“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:2-3
In the United States, Christians are often stereotyped as being critical, condescending, and unreasonable. Is this what God intended for His disciples? Often times among churchgoers, we watch resentments and unforgiveness grow into estrangements. Is this what Jesus wants for His body?
I want to invite you to crave pure, spiritual milk. The pure milk refers to the Word, that by it we are nourished to grow up in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus and His grace (2 Peter 3:18). This word “spiritual” is fascinating to me. It means literally that we apply God’s logic to become divinely reasonable. Craving pure spiritual milk means we apply God’s logic to our everyday lives and in so doing become divinely reasonable.
First, pure, spiritual milk helps us to apply God’s logic. As we grow in our faith we move from understanding the gospel literally to understanding it logically. When I became a Christ follower in 1979, I understood literally that the wages of my sin was death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord, and I wanted that. I understood it literally. But over the years, as I apply God’s logic to my life and I study through the principles of the gospel, I’ve moved from understanding that I need a Savior to understanding that I am the chief of sinners. My sin caused Christ to experience the pain of God’s wrath. My sin caused Christ to experience more pain than anyone’s sin on earth has ever caused anyone else. And so like Paul, I can agree with him in 1 Timothy 1:15: “This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance, Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst.” When we apply God’s logic, we understand what our sin has cost Christ. It creates a humility in us that as we’ve been forgiven much, we can love much.
Secondly, pure, spiritual milk creates a divine reasonableness in us. To be reasonable is the ability to think through things and see across to the other side of a matter. The Grand Canyon is up to 18 miles wide and over a mile deep. (6,093 feet or 1,857 meters). The rim to rim, top to bottom to top again hike is 23 miles long and takes most hikers two to three days to complete. The Grand Canyon is a huge chasm.
To paint a picture of the reasonableness of God, I would point to Romans 5. It says while we were sinners, living in darkness, while we were God enemies, while we were defiant toward Him, God was living in unapproachable light, perfect in holiness and sinlessness, and He was able to see across the chasm that separated us. He, in unapproachable light, saw us in the darkness. He, in perfect holiness and sinlessness saw me in my rebellion and sin. He was able to see across to the other side – that’s what it is to be reasonable. And He made a plan even while I was separated from Him to draw me back to Him through the death of His Son. In Genesis it says we were created in the image of the Trinity. Of the many ways we reflect His image, one of the things that we reflect is the ability to reason. We are the only creation of God with the ability to reason. However, when sin came into the world, in our sinful nature, our reasonableness was broken. In my sinful nature I see everything through my own selfishness and my own pride. I’m not willing to see beyond myself. When I’m able to see God’s perspective, which is different from my sinful nature, my ability to reason is reawakened. Our reasonableness grows as we crave the pure spiritual milk, applying God’s logic to think through things. As we consider how great a work it was to reconcile the separation that was between us and God, we begin to consider how we can participate in reconciling others separated by a great distance.
Revelation 7:9 says heaven will be filled with people from every nation, tribe, people and language. These are people different than me! May we apply God’s logic to become divinely reasonable. May we come to understand that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
May we have the divine reasonableness to participate in His reconciliation.