I want to begin by expressing my thanks for the wonderful lesson John shared with us last Sunday. As God’s children, it is vital that we grasp the amazing grace that is in no one else but Jesus Christ. Through God’s demonstration of His love for sinful man (Romans 5:8), He provides an opportunity for man to be set free from sin through faith. And as Paul revealed to the church in Ephesus in Ephesians 2:10, that because of His grace, God brought forth our true purpose in that we are “His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works…that we should walk in them”. I guess the question could be, “Do I understand what Christ has made me [us] to be?” What does it mean to be His workmanship and what are these good works? Well, thankfully we have His word to provide the answer to these questions.
With those questions in mind, let’s consider today’s text. The apostle Peter is seeking to exhort God’s redeemed in a process called transformation, i.e., spiritual growth. Like with any endeavor, there needs to be a starting point. First, they needed to be reminded that their “living hope” was “through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1st Peter 1:3). As Peter sought to call them to duty, they were to first “rest (their) hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1st Peter 1:13). Don’t lose sight of the reason for doing good works! Why? Once you lose sight of God’s love, you lose sight of your intended purpose. That said, what can truly help us along the way. Here is what the Holy Spirit guides Peter to say.
…as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word…
1st Peter 2:2
To do the good works God desires, we must, as newborn babies, crave the pure milk of the word. The word “newborn” here means newly begotten, newly born which in the spiritual sense means that Peter is talking to young converts. Okay, I realize that most of us have been in Christ for years: still, we can grasp the attitude being provided here. He encourages them to “desire the pure milk of the word.” Your translation may use the word crave. It means to dote or be extremely and uncritically fond of. What is it in life that you crave? Listen to how the ETRV translates this, “Like newborn babies hungry for milk, you should want the pure teaching that feeds your spirit.” I couldn’t help but remember what Jesus said in Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Why is this so important? Consider the following from Peter.
…that you may grow thereby.
1st Peter 2:2
This is one of those times I don’t like the ETRV rendering, which says, “With it you can grow up and be saved.” This seems to suggest that there is some question about whether one is saved and thus vigorously pursues the word to affirm it. The NIV reads, “so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” The word of God enables the redeemed to expand their understanding and thus, grow in His likeness. It His through His word that we can “try to learn what pleases the Lord” (Ephesians 5:10, ETRV). It is through His word that we are able to become “complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2nd Timothy 3:17). His word brings to view the good works we have been called to walk in. Outside of that word, we wonder aimlessly and without purpose.
I have been giving much thought to the amazing gift of Christ and the fact that He did it for me, for you, for all of sinful man. This extraordinary gift put in motion not only redemption, but also to inspire us to learn what it means to be His workmanship. To grow in our salvation and better understand the good works He has in store for us all. So, are you hungry for God?