The Pure Spiritual Milk
One of the most rewarding parts that I found about studying the Bible is that as you go through life, different passages develop different meaning. As a new parent this last year, I spent a lot of time thinking about milk. There's a lot of passages in the Bible that talk about milk and nursing mothers. Once you have a baby that drinks milk all the time, that really gets in your brain.
In First Peter, Peter is writing to a group of Christians. Consider, if you will, what he says.
So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 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.
1 Peter 2.1-3
Anyone who is caring or has cared for a baby knows how much that they love milk. They will scream and cry and scream and cry all night until they get their milk. Now in thinking of the spiritual implication of that really just makes me see how much we should learn to grow in the word of God. And how much we should desire getting to know God and studying His scriptures.
Consider also another passage that talks about milk. In Hebrews the epistle writer is scolding a group of Christians for still needing milk.
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.
So here the metaphor that the writer is using is that as we grow in Christ, we no longer need elementary teaching, but we can move on to more solid teaching. Again, experiencing a baby through the first year of life, you see how they grow. They go from needing milk to getting to eat some real food. And so, the application for us is profound. We need to continue to grow in the knowledge of our Lord so that we too can digest more of the meat found in His word.
Both of these passages are written to people who are already Christians. But what about those who are not Christians ? Who have not believed and put on Christ in baptism? The simple truth of the matter is this: you're starving yourself spiritually because while you may be hearing the word of God, you have not yet taken the biggest step towards believing in God. So, if you have not been baptized, I want you to especially listen to this last verse. And although it doesn't talk about milk, it is a good thing to consider. In 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul writes:
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5.16-21
We implore you. If you have not been baptized. If you have not put on Christ and become a Christian, we implore you to consider that today. And we implore you to be reconciled with God.
Be saved. And grow to maturity in Him.