Never Leave God’s Milk
As a pastor-teacher, I’ll tell you upfront. I still need the pure milk of God.
Immediately, in my mind, I can see a few hands raised, ready to ask the question, namely – “If we don’t leave ‘the milk’ and go on to ‘the meat’, doesn’t that make us spiritually immature?
In fact, if you ever think that you are mature enough in Christ to ‘get off’ the milk of God’s Word and go on to greater, deeper things, I encourage you to reconsider. Whoever told you to ‘get off the bottle’ may not have thought it quite through.
Brethren, begin by considering this:
In I Corinthians 3:1-3, Paul addressed a fellowship that had, at this point, failed to make much progress in spiritual growth, that is, they are not living in such a way as to live to the glory of God. In many ways, they are living in a worldly manner. They are living in ways yet immature, even though he had already explained to them in a previous visit the elementary things of God as regards doctrine. In a very real sense, they are stagnate. He says to them:
But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? – I Corinthians 3:1-3 (ESV)
It is the same language that is used in Hebrews 5:12-14, where the writer tells us:
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. – Hebrews 5:12-14 (ESV)
Yes, it’s the same idea, same teaching, same message.
In this passage, we’re encouraged to move on beyond the ‘basic principles’ of the oracles of God. In chapter 6, verses 1 and 2 of Hebrews, we are encouraged to go on beyond the elementary doctrine of Christ, and go on to maturity, leaving behind things like repentance and faith toward God.
Yes! press on to maturity, but hold on. Peter, in his first epistle, says this about spiritual ‘milk’ and it is addressed to every believer:
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation– if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. – I Peter 2:2-3
Long for the pure spiritual milk? Whoa, wait a minute.
Is there a contradiction here with the previous ones quoted? Not at all. As a believer in the Gospel, you will show an interest in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. You will love the Gospel, or, at least, what you know of it. And knowing what you know, you will crave more.
Like a baby needs food daily, you need the Gospel daily, you need a realization of the fundamental doctrines of God’s Word daily; it is nourishment to the soul.
Sometimes it’s milk, and we shouldn’t dismiss it. Never dismiss it. God didn’t tell us to forget His basic truths.
If it’s from God’s Word, drink it up, and never, ever look down, neglect or pass by the simple truths of Gods Word – even if you think you’ve mastered them.
Spiritual maturity is a result of one having been given knowledge and discernment of advanced doctrines from the Word of God. That is meat indeed. However, any teaching founded on and strictly adhering to the Word of God is pure and worthy of praise and glory to the One who gives it to us in His Word, and, is nourishing, even for the mature believer understanding advanced doctrines – even if it’s ‘milk.’
Bottom line: Spiritual milk is always good. You can’t get enough. Sip freely, without guilt, to the glory of God. And according to God, through Peter, first epistle, 2nd chapter, verses 2 and 3.
Thus says my King, and this is my message.