1Peter 2:1-2NASB-I included vs 3
1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,
2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,
3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.
1So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—
Sorry guys I forgot to post this.
The first reading gives us a lot to think about but I think with the context there is quite a bit more depth.
Peter was given the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven by Jesus in Matthew 16:18-19. With the birth of the Church in Acts 2, Peter subsequently opened the door for the gospel to the Samaritans (Acts 8) and ultimately to the Gentiles (Acts 10). This was the command given by Jesus in Acts 1:8 that after they received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2) they were to be His witnesses to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth. The writing of Peter’s first epistle is estimated to be around A.D. 64-65. This is just after the city of Rome was burned. This is very significant because as I mentioned earlier, History shows that regardless of Nero’s motivation for burning Rome, the Romans were devastated and the burning of Rome had much collateral damage. The Romans in general were very religious (their temples were destroyed) and this left them with the reality their deities unable to protect them. Nero redirected the Romans hostility to the Christians and suffering was imminent. As we previously discussed in our memorization of 1st Peter 1:3-5 and18-19, the Christians were going to suffer. Peter has explained in our previous memory verses that according to God’s great mercy He has caused us to be born again to a living hope to an inheritance that is kept in Heaven for us (1:3-5). Expressing that this inheritance awaits us, Peter then explained that we weren’t ransomed with some cheap offering but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, a perfect lamb without blemish (1:18-19). Peter puts all of this in context with how we will live a victorious life in all of this suffering (remember previously I explained through Paul that there will be an element of suffering in all believers lives lest you think somehow your life should be exempt from suffering). We are to put away all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander and like new born babes we are to crave spiritual milk so we can grow up in our salvation. So what is spiritual milk? I’m glad you asked.
Knowing that Scripture interprets Scripture better than any reader interprets Scripture what does the rest of Scripture say spiritual milk is? This is where I had to switch from an ESV translation to the NASB (I’ll explain later). There is a progression in Scripture that Paul and the Author of Hebrews explains about milk and then moving on to solid food. Paul rebukes the Corinthians in 1st Corinthians 1 Co 3:2–3 “2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?” The Author of Hebrews again explains this progression with “11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (Heb 5:11–14) The Author of Hebrews has given us the answer as to what milk is. Notice he states “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God…you need milk, not solid food. (vs 12) So as Peter has stated “like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,” is like the Paul and the Author of Hebrews progression of being babies and craving the pure milk of the word, the oracles of God so they can grow up in their salvation.
So as I’ve stated before when we read Scripture we ask “what have I done?” and “what do I need to do?” Have you, as Peter has stated, “longed for the basic oracles of God”? Have you been trained by the constant practice of using God’s Word so you can learn to distinguish good from evil, as the Author of Hebrews has exhorted us to do? Or are you still living in the flesh as Paul rebuked the Corinthians? Rather than leave these questions in nebulous ambiguity let me ask are you reading God’s Word daily? Are you obedient to what it is telling you? Then Peter’s statement that we are growing up in to our salvation is applicable. If you answer no to either question, then you not only know what you have done, now you know what you need to do.
I hope you are well!