CHAPTER SHIFT - Remember that the chapter and verse designations were added to the Bible hundreds of years after it was written for convenience, and that they don't always line up with the actual flow of the text. That's especially evident in this middle section of Hebrews. Today's 'chapter' goes from 5:11 - 6:13.
5:11-14 - This passage opens with harsh words that are even harsher in the original language, in which the author says It's hard to teach you, because:
NIV: you no longer try to understand (v11)
More literal: you've become lazy & sluggish in listening.
It seems like the more things change for Christians, the more they stay the same. Why do you think it is that so many Christians are not content to go 'from milk to solid food?'
6:1-8 - If you're not growing in your Christian life, you're at risk of falling away. This passage doesn't leave us much middle ground. The author presents an analogy in v7-8 that resonates with us in Southwest Minnesota:
Land that drinks in the rain:
receives God's blessing.
However, land that produces thorns and thistles:
is in danger of being cursed, and in the end it will be burned.
Which one of these lands describes your Christian growth?
6:9-12 - There always must be a tension when describing the effort we must put forth to grow as Christians. Like anything else worth having in life, it takes hard work and discipline to grow as a Christian. Once again in v12, you're given a warning not to become lazy. You must 'show diligence (v11)' and imitate the saints who've gone before us. The tension present here comes in the reminder that even though the hard work and effort are necessary, your hope is fully based in God's justice (v10), and ultimately, salvation is a free gift which you inherit (v12).
6:13-20 - We will cover this passage tomorrow as part of chapter 7.
Old Testament Reference(s) -
God renews His covenant with Israel as they approach the promised land in Deuteronomy 29. Concentrate on v22-29, which set forth the curses that will come if God's people become 'lazy and dull.' If you have time, read about the blessings that will follow those who turn to the Lord in chapter 30.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: What is God described as not being in v10?
What reasons does each author give for addressing his audience as “baby Christians”?
Suppose that at the end of this chapter, the author added this line: “If you remember only one thing from this chapter, let it be this: …” How do you think he would complete that sentence?
Question 2-3 taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God is just and will bless your efforts as you work hard to grow in your faith (v10)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God will give you an appetite for solid doctrinal food (6:12)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: