Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Using New Muscles

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Some of you may be aware that when Kyle Chamblee was younger, he used to be a competitive gymnast. He and I were talking the other day, and since he knew I played golf, asked me if playing golf ever left my muscles sore.

I told him, no, that it didn’t. Golf after all, is not the most intense form of physical activity. It is one of those lifetime activities that can be enjoyed at any age, and just about any fitness level.

He mentioned though, that while at his peak physical condition he decided one day to go hit a bucket of golf balls on the driving range. Despite being in great shape physically, the next day his muscles were sore from hitting golf balls. It seems that golf muscles are different from gymnastic muscles. Or at least you use your muscles differently for each activity.

Of course, while he was only sore the next day, if I tried gymnastics, I would probably end up in the hospital!

There is a lesson to learn from this illustration, taken from Hebrews 5:12-14:

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

It is interesting that “skill” in this text expressed to be a byproduct of effort. It comes when an individual “by reason of use” has their senses “exercised.” This is simple reality. You can’t expect to be “good” at knowing and applying the word of God unless you study diligently.

“But,” one says, “Study is hard work!” That’s true enough. The wise man said in Ecclesiastes 12:11-12:

“The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd. 12 And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.”

When some study, they get a headache. They become weary. Others complain about the long-winded preacher, the difficulty of the material in the Bible class, or the “wrangling” about technical doctrinal questions. Those who utter such complaints are often similar in type to the Christians admonished in Hebrews. Of them, the writer, while talking about the Christ as our High priest, stated, “of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing (5:11).

Those who lift weights to become stronger and increase stamina have a saying, “No pain, no gain!” Simply put, hard work brings reward! If you want to get much out of your spiritual life, you must put much into it. Remember the words of apostle Paul, given at the end of a life of hard work and dedication to his Master:

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

Nobody has ever said it is easy to gain a broad and deep understanding of God’s will for man. But, worthwhile things are seldom easy. It is, however, well worth the time and effort. Your mental muscles may initially get sore, but with time they will grow strong!