“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,” 1 Peter 2:2
This passage, familiar to the believer, has been the source of many sermons. In it, we find Peter writing to other leaders who have experienced the unspoken or un-highlighted side notes of ministry.
We find in Chapter 1, Peter addressing the group, noting that they are chosen and favored even in a states of exile. They have accepted their call to preach and teach, and by default have accepted the company growth plan which includes some hardship. He writes in verse 6, “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” Peter writes in verse 7, “These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith…may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
With 2015 nearing the rear view, we move forward to 2016 with hope; believing that the sufferings of yesterday are gone and that peace in our purpose will be found ahead. Peter’s words aide us in dealing with our past and facing our future! The happenings of 2015 and prior were things allowed to prove the “genuineness of your faith”; but to who? Surely not to God. For God knows the heart; thus we deduce that the focal point is man. It is imperative that those watching and following see our faith active through each point, knowing that we like many sports fans are not “fair-weather”.
Our faith has been watered down by those who have praise on their lips when times are prosperous, and are silent during hardship. Peter encourages his fellow leaders by informing them that their time and hardship came to season them and to serve as a testimony to others not just to the Goodness and power of the Lord, but the resilience of His servants and the commitment to their faith!
Peter leads into our focal verse saying “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” Subdue your flesh, and rid yourself of all distractions and detractions. Shun and walk away from those things that poison your soul and serve as repellant to those seeking the truth. Fight against the enemies fruit, but building up your faith and your discipline displaying the fruits of the Spirit. Don’t allow the enemy to pull you into his games of the flesh; causing your personal witness to be tainted!
Peter advises them to “grow up!” While we often look at moving from milk to meat, Peter is directing the readers, who are leaders, to lean upon “milk”. But this is not just any old milk. By his words, one can see that the perverting of the Gospel had began to affect the pulpit and leadership.
He described the milk as “pure” and “spiritual”. “Pure” is a call to us all to stay true to the basic doctrines of our faith! We must insure, especially today as our world is inundated with “advancements” and interpretations, that we are not drawn away from the pure truth of the Word which is our foundation.
I also love that He uses the word “Spiritual”, for there are some truths that have been delivered through those vessels whom God has chosen to speak through which coincide with the tenants of His Word. Even still, we are charged to try the Spirit by the Spirit (1 John 4:1), ensuring that every professed Prophet is a Prophet and not speaking for Profit.