Like Newborn Babies

I love the fact that our church is full of lots and lots of brand-new babies. It seems like everywhere you turn there are strollers and blankets and cute little bundles of joy. It's a joy and a wonder to welcome these little ones into our assembly and preach the Gospel to them and fold them in to the family.

God blessed Angela and I with five children. They are now 22, 19, 16, 13, and 11. So it's safe to say we don't have too many diapers just laying around the house anymore. One of the most tender pictures ever is that of a baby in its mother's arms, being held, being protected, being cared for, being fed. A baby knows what it wants. It longs for its mother and to be nourished by her. 

People talk a lot about growing in Christ. And what it takes to grow in Christ. In 1 Peter 2:2 Peter says to grow you need to be like newborn babies. Peter has been talking about believers loving one another, and he says that to do so you need to get rid of certain things in your life that are outright sin that harms others. Next he says that after you have gotten rid of the bad stuff, you will be able to hunger for the good stuff, and that good stuff yearning should be just like a baby longing for it's mother's milk. It's an intense personal desire for the Word of God which the Holy Spirit uses to grow believers up in Christ.

This does not mean that Peter thinks of his hearers as immature or all young; to the contrary, some of them would have been believers for over thirty years by the time he wrote this letter. He says they are to desire the spiritual milk God provides in the same way a baby longs for milk - eagerly and frequently.  Any sleep-deprived parent of a baby knows all about this eager and frequent longing.The metaphor of milk does not represent the elementary teaching about Christ as it does in 1 Cor. 3:2 and Hebrews 5:12-13; where milk is contrasted with solid food or meat; it is something that needs to be eagerly desired for ongoing nourishment. They should long for it and never stop longing. He means that the Word of God is the Christian's necessary food their entire lives.

This milk of the Word that Peter refers to in one without any additives or preservatives.In those days milk or wine would be watered down by dishonest merchants. The Word of God is pure and unadulterated (2:2), in contrast with the deceit (2:1) that Christians are to renounce. So if you want to be a growing Christian, be like a baby who can't do without milk. Know what you need, don't let anything stand in your way, go after the Word of God eagerly and frequently. Get rid of sin and long for the Word with gusto. God will honor your desire for His will, Lordship, and glory. You will grow together with other believers with a growth that is from God (Col. 2:19).


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