Title: Of Slugs and Deafness
Purpose: To Motivate the Christians to Study the Bible daily and expect more than mediocre infantile faith!

  1. Tough in the morning, car is *sluggish*, we are sluggish
  2. Sort of like a "slug", they move very slooooow
  3. Already has given warnings to the danger of drifting away and doubting God's word
  4. Now the text pauses with an open rebuke and warning (5:11-6:20)
  5. Text: Heb 5:11-14
    1. Have a lot to say about Jesus, but it was hard to explain
    2. Lit. hard to communicate, not hard to interpret
    3. Problem is not with the message, but with the hearers
  6. The rebuke is specifically for their immaturity or "sluggishness"
    1. There is a difference between immaturity and can't help it, and sluggishness
    2. Signs of this sluggish immaturity:

I. Being sluggish in hearing

  1. Text says "dullness" of hearing
    1. "Dullness" is translated "sluggish" in 6:12
    2. Idea behind this word is slow, lazy or apathetic (I could care less attitude)
  2. This sluggishness is what has been alluded to up till this point in this book
    1. Danger of drifing away (2:1) because of not paying close attention
    2. Danger of doubting God's word
      1. Used Israel as an example of doubting -- provoked God
      2. We must strive (work hard for God) to enter our rest in Heaven (4:11)
      3. TODAY if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts - work hard
    3. What was the cause of this sluggishness - NOT TRULY LISTENING
    4. There is a difference between listening and hearing
  3. In the Hospital Nursery, could pick out Shanes voice (I was listening for him)
  4. When you become sluggish, you have dullness of hearing
    1. The dull teacher or material is not the problem (he didn't blame teachers here)
    2. The problem is that you are tuning out on God
      1. You heard his voice loud and clear the day you were converted
      2. Since then other voices have been calling, God's voice - same-o, same-o
      3. Time for a renewal, a revival
    3. Are you listening, "pickles and peanut butter"!

II. Being sluggish in learning

  1. These people had stopped learning spiritual principles
  2. These people were beyond being just slow learners
    1. Significant time has passed, should have been teachers by now
        It was so bad, they had to be re-taught the "elementary principles"
      1. (stocheia), principles - Elements, fundamentals or letters of the alphabet
      2. They had to be taught their ABC's all over again!
    2. But wait, teaching is not my ministry, not my gift (Eph 4:11)
    3. This is not talking about the specific "teachers" in the church
      1. This verse is directed to everyone
      2. It is the responsibility of every Christian to teach
  3. Those of you that have worked in your job for years know your job well
    1. Many of you went to school to learn these things, and continue to go to school
    2. Some of you have had to train new people -- YOU WERE TEACHING WHAT YOU KNEW
    3. ALL of you have had to teach someone something you knew at one time or another
  4. Teaching is everyone's responsiblity
    1. Some need to be teaching someone
    2. Some may need to learn their ABC's all over again
      1. How in the world do you forget your ABC's?!
      2. It happens when you stop learning AND using them
      3. You must MASTER your ABC's before you can read,
      4. You must MASTER reading before you can teach someone else to
    3. You must MASTER God's word in order to teach others

III. Sluggishness in Growing

  1. Uses the image of a baby needing milk to grow
  2. The sad state was that they have come to need milk, not solid food
    1. They still needed baby food!
    2. But, what is the difference between MILK and MEAT?
      1. Text defines Milk as the basic principles (ABC's) of God
      2. He goes on in 6:1 to define what this milk is
      3. MILK is what Jesus did - Death, Burial, Resurrection, etc.
      4. MEAT is the teaching about the Lord's ministry NOW in Heaven (5:11)
    3. That is not to say we stop drinking milk, but that we add meat
    4. Big difference between MILK and MEAT eaters
      1. Milk drinker is not accustomed (not skilled, RSV) to the word of righteousness
      2. Meat eaters have because of PRACTICE, have their senses trained (they have gained the skills)
        • Takes practice & training to learn basic things
        • Without this training, there is no way to evaluate new ideas
  3. When you have a Baby, have to baby proof the house. Why?
    1. Babies will put anything into their mouth, no skills
    2. Babies have not learned, and we want to them to learn without getting hurt
  4. What will it take to move from milk to meat?
    1. Master the milk and move on to the meat
    2. Must spend time in the word and PRACTICE it in order to gain the necessary skills


  1. If we are not growing, it may be this sluggishness of
    1. Listening
    2. Learning
    3. Growing
  2. Solution has to begin with a deeper study and understanding of the principles of our faith:
    1. Notice in 5:11, how it was hard to explain or communicate truths about Jesus
    2. This is a parenthetical section (5:11-6:20)
    3. After this rebuke and exhortation, he continues with this MEAT in chapter 7, and explains it anyway!
  3. Problem is we don't expect enough when it comes to spiritual growth
    1. Bible Classes - Having homework & Tests is unheard of in most churches
    2. We are not concerned if someone is not learning (unlike in public schools)
    3. We are concerned about good grades in school, what about Bible school?
    4. Many have extraordinary competence in other areas, but what about in Christian Living?
    5. So many churches have existed for years and years, and never have elders. What does this say about spiritual growth?
  4. It's time for a meat diet. CHEW HARD on God's word and struggle with the hard texts and issues of scripture!
    1. It's time to stop being a slug
    2. It's time to open your Bible, open your wings and soar!