“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.”
desire the pure milk of the word
Spiritual life requires suitable food for that life. The milk of the Word suits the new spiritual life. Physical babies desire milk often and intensely. Spiritual babies should have an avid sense of hunger for the Word.
The word “pure” is in contrast to the “deceit” of verse one. God’s Word does not deceive. It is unadulterated and guileless. The Word is unmixed, without dishonest intent, without fraud. The Word is genuine, the real thing.
“Pure” means entirely free from dust or corrupt matter. There is no contamination by alien matter. There is no mixture of anything useless or harmful. Pure milk of the Word will not harm new Christians. It will never impose legalism or distortions. Unless a new believer has the basic truth of the milk of the Bible, he will never grow up.
Many Christians are weak and emaciated because they are deficient in vitamin B – the Bible. They neglect the Word because the toxic impurities of malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies, and evil-speakings steal their appetite for the Word.
The word “word” means spiritual, rational. Romans 12:1 renders this word “spiritual service.” God wants true worship. The idea is genuine. It is true to the real and essential nature of something. God wants an intelligent, rational service (worship). The nourishment here is of a spiritually rational nature. When this nature acts through the regenerate mind, spiritual growth results.
In our verse, “milk of the word” means rudimentary spiritual teaching (cf. 1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12,13). God did not give his Word so that it is impossible to understand it or require a special class of men to interpret it. Its character is such that the Holy Spirit who gave it can unfold its truths even to the young convert. Cp. 1 John 2:27
God wants us to absorb the unadulterated Bible, not some substitute.
We need to read the unadulterated Bible itself. We live in a day where Christians substitute many things for the unadulterated Word of God. We read commentaries, devotional books, magazines, etc. How much time do we spend in the Bible itself?
If we do not start with milk, we will never eat steak. Babies are born without teeth because they do not need to eat steak. They need milk.
Food is the life-giving material that builds our bodies. Food gives us energy. The Word of God gives us energy for daily living. It is the fuel of spiritual living.
If the Christian does not cultivate his new life in Christ, he will never grow. If we turn to New Age philosophy or positive thinking, these things are not “pure.” They carry impurities. The Word of God carries no impurity. The Bible is pure and unadulterated.