LIKE NEWBORN BABIES
To be born again means that you've been saved, you have the life of God in you now, which is eternal life and you are now a new creation in Christ Jesus. Today, apostle Peter made it clear that we have secured eternal life by being saved. But to live a lifestyle of the saved and walk in the intended path of constant spiritual growth, we must continually crave for and drink something that will nourish us spiritually - take in the "milk" of God's Word.
Reference: 1 Peter 2:1-2 New Living Translation (NLT) 'So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment.'
Peter described that we must get rid of attitudes and actions which oppose our new nature in Christ. In the above Scriptures, he was talking to Christians who had been born again through the Word of God that endures forever. He was sharing with them their responsibility to live as those walk in the truth, and not to conform to the evil desires they had when they lived in ignorance. In other words, it's not enough to be saved or born again, we must build our identity as Christians, so we can grow into a full experience of salvation and live true to our new nature.
To build our identity as Christians, Peter referred us to the Word. Then he explained that we must cry out for it like newborn infants cry out for milk, until we get a taste of it and feed on it always. He had to tell us what to crave for in order to get rid of evil behaviours and discard unloving attitudes and actions. This is because the appetite for deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech don't naturally fade away, unless we replace it with another craving or fresh desire. And in Peter's metaphor here, all Christians are to crave this spiritual milk like newborns, even the mature Christians. So he was being specific about what it means to grow as God's set-apart people.
Notice that Peter noted it as "pure spiritual milk" - the only milk that meets our spiritual needs. The word "pure" simply means undiluted or uncontaminated. And he knew that many Christians do not always long for it. So he introduced it specifically as a command - you must crave for it. How do we develop this craving or appetite? Just go for it like you have no other means to survive and then start drinking it because no Christian can reach any point of spiritual growth without the desire and proper intake. So this command means we can't do without craving the undiluted Word of God - as a newborn craves milk, and we can't grow spiritually without drinking it - as newborn babes grow naturally by drinking milk. The reason for studying God's Word and taking it in is that you'll continue to grow up into full experience of salvation.
Beloved, daily Bible study and meditation are essential for your spiritual growth. The Bible says, ' All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work' ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV). In other words, the sincere Word equips you in every way and positions you for successful and effective Christian life. In Christ, it's either you're growing old or you're growing up. They are two different things and I will explain. The first 'growing old' is when you hear some Christians make comments like, 'I've been born again for so long'. So I've been in this Christianity for 3 decades even before you got saved.' That's growing old. The second, 'growing up' means 'stepping up in faith daily by aligning with God's perfect will for your life.'
So what about you? How long have you been in Christ? 5 years? 4 decades? Excellent! But the real issue isn't how long, but how much you've grown up by taking the sincere milk of the Word. Simply put, we don't judge spiritual growth by the length of years in Christianity, but by the level of maturity the Word has imparted in us. Glory to God!
Scripture Reading - Philippians 1:6; 1 Corinthians 3:1-3; Hebrews 12:5-7; 1 Corinthians 13:11; 1 John 1:7.
Guided Prayer: Loving Father, I thank you today for all the opportunities you've blessed me with to grow in faith. Your great goal is to conform me into the image of Christ and nothing will thwart your plan for my growth. Lord, you do the right pruning in my life through the ministry of the Word and by the agency of the precious Holy Spirit. Therefore, as I desire and drink the pure milk of the Word, it serves its purpose in my life and positions me for continuous spiritual growth, such that I'm empowered to live a successful Christian life and walk in absolute dominion over sin and it's cravings, in Jesus' Name, Amen!