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Scripture Reading: Hebrews 5:12-6:3

Milk and Meat of the Word

(Hebrews 5:12-6:3)



1.  Milk was a staple of Israelite's diet (Deut. 32:14). Meat also occupied a regular, if somewhat infrequent place in Israel's diet.

2.  Milk and meat provide necessities of life (nourishment), cf. Jno. 4:31-34; 6:27.

3.  “Milk” and “meat” are used by Holy Spirit to describe the teachings of God’s word that help us be healthy, productive Christians. Both have their place in our spiritual diet.

4.  When used together, milk and meat strengthen and mature us. When neglected, growth stops, and we get weaker in faith.

5.  Objective: Effectively feed and nourish each Christian (the church, Acts 20:28). (Sermons, classes, private study)


I.  WHAT IS THE MILK AND THE MEAT OF THE WORD? 1 Cor. 3:1-2; Heb. 5:11-6:3; 1 Pet. 2:1-3

  A.  Milk is:

    1.     Especially for children: The spiritually undeveloped, 1 Cor. 3:1-2.

      a.     Mature are not excluded from milk.

      b.     Especially useful for underdeveloped (5:12, inexperienced).

      c.    Easily digestible (“not able,” v. 2). Unskilled (Heb. 5:13).

    2.    Provides basis for growth, 1 Pet. 2:2.

    3.    First principles of Christ, Heb. 6:1-2.

      a.     Rudimentary spiritual teaching, 5:12.

      b.     Foundational teachings / Building blocks.

    4.     Not exclusively eaten, Heb. 5:12-13.

         -Heb. 6:1: “Leave” – After appropriate period, weaned off its exclusive use, cf. Heb. 5:12.

  B.    Meat is:

    1.     For the spiritually mature [spiritual, 1 Cor. 3:2-3 (2:15)].

        - “Able” to digest, 3:2; “Use” the word, 5:14; cf. 2 Tim. 2:15.

    2.     Expansion of spiritual growth, Heb. 6:1.

    3.    More complex (solid food), Heb. 5:11. Digestible by those who use it (discern). Able to teach others.

    4.     Vital, Heb. 5:12 (ought).

    -Objective:   A Time When Milk Is DESIRABLE and NECESSARY.

                          A Time When Meat Is DESIRABLE and NECESSARY.

    -Must feed and nourish ourselves with both.



  A.  Only Meat is Controversial, Milk is Not, cf. Heb. 6:1-2. Not so!

      -First principles of the gospel cause controversy, Acts 4:1-3.

  B.  The Mature Never Need Milk, 2 Pet. 1:12; Jude 5; Phil. 3:1; 1 Jno. 2:21.

    1.  Do not “forget” while moving forward, Heb. 6:1.

    2.  “I love to tell the story, to those who know it best…”

  C.  Babes in Christ Only Need Milk, 1 Cor. 3:1-2; Heb. 5:12; 6:1, 3.

    1.  First principles are needed in greater quantities.

    2.  Must also develop ability to eat meat, or growth is stunted, and faith will not be expanded. Heb. 5:11-13

  D.  Milk is for the Masses, but Meat is Only for Preachers, Elders, etc., Heb. 5:12.

      1.  “Only teachers need to know the meat.”

      2.  Meat is for everyone who wishes to discern good from evil, 5:14 (v. 11); Phil. 1:9-10; cf. Jude 3-4.


III.  BALANCING OUR DIET. Matt. 23:23-24

  A.  Determining What is Milk and When it is Needed:

    1.  First principles, Heb. 5:12; 6:1; 1 Cor. 15:3-4. Building blocks of faith.

    2.  Moral essentials, 1 Pet. 2:1-2.

    3.  Indispensable for further growth, Heb. 6:1.

  B.  Determining What is Meat and When it is Needed:

    1.  More difficult teaching that requires trained ears to receive, Heb. 5:11; cf. Phil. 1:9-10. Diligence in using word, 2 Tim. 2:15.

    2.  Spiritual maintenance and maturity is the objective, Heb. 6:1.

      a.  Brings us to full growth and therefore, more service (5:12).

      b.  Milk, by itself, will not produce healthy spiritual maturity.

    3.  Using the truth acclimates us to meat, Heb. 5:14.



1.   Milk and meat are needed by every Christian.

2.  Milk and meat have same objective: Our growth to maturity in Christ.

3.  “Let us go on to perfection.” Heb. 6:1



By: Joe R. Price

Posted: August 3, 2018