Notes On Peter’s First Epistle (14)

“Pondering Peter”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

The Pure Spiritual Milk (Chapter 2 Verses 1-10)

Taking up from yesterday’s note Peter goes on to his next injunction, the consequence of the previous chapter (vv1-3). As we have been reborn through this living, enduring word, we ought to have a desire, a passion for this word, to live and to grow by it. There is a negative (v1). Then there is a positive (v2), and then thirdly a question (v3). If the answer to verse three is positive, then we have made a once-for-all break from our past life, we have begun all over again, a new life in Jesus (2Corinthians 5.17). And one of the most vital things that has become new is our relationships with other people. It is not that our relation to God is not important, of course it is, but if it is right, then our dealings with people will be right too. We will want to rid ourselves of these ingredients, malice, guile, insincerity, slander and envy (1John 4.20; Matthew 5.23). But are not these the very things which rive the Church apart today? The sinful nature (Galatians 5.19-21). Are not these the things which come out of an impure heart (Luke 6.43-45)? So if this is what is coming out of the mouth of the Church, surely that means the Church is in need of a renewed heart? No, not a new message, not even the gospel message, the new wine of the gospel would just burst those old, dry, withered, hardened wine-skins (Matthew 19.17)? No, the Church needs to be renewed in heart first, she needs God’s Holy Spirit to come with a fresh baptism, with renewing grace, with energising power. With an effective love and grace, putting passion back into her soul.

It is a going back again to that child-like simplicity, and humility, like new-born-infants (Matthew 18.3). It is so hard staying there too, is it not? We grow up, or think we have, we become independent, self-dependant, get a bit of theology under our belts and before you know it we are teaching God a thing or two. The picture of this infant is so clear, an infant feeding upon its mother’s milk, and will not settle for anything else, humbly dependent. So every Christian, in the same child-like fashion, should ever desire the spiritual milk of the word (v2). When Christians cease to long for this divine milk, they go into spiritual decline, when they grow tired of the simple, saving, wholesome word something else takes its place. The flesh-pots of the world perhaps, and it ends in spiritual death if the descent is not halted. Pray for a real spiritual hunger and thirsting after God and righteousness (Psalm 119.20; John 7.37-39).

(© James R Hamilton, written May, 1998)

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