1 Peter 2:1-3 (New American Standard Bible)
1 Peter 2
As Newborn Babes1Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,
2like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,
3if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.Have you ever stumbled to your fridge early in the morning desiring a nice, cool, refreshing glass of milk? I'm sure that you have. How many of you have taken that big early morning "gulp" only to have your stomach turn? Your whole day is stained because sour milk just ruined your breakfast! I've drunk sour milk quite a few times since my sense of smell is very weak. In order for me to smell sour milk it is just rank beyond rank with chunks floating! Since I have been married, if I'm in doubt about the freshness of my milk, I ask my wife to check it for me. If it passes her test then I simply drink it.
Many times growing in the Grace of God is referred to as milk. New Christians are new creatures in Christ, therefore, as infants, we are taught the basics of Grace. In order to grow up as healthy Christians, we move from milk to meat much like we did when we were infants. Our mother nursed us in love and gave us meat as she watched us grow. The same holds true with the Holy Spirit as we grow in Grace.
One of the basic teachings from the Scriptures is seen in:
Titus 2:12-13 (New International Version)
12It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
The Bible teaches us to say "No" to the things contrary to what God said is good. Notice the wording "present age" and how this did not only refer to the 1st century. We are to live and strive to do what God requires us to do. Living for God means to turn from our sins (repent) and not to be a partaker in the world's sinful systems. This is not legalism as defined by some Christians, but simply obeying the Scriptures as commanded by God. Living for Jesus goes beyond just saying His name, going to church, and worshiping Him once a week. Everyday prayer, study, and striving to follow Jesus are the pure milk of the Word.
The Word of God is pure milk. The word of the world is sour milk. For example: if we mix good milk with 1/2 sour milk, we still have sour milk. God told us to long for pure milk so that we can learn to grow in respect to salvation. When we grow in the Word, we see that salvation belongs to the Lord, and we learn to respect that which He gave us by Grace because we know we are not worthy. What this means is that we are not to use the Grace of God to justify sin because salvation is the Lord's. We should no longer work to try to save our sour milk by adding good milk to the mix. If we continue mixing the sour milk with the good milk, we will not notice the tainted taste. Eventually the sour mixture becomes more of the mixture and we will soon forget the taste of good milk. In other words the sour milk seems like good milk!
What we put in our mind and our heart will manifest itself in our lives. We can only process so much information before we overload our mind. If we fill our minds with the things of God then it helps us grow as Christians. Pondering and taking in the things of the world only stunts our growth. We all struggle in this area, but that is no excuse to wrap ourselves in the world's system.
Colossians 3:8 (New International Version)
8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
The verses I listed are some basic things we should do as Christians. Putting aside malice, deceit, hypocrisy, slander, anger, rage, and filthy language moves us toward self-controlled godly lives in our walk through this world. If we cannot get past these basic teachings as children of God then how can we ever hope to understand the meat of the Word? Sour milk will make you feel sick, but rotten meat can kill you. We must desire the pure milk of the Word and resist the worldly temptations, our carnal desires, and principles of the world. In other words, when the things of the world become more relevant to us than the Bible we have a problem. We cannot grow in Christ if we are anchored in the world.
The world has no problem with cussing, lust, etc... and the world will tell you that since it is no longer offensive to them then it's o.k. for Christians to cuss because we are all human. Many times Christians who live in this type of rebellion will fire back, "But there are no perfect people...you are a Pharisee!" in order to justify their open sin and rebellion. I agree there are no perfect people, but we do have a perfect God. When Jesus died for our sins and the Holy Spirit moved over the prophets, God knew that we are not perfect but He still gave us commandments to follow about godly living. The book of 1 John deals with us non-perfect people when we sin:
1 John 2:1-3 (New American Standard Bible)
1 John 2
Christ Is Our Advocate1My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin And if anyone sins, we have an a]">Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
2and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
3By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
Sometimes the sour milk comes from false prophets/false teachers that will teach us that we do not need to obey these commandments. As a newborn Christian, we might be taken captive by these types of teachers. If we study the Bible and pray, we see how God exposes these types of teachers through His Word.
1 John 4:1-3 (New International Version)
1 John 4
Test the Spirits1Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
Let's test the milk and see if it's pure or sour. I could use my nose defect as an excuse to blindly drink sour milk, just like I could use my past to justify living in sin, but I choose to seek help when I'm in question about the freshness of my milk. We should seek the council of God in His Word when we question if what we are saying and doing is godly. I've said many times, "The question is not WWJD but what did Jesus say in His Word?" By referring back to the Word of God we will be able to discern sin and avoid pitfalls that hinder our walk with Christ.
In order for us to grow in Christ, we must drink the pure milk of the Word so we can see the deeper meanings of the meat of the Word. We cannot see God's plan for our lives if we are still unable to digest the milk of the Word.