Just as newborn babes require milk from the breast, so too spiritual babes must be fed. Paul instructs us: as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow. 1Pet.2:2. A new-born believer will grow by reading and delighting in the Word of God, and faith in that young believer with grow – for faith comes by hearing God’s Word.
Job tells us that he has treasured God’s words. We read: We read in chapter 23: I have treasured the words of His mouth – more than my necessary food.. Job 23:12. While the Psalmist found the sweetness of the Word of God” sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. Psalm 19:10. Oh, but how Paul laments the arrested, stunted growth of the carnal Corinthian Christians. He couldn’t speak to them as spiritual, but carnal. They were still babes in Christ. Despite his teaching, Paul could only feed them with simple truths.. not ‘meat’, for spiritual growth must be desired – we are told to desire the milk so that you will grow.
It was the Lord Jesus Himself Who set this president for desiring spiritual food. He tells us: My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work. John 4:34, and the astonishing thing is that this God-Man only worked through the Holy Spirit.. demonstrating the only way that man can live a spiritual life. We read: I do always those things that please Him, for My Father is in Me, and I in Him, and I speak only that which I have seen my Father do. John 8:29.
Spiritual growth comes only by abiding in Him and He in us. This type of life is not easy.. it is a moment by moment challenge. This is a daily walk in the Spirit – this is the daily prayer that cries: Thy will not mine be done. We have the choice to walk in the spirit or to walk in the flesh, but we can only grow if we feed on Him, but His words are hard to accept. We have a choice in life.. a carnal nonspiritual life or a spiritual life in the Spirit – and throughout the Word of God, we are told exactly how to live: Man shall live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Matt.4:4 – Man shall live on the Word of God.
Failure to feed on the food that we are given means failure to mature spiritually. Failure to feed on Christ, the Word of God means failure to grow in grace. Peter tells us to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and we grow by living in Him and He in us, by assimilating His life into ours. But this is not a comfortable teaching, as it means death to the old, carnal self, and many who heard this teaching, in His lifetime: walked with him no more.
Feeding on the Word of life is the scriptural way to life.. but it’s uncomfortable. Failure to feed on the Word of Life means a stunted unnatural spiritual growth for failure to feed on the Word of life means carnality and not spirituality – and the Corinthian Christians exemplified carnality. We read. for you walk as men. A Christian life that does not take on board spiritual growth, lives in the flesh. He works in the flesh, prays in the flesh and has his being in the flesh.
A Christian life that takes on board the words of Jesus and the instructions of Paul lives in the spirit of Christ; works in the spirit of Christ; prays in the spirit of Christ and has his being in the Spirit of Christ. But it means an uncomfortable daily examination of the carnal self. It means a dying to self..daily, for there is only one spiritual walk – and that is not by self, but in Christ.
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