“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. As you come to him…” (1 Peter 2:1–4)
Today, Jesus is calling us towards maturity. And in the wise oddness of the gospel, this maturity will also have the disposition of a completely helpless baby. Grace is so different to everything we naturally think.
Newborns are so needy—and that’s the point.
Jesus wants us to realize our newbornness. If we have been born again by the Holy Spirit, we are spiritual newborns in need of the gospel-fortified milk of the word of God. Oh, how we need the Bible!
I love giving a bottle to my nine month old son. I can always tell when it’s “bottle time.” He’s a little more whiney than usual, and even his favorite toys irritate him. And as soon as he sees his bottle, he gets this 1/3 laughter, 1/3 excitement, and 1/3 crying thing going on. His paci rockets out of his mouth and he is ready for the good stuff.
He totally longs for his milk.
God wants us to long for the pure spiritual milk. We need nutrients from the Spirit, from the word, found in the gospel (1 Peter 1:25). We can’t grow without it.
Go and guzzle down the word.
But what if we aren’t thirsty? That’s a problem, right? How can we long for something that, well, we don’t long for?
My suspicion is that we probably need to put somethings away to make room for the right things. Sin clogs up our desire for the word. But confession and repentance of sin, the putting away, as Peter says, will refresh our spiritual tastebuds. Malice, envy, and slander and others sins bloat our stomachs and leave us not craving the milk of the word.
Sin spoils our appetite for the things of God. But if we have tasted that the Lord is good (Ps. 34:8), we know that Jesus is better. We know that honoring him is better. We know that following him is better. We know that walking with him is way more satisfying than sin. When we remember that, we’ll put away so we can feast away with him.
We don’t move past drinking the milk of the word. We still need the basics. The basics aren’t just for babies. Oxygen isn’t just for babies; it’s for all who live. Jesus isn’t merely for the immature—he’s for all who know where life is.
If you have once had that sweet taste in your mouths, you will wish to have it always there, and you may do so if you continue to drink the unadulterated milk of the Word.” – C.H. Spurgeon
It’s by the gospel-enriched milk of the word that we grow up into salvation. What does Peter mean by growing into our salvation?
Salvation, union with Christ, is like wearing an oversized shirt. Really big. It’s totally ours, but it’s a 1,000 sizes too big for us. Growing in Christ, is growing up into his image. We are growing into the righteousness that is already draped on us. We are starting to fill out what he’s given us.
I love Peter’s transition at the end of our passage today. “As you come to him…” Where are you headed today? Let’s head to Jesus. He’s ready for us. We went to him for salvation, and we go to him for sanctification—the growing up into our salvation. Let’s never stop going to him. The second we do, we stop growing.
We should be always coming to Christ; we have come to him, and we-are coming to him, and we will keep on coming to him.” – C.H. Spurgeon
What do you say we go to to him right now? There’s no better place to be.