“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual lmilk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—” (1 Peter 2:2).
Peter spent the beginning of his letter reminding his audience of the new birth that they had experienced in Christ. He then transitions from the gospel into practical living. It’s important that we don’t skip the doctrine and go straight into the practical, and it’s also important that we don’t only study doctrine and not live as we are called to live. Deed without doctrine is legalistic. Doctrine without deed is hypocritical.
Peter makes an analogy in this verse. We are called to be “like newborn infants“. There is another case in 1 Corinthians in which being a spiritual baby is considered a bad thing. But in this analogy, the reason why we are called to be like babies is the longing “for the pure spiritual milk“. Babies do not consider their own diet. They don’t concern themselves with whether or not milk will get them fat. It is in their very nature to crave their mother’s milk.
In light of the gospel, in light of the fact that in Christ, we have been given new life, it should be just as automatic for us to crave spiritual milk as a baby craves his mother’s milk. We shouldn’t even have to think about it.
I am all for spiritual disciplines. I think it’s important for the Christian to intentionally devote time to the reading of God’s word and to prayer. Where it becomes dangerous is when it becomes a chore. How sad is it when we consider devotional time as something we merely have to do! May the Lord give us a craving for His word and for His fellowship.
What is the result of spiritual milk? Growth. “That by it you may grow up into salvation“. This does not imply that you have to earn salvation. We are saved by grace, through faith, and that is not our own doing; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). What this is talking about is sanctification, the process of being saved, although we have been already justified. We cannot grow in Christ without His word. It is by spiritual milk that we grow. Oh, long for it, Christian. “long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.”
1 Kings 12
1 Peter 2