We live in an age of starvation. There are millions of people in this country who go without a proper diet and even among members of the body of Christ a large percentage are malnourished and feeble. No, I am not talking about physical welfare, but spiritual fitness. We see so much emphasis on the necessity of eating right and taking care of our bodies; I would to God that we would spend a fraction of that energy emphasizing the need to eat right spiritually.
Children of God, as with physical children, are expected to grow and develop in their understanding, abilities, and general lifestyle. Unfortunately, there are still many “old babies” in the church who have never developed beyond the stage of infancy spiritually. Paul would talk about such individuals on a number of occasions. In 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 Paul wrote, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” The Corinthians were not developing properly, and the entirety of 1 Corinthians is to try to get them back on the right track.
Moreover, in Hebrews 5:11-14 the statement is made to those Christians considering going back under Judaism, “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful 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.” These are people who should have been able to teach others the things that they still had to be taught, they were immature Christians and it was showing in their actions.
Many of the problems found in the church today can be traced back to the spiritual immaturity of many of today’s Christians. Many are so wrapped up in physical entertainments and earthly education that they “don’t have time” for spiritual studies and endeavors. As a result we have generations of weak and feeble Christians who are still clamoring for the same milk they were receiving at the beginning.
How do you know if you fit into the category of one who is still on milk and not meat? Consider the following “You might still be on milk if’s…”
- You might still be on milk if you aren’t sure you could explain to someone what the Bible teaches about salvation and why.
- You might still be on milk if all you really understand about the Scriptures is “faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
- You might still be on milk if you are unwilling to teach a Bible class because you don’t feel you know enough to teach it (Notice I didn’t say because you are uncomfortable with your teaching skills, that’s another issue).
- You might still be on milk if you believe that the Old Testament is irrelevant to Christians today and believe that the “scheme of redemption” and the steps necessary for salvation are referencing the same thing.
- You might still be on milk if you cringe every time the preacher starts bringing up biblical definitions from the original language to show what the intent of Scripture is.
- You might still be on milk if the only time you are found with your Bible in front of you are in the worship service.
There are many more that could be listed, but the point is simple. It is not to berate, downcast, or insult the individual who is spiritually immature. Rather, it is to get the Christian to see his deficiencies that he might correct them and grow; because the first step to fixing a problem is identifying it. Paul put it this way, “Therefore leaving the principles (first principles, basics) of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit” (Heb. 6:1-3)
Brethren, it is high time we start expecting our brothers and sisters in Christ to grow up spiritually. Preachers, give them something to sink their teeth into. Teach them the whole council of God in the fullness and beauty of its truth. Members, devote yourselves to spiritual betterment, both in understanding and application. Seek it out, ask for it, and it will be given you (Mat. 7:7).