above), so let’s dig in!
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-15
Let’s see what we can discern from Paul’s message to these believers in Corinth.
Paul gives all the credit of his “success” among the people of Corinth to the ‘cross’ and “the crucified Christ”!
Then, in verse 4 he attributes all the glory to the “spirit and power of God” rather than the “wisdom” of man! Oh, how our culture is impressed with the wisdom of men; sadly that “admiration” has bled over into the church—where it never belongs! Because our faith must reside IN JESUS not any wisdom of man.
Verses 7-8 are so packed full of truth, and sadly, truth that is often ignored or negated by men.
“But we speak the wisdom of God
in a mystery,
even the hidden wisdom,
which God ordained
before the world
unto our glory:
8 Which none of the princes of this world
for had they known it,
they would not have crucified
the Lord of glory.”
In other words, if men were so “wise” they would have seen and believed the truth that Jesus was, is and ever shall be The Son of God! But they missed it, even as most do today. And then, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, one of the verses that is often quoted out of this context.
“But as it is written,
Eye hath not seen,
nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart
the things which God hath prepared for them
that love him.”
Then Paul goes on to be sure that we understand that we can only know these “things” by the revealing of the Holy Spirit to those who are God’s own, and verse 13 says it so concisely:
“Which things also we speak,
not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth,
but which the Holy Ghost teacheth;
comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
Paul sums it up nicely when he reminds us that the things of God are revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, who indwells each born-again believer; reminding us that our dependence is to be on the Holy Spirit’s direction, grace, and wisdom, not the wisdom of man! We are to grow into mature believers by pursuing the wisdom, holiness, and grace of God rather than the justification and wisdom of man/the world!
But as Peter told us in the book of Acts, God KNEW what men would do, and HE had already set “in stone”, if you would, the plan of salvation that would be accomplished in the blood of Jesus, The One who would lay down HIS life for you and me, for all who will repent of their sin, and believe and receive this ‘gift of God’!
“Ye men of Israel, hear these words;
Jesus of Nazareth,
a man approved of God among you
which God did by him
in the midst of you,
as ye yourselves also know:
23 Him, being delivered
by the determinate counsel
and foreknowledge of God,
ye have taken,
and by wicked hands
have crucified and slain:
24 Whom God hath raised up,
having loosed the pains of death:
because it was not possible
that he should be holden of it.” Acts 2:22-24
So, my friends, the question is, will you tune in to God’s wisdom and be transformed by “the renewing of your mind” (see Romans 12:1-3) that we may “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”; rather than enjoying the ‘children’s sermon’! (Which is a great thing for children, but not for mature believers in and followers of Jesus!)! Which group do you fall into?
“For all have sinned,
and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23
“For the wages of sin is death;
but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
All this because the plan of God was made in Jesus Christ our Lord! God’s wisdom not man’s!
“For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish,
but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Amen and Amen!!!