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Heb 5:11-14          Why has the author been slow in arriving at this the central part of his message?  See Heb 5:11-12 and note “dull” of hearing means sluggish, lazy, slothful.  What does this teach us about the danger of sloth in our Christian walk, especially in regard to exercising due diligence to “hear” the word of God?  Cf. Heb 6:11-12, 3:7,15, 4:2,7, Mat 13:9-15.  In what way are Christians today also “dull of hearing”?  What does the author mean by “the elementary principles of the oracles of God”?  Note the NASB text note “ elements of the beginning” and see 2 Pet 3:10,12, Gal 4:3,9, Col 2:8,20 for the other NT occurrences of the Greek word used.  What is the “solid food” of the “word of righteousness” as opposed to the “milk” of the “elementary principles”?  Cf. Heb 5:10-11, 6:1-3.  Is the demarcation between good and evil always plainly obvious and clearly observable?  Is one who is only a babe and unskilled or inexperienced in the word of righteousness always able to discern between good and evil?  Cf. Heb 4:12.  What does this teach us about the importance of growing up in our faith?  By what means does one become a mature workman who accurately handles (2 Tim 2:15) the sharp sword of God’s word so as to be able to discern good and evil?  See Heb 5:14 and note: NASB “practice” means habit; cf. KJV “by reason of use”; “trained” comes from the Greek word gumnazo from which we get our word gymnasium and refers to the training of an athlete with repeated practice or exercise.  What do these verses teach us about the importance of maintaining a disciplined regimen of studying—not just reading—but studying, meditating and thinking deeply about God’s word as a matter of habit and practice?  How many Christians ought by virtue of the time they have followed the Lord to be able to feed themselves solid food and even teach others, but in fact cannot even provide milk for themselves and must rely upon someone else to teach them elementary principles?  Does such apply to us?  Do we rely upon the writings and teachings of others for our spiritual nourishment, or can we feed ourselves, and hopefully in time others as well, from the solid food of Scripture?  Cf. 1 Tim 4:7 and our notes there[1].

1. What does 1 Tim 4:8 teach us about the nature of the “worldly fables” he mentions in 1 Tim 4:7?  See also 1 Tim 4:3, Col 2:20-23.  What does Paul mean that they are “fit only for old women” (KJV and NIV = “old wives’ tales”; literally “profane and old-womanish myths”)?  Is it like Paul to speak disparagingly of older women?  See 1 Tim 5:2-3, 2 Tim 1:5, Rom 16:1.  In light of the Scripture that filled and ruled the apostle’s heart, is it more likely that he used the term “old-womanish” to communicate that the myths to which some in Ephesus were giving there attention were “silly” or “foolish” (as some modern versions translate), or that they are fit only for those who like old women are not able to provide for themselves and must depend upon others for their daily bread?  See 1 Tim 5:9, Acts 6:1.  See also 2 Tim 3:6.  Have we the spiritual strength to discern the truth for ourselves and resist the many carnal speculations that prevail today, or are we “old women” in our ability to provide for ourselves so that we must depend upon others for whatever spiritual sustenance we might receive?  See also Mat 25:9.

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