Days of Praise

Milk or 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 5:13-14)

The Scriptures are compared in these verses to our daily food—milk and meat. Milk is the necessary food for babies (1 Peter 2:2), but it becomes grotesque when a baby continues year after year as a baby, still incapable of partaking of anything but milk. This was the case with the Corinthian Christians who were, according to Paul, “babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 3:1-2). It was also true for these Hebrew Christians: “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again . . . the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat” (Hebrews 5:12).

Sad to say, this is still the situation with most Christian people today, even in Bible-believing churches. This is indicated not only by the many carnal divisions between them (1 Corinthians 3:3), but even more by the frothy nature of the Christian materials they read, almost always centered on introspective personal relationships rather than on the person of Christ, the deeper truths of Scripture, and the great purposes of God. The time spent in personal Bible study is minimal, and even most sermons repeatedly serve up milk for Christian babes rather than strong meat for spiritually healthy Christians “of full age” whose “senses” have already been strengthened by use to recognize the true and the false, the good and the evil. How urgently we need to heed the last words of the apostle Peter, just before his martyrdom: “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). HMM

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