“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.”
As newborn babes
“As” brings up an analogy between physical and spiritual growth. Physical growth begins with physical birth. Spiritual growth should begin with spiritual birth. This does not necessarily follow in the spiritual realm. It depends on our attitude toward the Word of God.
“Newborn” means just born recently. Peter refers to new spiritual babies who have just begun to live. New babies are totally helpless. This is the condition of a new Christian. He is totally helpless to live the Christian life.
Peter puts the Asia Minor Christians in mind of their new spiritual life. These are Christians at the most basic level of the Christian life. They are on mother’s breast spiritually.
In 1:23, Peter writes that Christians are “born again.” From conception to birth is nine months. The great concern of the parents is that the baby will be born healthy. Their hope is that the child will be normal without defects, physical or mental.
This verse takes for granted this new birth. The main thing after the baby is born is growth. The spiritual babe has come into existence. Now the order of business is spiritual development. God builds spiritual growth upon the same lines as physical growth. From conception to birth is but nine months but from birth to maturity is approximately twenty-one years. Once God soundly saves someone, the main concern is spiritual development.
New Christians need nourishment from God’s Word in order to develop spiritually.
Mothers know their babies need feeding from mother’s breast 8 times a day! New Christians need to feed regularly on God’s Word to gain stability in the Christian life.
Are you passing from spiritual infancy with a minimum of spiritual illness. Every Christian is in danger of exposure to infant diseases. Spiritual babies need exposure to the milk of God’s Word for protection from the scars of these diseases. There are many dangers that lurk along the way of spiritual growth.
A baby is naive of dangers that hide along the way. A person who does not recognize danger has no fear. A tot may wonder why her parents are so concerned about her crossing the street by herself. She wonders why her parents are so worked up about her playing with matches. A tot has not experienced life like her parents have. The parent knows the dangers of drinking poison. The same is true in the spiritual realm. New converts are not aware of the spiritual dangers that lurk on every side. Many things can happen to ruin their Christian lives.
Note this study on Christian maturity: