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The Moral Effect of Minimizing the Doctrine of Christ

December 7, 2009

In reading Hebrews 5, the author argues for a high view of the work accomplished by Jesus at the cross as our High Priest over the work of high priests in the Old Covenant.  At the end of chapter, however, the author desires to explain further truths about the Person of Christ and the work of Gospel, but his readers “have become dull of hearing” (Heb. 5:11).  They still need milk, like one who is an infant spiritually, instead of solid food.  The author desires them to grow in knowledge, not for knowledge sake, but for their sanctification:

But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5:14).

Because they have not grown in the knowledge, their discernment powers have grown dull.  They lack the ability to carefully discern between what is good and evil, morally.  What knowledge, exactly, is the author speaking about?  The entire letter is the author’s reflection upon Scripture and deducing truths from them to form an ordered instruction about who Jesus is, his Gospel, and its implication upon the life of the Christian.  His readers have underestimated the importance of reflecting upon Scripture to come to a clearer knowledge of Christ and his Gospel for their sanctification.

We can see the fruit of minimizing Christian doctrine in some Christian circles, where homosexual activity and marriage is heartily approved.  Their power to discern between good and evil has become dull.  Theology does, at times, divide, yet theological growth in the knowledge of Christ and his Gospel never fails to increase our sanctification.  May we never be satisfied with milk.

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