The Milk of the Word

The spiritual growth life cycle revealed in scripture is like the natural human life cycle. We all start out in our new life as babes in Christ.

After that first flush of joy of entering into our new life, we start growing and we are hungry. Just like a baby. Peter admonishes us, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.”

But what exactly is the “milk of the word”? The spiritual milk is the “first principles of the oracles of God.” Paul the apostle uses this phrase in an admonishment to the Hebrews. He was concerned with their lack of growth, saying that they should be out there teaching the newcomers in Christ. But they had “need that one teach [them] again which be the first principles of the oracles of God, and have need of milk, and not strong meat (Heb. 5: 11-12).

Two “needs” are mentioned here–a need to be taught the first principles and a need for milk. So we see that they are one and the same: milk = first principles.

So What Is the “Milk”?

What are these first principles? The next verse says that if a Christian is still on the spiritual milk, then they are “unskilful” and lack spiritual experience, “for he is a babe.” Strong meat  is for mature Christians, meaning that their senses have been “exercised to discern both good and evil.” In other words, a babe in Christ finds it difficult to tell the difference between good and evil. Babes in Christ need to be taught the difference between the true doctrines of Christ and the false doctrines. And there are many (5: 13-14).

The “first principles of the oracles of God” are the “principles of the doctrine of Christ.” They are found in the next two verses of Hebrews. We are to learn them and then leave them! We are to walk in them but not circle the same old mountain like our forefathers did. Rather we are to do them, incorporate them as good spiritual habits, and then “go on to perfection,” which is spiritual maturity. That’s the place where there’s no more need of milk but strong spiritual food (6: 1-2).

And then Paul lists these principles of the doctrine of Christ, which is the milk of the word. “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.” That’s the milk that when fully consumed and digested, will bring us into a higher walk with Him.

These are the first principles of Christ’s doctrine, and we should know them backwards and forwards and be doing them. Yet, some churchgoers say that they do not want doctrine–they just want Jesus. Sorry. You can’t have Him without His teachings. He is the Great Teacher of Righteousness, after all.

These teachings comprise the milk of the word, and they are wonderful stuff and very much needed, but it should not be our spiritual food forever!

The New Blog

For those of us who do have need of the milk, I will be sharing a series of articles in a new blog with the working title The Milk of the Word. It will be there for new Christians as well as those in the body of Christ who desire to firm up the foundation of Christ’s doctrines, which will help us all to go on to perfection. “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph. 4: 11-15). But first, let us imbibe the pure and sincere milk of the word.

{I will be announcing the new blog The Milk of the Word shortly here on this blog}


Filed under apostles' doctrine, faith, repentance, spiritual growth, Spiritual Life Cycle

2 responses to “The Milk of the Word

  1. Hello again Wayneman!

    And for those hungry for meatier fare (like yourself, Kenneth, I’m sure), may I heartily suggest the Manifestation of the Sons of God anointed Bible teachings of J. Preston Eby found here. Real meat for real Sons in the making. Perhaps of central importance, I would recommend beginning with The Royal Priesthood:

    Love and best wishes,
    ~Billy Bright

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