You Eventually Need to be Weaned
The more I speak with professing Christians the more I realize just how unimportant it is to people to know the Bible in an in depth way. I recognize that a "babe in the faith" needs time to grow. My youngest son is almost 10 months old and there are certain foods I just cannot feed him at this time in his life. Many foods would cause him to choke and possibly die. As is the natural, so is the spiritual. Some people are new to the faith and have to be fed milk instead of meat. I am not overlooking this at all. What I am pointing out is something similar or the same to what the author of Hebrews pointed out years ago:
"For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of God's revelation. You need milk, not solid food. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature - for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil. (Hebrews 6:12-14; HCSB)"
The author tells us of people who should be teachers, i.e. they should be able to explain the more in depth doctrines of Scripture to other people who may still be s in the faith. Wouldn't you say that someone whose been in church for the past 20 years should be able to eat spiritual meat? I sure would, but I find that there are people who have been to church for 20, 30, 40 years and still have not been weaned from the breast. They would be satisfied with listening to a message about John 3:16 every single Sunday morning, and as long as the preacher huffs and puffs a little and shouts to the top of his lungs, they feel like they've been to church for the week.
I'm not against John 3:16, nor do I believe all strong preaching is fruitless, I am just saying that it's time for people who've been Christians all their life to actually know something about the Bible. It's time for them to quit thinking that all that matters is going to church or singing their favorite song in church. This is what the author of Hebrews is speaking of. He tells us that anyone who lives on milk alone is inexperienced with the message about righteousness. I can understand this of someone who has been studying for maybe 1 to 5 years, but after this you got to quit going back to the milk container. Those initial years should have been spent learning the "milk." It's time to eat a steak dinner.
Who Do You Belong To?
I had the pleasure of listening to a 4 hour debate/discussion yesterday on trinitarian vs. unitarian issues. Many perspectives given, and much discussion and disagreement was involved in examining the different viewpoints.
I did notice though that it seemed those in the trinitarian camp always wished to pinpoint the non-trinitarians to a particular denomination. Of course, some of the non-trinitarians were members of the Jehovah Witnesses or inactive Jehovah's Witnesses at least. Generally, when those two words are mentioned together (Jehovah and Witnesses) people stop in their tracks and put up their sword and spear. I on the other hand always enjoy talking with Jehovah's Witnesses. They are very Biblically astute and quite cordial for the most part (I have found). At any rate, why did the trinitarians almost demand that a non-trinitarian place himself under the umbrella of a particular denomination?
I have found that people often ask me what denomination I belong to. When I explain to them that I do not belong to a denomination they almost always immediately reply, "Oh, you are non-denominational." It's as though the tital "non-denomination" has in effect turned into a denomination these days! I try my best to explain to them that I am just a follower of the Messiah, and I believe in the Sacred Scriptures. Sometimes people cannot get over the fact that you do not identify yourself with the Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Pentecostal, etc. denominations of today.
Where there any such things in Scripture? I don't think so. I only see those who profess to believe in the Scripture. I see those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of the Son of God (Rev. 14). I see people called Saints, Christians, believers, etc. What I do not see is the label of a denomination, so I do not think it necessary to be involved in such in this day.
The Two Become One Flesh
What does the Bible actually mean when it says that a husband and wife become one flesh? I've heard people speak on this text and talk about how close a husband and wife become throughout marriage. They being to think, talk, and even sometimes act like each other. I myself have experienced this. My wife and I will be driving down the road and remain quiet for a time. After this we both speak up, and we speak up at the same time and say the exact same words! This has happened more than once in my married life, and it is astonishing each time, but as awesome as this is, this is not what the Bible means when it says that a man and a woman become one flesh (Genesis 2:20-24).
Adam made this remark when Eve was brought to him in Genesis 2, "At last, this is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. This one will be called woman (ishah in Hebrew) for she was taken out of man (ish in Hebrew)." This bone and flesh terminology is used elsewhere in Scripture thusly:
Genesis 29:14 - And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him the space of a month.
Judges 9:2 - Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are threescore and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.
2 Samuel 5:1 - Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.
2 Samuel 19:13 - And say ye to Amasa, Art thou not of my bone, and of my flesh? Elohim do so to me, and more also, if thou be not captain of the host before me continually in the room of Joab.
1 Chronicles 11:1 - Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.
Ephesians 5:28-31 - So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
It should be easy to see that the "bone and flesh terminology" has the meaning of kinship or family relation. All of these Scriptures are strikingly similar to Adam's statement about Eve: she is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. Adam was declaring that he was starting a kinship relation, and marriage should be looked at as a kinship relation with the individual you're marrying. Not just some kind of flippant possiblity, but an actual covenantal relationship. Let's teach our children just how close the marriage bond really is.
Rewarded for Your Works
There are certain words that are "taboo" among people in the "Christian religious" world today. One such word is works. If you so much as mention that we must have good works in our Christian life, or even if you quote a Scripture that mentions works, people do not take a liking to it. For example, James 2:24 says:
"You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone."
Please do not get me wrong, I completely understand that these works flow out of a living faith. I am not in any way saying that works are the cause of justification, but I am saying that a man that is justified by faith will produce good works, per James 2:24. I have a friend that says this, "A pear tree is not a pear tree because it has pears on it. A pear tree has pears on it because it is a pear tree." In other words it is the tree that comes first, but the tree does produce good fruit.
Another passage that is seldom mentioned is found in Matthew 16:27:
"For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will reward each according to what he has done."
Some translations say here, "according to their works." This is exactly the sense. Friends, if you are truly born from above, you will perform works of righteousness. Do not be afraid of believing this. These two Scriptures are proof enough that we must maintain good works, but there are many other Scriptures in favor. Why not take the time to look them up today?
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.