Please turn to Hebrews 5:11-6:3. In this passage, the author of Hebrews expresses his concern about people sitting under the Word of God and never listening to it which is a very different problem than sincere Christians struggling with sin. It is the problem of people who were gathering with the people of God, under the Word of God, but the Word of God is never entering into their hearts and minds. And the author of Hebrews is pausing right there, and instead of going into a glorious exposition of Jesus as the great high priest according to Melchizedek, he is explaining that the lack in Christian maturity was a major problem in this congregation. The author of Hebrews makes four important points in this passage. First, in verse 11, he says that his hearers “have become dull of hearing.” Then, in verse 13, he says that they were “unskilled in the word of righteousness.” Next, in verse 14, he says that mature Christians “have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Finally, in chapter 6 verse 1, he says “leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity.”  




I. Dull of Hearing. 

In Hebrews 5:11, the author says, “About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain since you have become dull of hearing.” He is saying, “I have got a lot I want to tell you about Jesus as a great high priest according to the order of Melchizedek, but it is hard to explain,  not because the truth is just totally beyond you, but because you are dull of hearing.” He is saying to this group of people, “The reason you do not understand what I am trying to tell you about Melchizedek is because you are dull of hearing. You have not been motivated to hear and heed the basic things that I have been teaching you from the Word of God. You have not been motivated to learn and study the Word of God. The sound of my voice is hitting your ear drums, but the truth that I am speaking is not going in. You are not listening; you are switching off.” There were some people sitting in his church and their minds were just somewhere else with regard to the proclamation of the Word of God. It maybe it is their desires were set on something else. Maybe it is that they were so burdened by their problems that they were thinking about their problems and they were not listening to the Word of God. But whatever the case is, they have become dull of hearing God’s holy Word.   

II. Unskilled in the Word of Righteousness. 

In Hebrews 5:13, the author says that they are “unskilled in the word of righteousness” as a result of having become dull of hearing. Now God's Word teaches us the way of righteousness. It teaches us about who God is, it teaches us about the salvation that He has accomplished for us, it teaches us about Jesus Christ, it teaches us about the Gospel, and having told us the way of salvation, which is by faith in Christ, it then teaches us how to live as Christians. And that is why he calls the Word of God here, “the word of righteousness.” As you study the Word of God, you become skilled in the way of living the Christian life. It is not just that your head gets filled up with Bible facts, it is that those Bible facts make you wise when applied by the Holy Spirit to your heart and you begin to understand how the whole Bible hangs together, what the whole storyline is, and how it teaches you to live the Christian life. Everything starts making sense and you are able to start looking at the world through the lens of the Bible, and you are able to understand your own life and the way that you live because of what the Word of God teaches. But the author says to this congregation, “Since you are dull of hearing, you are unskilled in the word of righteousness.” 

III. Solid Food is for the Mature.

In Hebrews 5:14, the author says, “Solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good and evil.” The mature are trained by constant practice in their study of the Word of God to be able to discern good and evil. This is moral, spiritual discernment that he is talking about - knowing right from wrong; knowing what you ought to do from what you ought not to do because you have been in the Word, because your conscience has been instructed by the Word. And the author of Hebrews is saying to this congregation, “You are not like that. You are not mature like that to be able to have that kind of spiritual discernment because the Word of God has not entered into your hearts because you are not studying the Word. You are dull of hearing.” 

IV. Go On to Maturity. 

In Hebrews 6:1, the author says, “Therefore, let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ to go on to maturity...” He explains that “the elementary doctrine” refers to doctrine that is central to the Christian life, such as understanding faith and understanding trust in God’s sovereignty. He addresses six basic doctrines that they are having difficulty in understanding in these verses, and it is keeping them from getting into the meat of the Word of God so they can see how everything hangs together and so it can affect the way that they live the Christian life. That is what he means by saying, “I do not want you to be stuck on these elementary things. You ought to have understood these things once you were in Christ. You should have understood those things so that I can take you into the meat of the Word so that you can appreciate what it means that Jesus is a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek for you. I cannot do that because you are not even listening to the basic things. Now what does the author of Hebrews want from his congregation? He wants maturity. His goal is that these people mature in the faith. His main point is this — you cannot mature in the Christian life if you are dull of hearing towards the Word of God. If the Word of God is not getting into your heart, you are not going to mature in the Christian life. Knowledge of the love of God in Christ is learned from the truth of the Word that matures you. That is the goal in Hebrews 5:11-6:3. He is encouraging growth in the knowledge of truth and growth in godliness. May God, by His Spirit, give us attention to the Word of God so that we are matured by it.