And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? (1Corinthians 3:1-4)
WHEN I GOT SAVED AT AGE NINE, I hardly knew what to expect of God or what to expect of myself. I figured that if I was in church when the door was open, I would have the best shot at living for God and finding out everything I needed to know to live the Christian life.
Looking back on it, I got that part right. I had to learn, though, that I had some responsibility to learn how to feed myself from the Word of God. I didn’t have a clue how to do that, so I began reading here and there in the Bible. That didn’t help me much, because I didn’t know what to read and there were so many words that I didn’t know what they meant.
SO, IT WAS MAINLY WHAT I HEARD AT CHURCH and the words of the old hymns that taught me the most of what I learned the first years of my Christian experience. At last, I came across 1Peter 2:2: As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.
THE LAST WORDS PETER WROTE WERE: Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (2Peter 3:17-18)
Of all the things Peter could have written to his readers, he ended up saying: "BELOVED, BEWARE... In contrast, GROW IN GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD. That’s it? Yep, that’s it. Beware and grow. So, when we are born again, we are not born as fully grown-up adult Christians. We are born as babes in Christ. There’s a lot of growing to do. The most learning for the least amount of reading may be in these paragraphs by the Dallas Seminary team of writers in the Bible Knowledge Commentary. The church at Corinth was a baby church with many problems of disunity and lack of holy living. BKC writes:
“WHEN PAUL CAME AND PREACHED CHRIST TO THEM, THEY BELIEVED. By faith they were justified and granted peace with God (Rom_5:1-2). No doubt Paul taught them all the blessings that came to them as Christians, what Paul called milk. At that time their way of thinking and living was only beginning to be transformed (Rom_12:2). They were still greatly influenced by worldly thinking and behavior — they were infants in Christ.
But “the message of the Cross” (1Corinthians 1:18) concerned more than justification. It also concerned sanctification. It called for a renewal of attitude and action in response to God’s revelation. It called for righteousness in thought and deed (Hebrews 5:11-14). And this part of the message of “Christ… crucified” (1Corinthians 2:2), this solid food (1Corinthians 3:2), the Corinthians had spurned.
AS A RESULT, THEY WERE STILL WORLDLY (1Corinthians 3:3). Instead of mature behavior characterized by humility and concern for others — obedience to God — the Corinthians were infantile, self-centered, and therefore divisive (1Corinthians 3:4; cf. 1Corinthians 1:12). They wanted lives of exaltation (1Corinthians 4:8) without lives of humiliation (1Corinthians 4:9-13) because they did not understand that “Christ… crucified” was a message concerned not only with justification but also with sanctification (cf. Phlippians 2:1-8). This misunderstanding was at the root of their disunity (cf. 1Corinthians 1:10; 1Corinthians 3:4), which error Paul wanted to correct.” (Dallas Seminary-Bible Knowledge Commentary).
THE WRITER OF HEBREWS TAKES UP THE THEME OF CHRISTIANS GROWING and maturing and says: For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14)
IT IS GOD'S WILL THAT ALL CHRISTIANS GROW UP IN THE FAITH THEY BEGAN when they were born again into the Kingdom of God. Milk is good for the beginning of our Christian walk. But, we need to grow up and mature into adult Christians. We have to do that in order to carry out Christ’s Great Commission of going into all the world and preaching the gospel to every creature. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
APRIL 11, 2018 – WEDNESDAY
A.M. 1Samuel 7-9 P.M. Luke 13:1-21
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Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Jeremiah 33:3)
Song for Today:
Wonderful Words of Life (3:05) – (Gaither Group)
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