Believers who behave like babies are rebuked in 1 Corinthians 3 and in Hebrews 5. These believers should have been more advanced in their understanding of the Word of God. Instead of solid food, they are still only able to handle milk … like babies. Because of how long they have been in the faith, they should be ashamed of their lack of spiritual maturity.
However, Peter speaks of babies and milk in a different context. Peter has in mind Christians of every age when he says, “As newborn babies, desire the pure milk of the Word that you may grow thereby” (1Peter 2:2, NKJV). Are you like a baby? You should be. You should long for the Scriptures like a newborn baby seeks his mother’s milk. A baby is born with very few abilities, but the desire for milk is instinctive and necessary. Without milk, the baby won’t grow. And believers are like newborn babies – without the pure milk of the Word, you will not grow. There are many malnourished Christians. They will be in God’s kingdom, but they haven’t developed properly because of a lack of time with the Bible.
“Desire” is actually an imperative; the Spirit is commanding us to long for God’s Word. Make time for the Word. Then make more time. Read it carefully. Think about it. Before you go to the weekly Bible study in the local assembly where you fellowship, prepare for it by studying the passage. You need Bible teaching to grow.
Notice that the milk of the Word is pure milk. It is healthy to read other Christian books, but we must always be aware that other books may be mistaken in their perspective. They are merely words of men. They may have good counsel, but it could be mixed with man’s wisdom or false understanding. Not so with the inspired Word of God. “The Words of the Lord are pure Words” (Psa 12:6). You can just drink it up.
Most translations of 1 Peter 2:2 say, “that you may grow up to salvation.” It is not teaching that receiving eternal life is a gradual process. No, this aspect of our salvation was received the moment we believed. But the New Testament also teaches an ongoing salvation. We need to be saved from the power of sin in our daily lives and from the wickedness of the world around us. As we were saved from the penalty of sin through the Word of God, so we will be saved from its power by that same Word. We will experience more of God’s saving power if we are in the Word. Sin will keep you from this Book; but this Book will keep you from sin. Just as a mother’s milk is fortified with nutrients to protect and nourish a newborn baby, so the Word of God will preserve and strengthen the believer. Without it, you are susceptible to stumbling in your Christian testimony.
Are you behaving like a newborn baby? You should be, longing for the pure milk of God’s Word that you might grow.