Longing for the Pure Milk (2:1-3)
Here in our second section we learn that as believers we should long for the pure milk of God’s Word like a newborn baby. God’s Word is not only the means by which new life began, but also the means by which it continues, leading to salvation on the last day. Such spiritual growth also involves putting aside attitudes and actions that would poison the well of love within the community. Peter expected that we would long for the message of the gospel if we have tasted the Lord’s kindness, for the initial taste would give them a desire to experience more of the Lord’s beauty and goodness.
Once you have tasted the pure milk you will see that it is good and want to desire it more. When someone then offers you something less satisfying, you will no longer want it because you know of something better that is out there. Nothing will satisfy your hunger expect the pure stuff.
Therefore, when we are tempted to fulfill our desires with something other than what is pure and holy we fight fire with fire. When we are tempted to pride, we do not fight it by making less of ourselves, but by seeking after the one that deserves all praise. When you are tempted to steal, you do not try to convince yourself that the object of your desire is no good, but that if your loving father in heaven wants you to have it he will provide it, and if it does not bring Him glory then you would want to stay away from it anyways. And we fight lust, not by making our sexual desires seem unnatural, but by pursuing what glorifies God, and obeying how He tells us to get the most joy out of life.
However, we should not neglect the word pure in this passage. Babies need pure milk so that can grow up and be strong and healthy. As Christians we need pure spiritual milk so that we too might grow up and be stronger in our faith. Remember this letter is to encourage Peter’s original readers as they were going through trials and sufferings. Therefore, to help them get through their trials he encourages them to grow stronger by studying God’s Word.
Is it possible to get information about God that is not pure? Of course, and what would impure milk do to a baby? It would make it sick. Therefore, when we are seeking God’s Word we need to reading it for one for ourselves and two seeking out others that will teach us the Word that is pure. This is very important because theology is not just for Sundays. Theology affects the way you act. Therefore, bad thoughts about God will lead to bad actions.
An extreme example is for example if you think God is Allah. If you truly believe that then you will not accept Jesus as your Lord, Savior, and Treasure. Therefore, your actions will send you to Hell. But there are less subtle examples.
For example, if you believe that your belief in God will make you healthy, wealthy, and happy, you will doubt God exists when something bad happens to you, or you will blame yourself because you did not have enough faith. Or if you believe that you can lose your salvation, then you will live a life of trying to continually earn God’s approval and feel an overwhelming sense of failure and separation from God when you do screw up. Final example is if you think you are saved and are relying on a prayer or baptism as a means that saves you then that Theology will also end you up in Hell, because only Jesus Saves and you must repent and believe.
Therefore, seek after what is true. Test what others are teaching you with scripture and when you find those that are faithful to scriptures seek to learn from them as much as possible. Not to replace your own study, but to supplement it to help you go deeper. If you only rely on your understanding of scripture then you will only be able to see as far as your talents allow you. However, using the great theologians of the past is like standing on the shoulders of Giants. You will have much of the same view, but you will be able to see farther.