How to become a Disciple Indeed – Part 2
August 29, 2021
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Introduction (Hebrews 5:5-10; 7:1-4)
A. Paul is teaching about an important man in the Old Testament named Melchisedec (Hebrews 5:5,6)
1. Hebrews 5:5,6 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he [GOD] that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou [JESUS] art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
2. Melchisedec lived at the time of Abraham 500 years before the Jewish nation began, and was an example of the kind of priest that the Messiah was going to be like
B. There was so much to learn and discover about Christ by learning from the life of Melchisedec (Hebrews 5:11; 7:1-4)
1. Hebrews 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
2. Paul devotes chapter 7 to exploring who this guy was and how Jesus was like him!
a. Hebrews 7:1 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
b. Hebrews 7:2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
c. Hebrews 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
d. Hebrews 7:4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
C. But the truths about Melchisedec were hard to explain and hard for people to understand (Hebrews 5:11) Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
D. Not because the truths were complex…
E. But because the audience was “dull of hearing” (Hebrews 5:11)
1. Hebrews 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
2. Dull means heavy, overwhelmed, worn out
3. As if to say, they were not interested anymore, not attentive
4. Their ears and hearing was already full
a. Had heard what the Bible said, and got tired of it
b. Easy to spend hours and hours of TV shows, binge watching netflix, youtubes, social media apps, tiktok, instagram, spotify
c. But when they picked up a Bible, the excitement disappears
5. Like after a big Christmas dinner – they were sleepy and not wanting to hear anything
6. Doesn’t that describe people today?
7. ILLUSTRATION: Like a football coach finding someone on the team just sitting there, sipping on a coke, criticizing everyone, and never getting into shape and never ready to get into the game. Not interested in winning anything, and definitely not interesting in getting out of their comfort zone! Because they are LAZY, and DULL, and BORED!
8. It is wrong! To be that way is wrong!
A. What We OUGHT to be… (Hebrews 5:12)
1. Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
a. Teachers are more than just people, and more than students
b. They are people who have learned enough to start teaching others – explaining
c. They are the INFLUENCERS of society – NOT the entertainers!
3. Jesus was a teacher (Matthew 4:23; 9:35; 11:1)
a. Matthew 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
b. Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
c. Matthew 11:1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.
4. The Jews were supposed to be teachers (Hebrews 5:12)
a. Paul is writing to JEWS – HEBREW speaking believers!
b. Telling them THEY should be leading the way and teaching us GENTILES about God
c. They did it for a while, but then us Gentile believers stayed with it
5. Evidently, EVERY follower of Jesus should be teachers of the Gospel too!
a. More than just saved…
b. We are supposed to become mature Bible believing teachers of the Gospel!
B. Yet Instead, we are like what?
2. Just barely saved – just barely born again!
3. Still being spoon-fed on a high chair (1Corinthians 3:1-3)
a. 1Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
b. The Christians in Corinth were saved, but were still babies after over 10 years!!!
c. 1Corinthians 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
d. 1Corinthians 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
4. Know very little of the Bible
a. Paul is saying that SO many Christians know so little of the Bible
b. And need to be taught all over AGAIN – what a sad testimony
5. For most modern Christians today ALL the Bible preaching and teaching isn’t affecting them (YOU) like it should have
a. And believe me, preaching this Bible CAN really affect people – if they listen!
b. Yet so many modern Christians experience the opposite
1) They have no interest in becoming MORE than just saved
2) So they blame the teachers as being terrible
3) And say the information is boring (Which is a wicked cop-out)
c. But GOD says it is YOU that is responsible for what you know
1) I had some terrible teachers in secondary school and even in college, but so what!
2) I was in school to LEARN – it meant “I” had to put in as much effort as needed
3) EXAMPLE: Knowing the Rules of the Road – boring material, poor teachers and touchy testers, but guess what? It is YOUR responsibility to learn and know and obey what is in this book! Same with THIS Book!
A. Two kinds of words/truth in the Bible
1. Milk – easy to hear and understand
2. Meat – hard to hear, hard to chew, and takes time to digest and understand
B. There is wonderful MILK in the Bible
C. But there is amazing MEAT as well – I love milk, but I enjoy a good steak, or hamburger
D. But MEAT is only for those that are mature, grown up and able to handle it – chew & digest
IV.The Dangers of Christian Babies - Christian babies…
A. Live at the bottom – never go further – do only the least required
B. Only Choke on Meat. All baby Christians choke on the meatier content of the Bible
C. Stumble at things they read and that people say
D. And some sadly become full of pride as a novice with all their “knowledge” (1Timothy 3:1,2,6,7)
1. 1Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2. 1Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3. 1Timothy 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
4. 1Timothy 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
E. Spoiled brats
1. Are easily offended and upset and throw tantrums
2. 1Corinthians 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
3. Easily argue and get into debates – like two infants fighting over a truck!
F. Never do anything good for the kingdom of God
1. Constantly finding fault with and criticizing everyone who actually IS trying to serve God
2. Their lives are the worst kind of hypocrisy
3. Their only god is their belly!
4. But BOY do they sit in judgment on everyone else
G. End up promoting damning heresy that send people to hell – IMMATURE BELIEFS
1. 1Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
2. HERESIES is the fruit of a bunch of baby Christians who never grow up!
3. BABIES influencing BABUES
a. Teaching that Baptism saves instead of Christ alone!
b. That Jesus is not God
c. That eternal life is NOT eternal life
d. That the resurrection is already past
e. That Jesus is not coming back literally
f. That God used evolution to create the universe
g. That God is all through with the Jewish people
h. That the Bible is too confusing and must only be left to the priests and bishops
4. These are all doctrines of proud babies who are not skilled in the word at all
5. And are ALL because they refused to grow up, and instead faked maturity and came to a ruined and wasted life!
V. We Should Be ‘Perfect’ Christians (Hebrews 6:1; 5:12-14)
A. Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection...
B. These are five big scriptural marks of maturity – proofs we are mature
1. Perfect Christians are…
2. Not sinlessly perfect, or without flaws
3. But Love all the word of God
a. Are keen to hear and learn this Bible
b. That is where we start – Bible only!
c. Perfect Christians limit all the noise coming into their senses – all distractions
d. Yearning to be taught the Scriptures above everything else!
e. Moving from milk - to meat - to teach!
4. Are Careful in what we conclude (Hebrews 5:13)
a. Are skilful, learning the contexts and issues in every word and every verse
b. Hebrews 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
c. Like handling a powerful tool – saw, drill, knife, sword, rifle
d. Needs SKILL, not childish arrogance!
5. Are Patient in proving our wisdom (Hebrews 5:14)
a. Have been saved a while and are waiting on God to mature them, and use them
b. Waiting to prove ourselves ready to start teaching
c. Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
6. Enjoy strong meat
a. Strong flavour – in so many cultures and climates, meat is heavily spiced to preserve it (like India) – makes it really spicey
b. Tough meat sometimes – biltong, beef-jerky, tough to chew and tough to digest
7. Use all our senses to discern truth and error, good and evil – and not youtube
a. Their senses are exercised – active, used, not switched off
b. Mature believers use all their senses to test everything they believe, and not just accept what they have always believed based on their prejudices and opinions
c. So that they can discern good and evil around them
Do you just do what is already
accepted by everyone else?
Watch whatever, say whatever words (MF, BTCH, etc)?
Go to bed with whomsoever?
Have no restraint or fear of God about such things?
e. We should all be able to be wise with all the media and news and information and temptations coming at us every day
1) ILLUS: Grabbing a litre of milk, and pouring it into a cup of tea…
2) Your eyes notice it coming out in globs
3) Your nose smells an off smell
4) Sip your tea and in an instant your taste sense can tell the milk has gone off
5) THAT is using your senses to tell if something is good for you, or bad (evil)
6) Well, we should be using all our Spirit-given senses to tell what is good and evil in politics, science, religion, in our culture, and especially in our own lives
C. So Let’s Grow
1. That is what this year’s and every year’s preaching is all about – GROWING UP
2. If you are saved, it is time to move on up
3. No matter what you are confused about – not matter what hurts we have endured
4. Jesus said we need to continue in HIS words and become His disciples indeed! That means we should be becoming Mature Disciples!
VI.How to Become ‘Perfect’ (Grown-Up) Christians
Here are Five Things to Do to Become “Perfect” Christians
A. Learn Doctrine (Hebrews 6:1,2)
1. Listen to how Paul writes in Hebrews 6:1,2 “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”
Leaving behind us the
principles of the doctrines
That doesn’t mean ignore them. It means work through them and master them!
a. Of Christ – Christology (which Paul has spent 5 chapters now in Hebrews on just about Christ)
Of Salvation – Soteriology (the entire book of Romans)
Not having to go over and over again and again these Biblical truths
c. Baptisms – Dispensationalism – knowing there are different baptisms, for different times and different groups of people
d. Ordination – how Church Leadership operates
e. The Resurrection – what a great doctrine!
f. And the Eternal Judgment of Sinners – the needful doctrine of Hell
3. Look at all those doctrines that need to be learned as a new Christian
4. Paul calls these doctrines the First Principles
a. The first truths we all need to learn well – all of us!
b. Every new Christian needs to be well grounded in absolute Bible doctrines!
5. They all need to be behind the Christian – well learned and now living out their truths
6. And “let us go on unto perfection”
a. Perfection means Maturity, well able to handle being a Teacher of the Bible
b. EXAMPLE of Driving. Every 9 year old thinks they can drive a car. That is until they hit a patch of water and start hydroplaning; or when a dog runs out into the street in front of them; or when another oncoming car moves into their lane and is passing its traffic (I love how the Irish all just move over to the edge like magic until that other car passes). You have to learn that! A 9 year old will never know what to do!
c. But an 18 year old had better get really good at it, if they want to live long!
B. Hunger for God - Personal Private Devotions – Worship (Luke 4:8)
1. Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou [NOT JUST EVERYBODY, BUT YOU] shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
2. Worship is…
a. The opposite of being dull, and bored, and lazy
b. Worship is active, passionate, awesome, intense and enjoyable!
3. Every one of us needs to worship God more often than Sundays only
4. ILLUSTRATION: Do you eat breakfast? Will you eat lunch today? Will that be it until NEXT Sunday? Probably NOT!
5. Make time for your own personal worship of God
a. 30 minutes a day will result in a well fed, happy, strong heart and mind, ready for whatever comes
b. Get your own Bible and a notepad and pen
c. Read 4 chapters a day– starting in Matthew, reading all the way to Revelation
1) 4 chapters a day and you will finish the New Testament in 2 months
2) 2 chapters a day, it will take 4 and a half months – you choose!
d. Write in your notebook every day at least ONE thing you learned, discovered, enjoyed
e. Write out questions that come up – bring them to church and ask someone else, or me
f. Include a prayer list in your note pad, and finish by praying for people and their needs like you would want THEM to pray for you and YOUR needs
g. Then praise God for loving you and giving you only good things!
h. THAT is the start of worship!
C. Study the Bible – Avail of Structured Learning Courses (2Timothy 2:15)
1. We have The First Principles Discipleship Course – written by yours truly!
2. We also offer 19 courses in our Cork Bible Institute
1. Baptist History and Distinctives
2. Old Testament Survey
3. New Testament Survey
4. History of the Church
5. Church Ministries
6. Cults and False religions
7. Argumentation and Debate
8. Doctrine of Christ - Christology
9. Doctrine of Angels Spirits and Satan
10. Doctrine of God - Theology
11. Doctrine of Man - Anthropology
12. Ecclesiology - Doctrine of the Church
13. The Doctrine of Salvation - Soteriology
14. The Doctrine of Sin - Hamartiology
15. The Doctrine of the Afterlife
16. How to Teach Discipleship
17. How to Study the Bible
18. How to Preach the Bible - Preaching Workshop
19. Teacher Training – How to Teach Sunday School
3. And I teach through 29 separate books of the Bible verse by verse!
13) Minor Prophets
17) Gospel of John
20) 1&2 Corinthians
25) Pastoral Epistles
28) First John
4. Make the Effort - It takes work to study about the Creator of this vast universe!
b. Study! 2Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
c. EXAMPLE: If you wanted to open a shop that sold flowers, and knew nothing of flowers or soils or cuttings or seasons or arrangements. I will give you ONE guess what you would start doing! You would start STUDYING how to grow, arrange, feed, display and sell flowers
d. So don’t tell me you know nothing about the Bible! That’s obvious! Start Studying
e. Yes it takes time and work and humility, but if you want to live, learn this Book!
5. BTW: I am looking at starting up FPD on Sunday mornings at 9:30 when we go to a full service again at 11am soon! I hope I am whetting your appetite to get into discipleship
D. Strive for the Right Goal (Hebrews 5:12)
1. Not to be happy, or wealthy, or loved and appreciated – those are normal goals
2. We ALL need to work on achieving the ability to Teach what is in this Book!
3. Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
4. Don’t let that scare you
5. THAT is supposed to be every Christian’s goal!
6. Christianity USED to have a great impact on this world because most Christians were strong Bible believers – not weak sinners
7. We need to strive to become TEACHERS of the principles of THIS BOOK!
8. We need to strive to become ‘Perfect’, of age, mature, skilful, and ready and able to teach
E. Lastly, Serving One Another (Hebrews 6:9,10)
1. Hebrews 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
2. Things that ACCOMPANY salvation are good works… And a servant life
3. Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
4. Use what you learn
a. On your family – they will notice the difference if you are becoming more perfect
b. In this church – people will be helped like they should be if we served one another
c. On your job – you will be the most honoured employee if you use the principles of this Bible amongst the wickedness and darkness of people who work along side you
d. Everywhere you go – use it as the principles you live by
5. Or else THIS time you are spending in church, and reading and studying your Bible is absolutely worthless and wasted time!
A. We OUGHT to be more than just saved sinners
B. What are you known in heaven as?
1. A baby Christian, spoiled brat?
a. Do you find it Easy to spend hours and hours of TV shows, binge watching netflix, youtubes, social media apps, tiktok, instagram, spotify, and yet when you pick up a Bible, the excitement disappears
b. Then you are a big, spoiled baby
2. Or does God see you as a mature, ready teacher of this Book that is so needed today to be preached and taught by Bible believing Christians everywhere?
C. We need to be Teachers! All of us!
1. Who Learn Doctrine (Hebrews 6:1,2)
2. Hunger for God - Personal Private Devotions – Worship (Luke 4:8)
3. Study the Bible – Avail of Structured Learning Courses (2Timothy 2:15)
4. Strive for the Right Goal (Hebrews 5:12)
5. And Serving One Another (Hebrews 6:9,10)
D. But it begins with “the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God” – you start with repenting of your sinfulness and believing that Christ died for you!