Core Christian Value
When we first seek a relationship with our Lord, we do so as “babes” and we feed upon the milk of the word. We must not remain infants. As we grow in the word, we mature in Christ.
“Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts? For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” ISAIAH 28:9-10 NKJV
Here you see that Isaiah is saying that knowledge and understanding are not gained by infants. They must grow, little by little. Listen to how the writer of Hebrews makes the same point:
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” HEBREWS 5:12-14 NKJV
It is clear enough that there are two kinds of students of the word described here. There are those who can digest milk only, that is, the meal an infant can handle and there are those who can digest meat as an adult. Which kind of student of the word are you? Do you feel more like an infant or an adult? To the degree that you feel immature in the word, you have a solution at hand. Listen to Paul’s teaching:
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” 1 CORINTHIANS 13:11-13 NKJV
Paul points you toward the time when your dim vision of that which you will eventually know, will be made clear when you are in heaven. Even spiritually mature persons only have a dim vision of what is coming. Listen again to Paul describe what is coming: “…till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ – EPHESIANS 4:13-16 NKJV
That is our goal. To grow up and become more and more like Christ until that time that we are in fact in His midst, perfected forever. We are, for now, still in bodies that are tempted and which sin on occasion. Paul describes the transitory position of one seeking to be mature in Christ: “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?”
1 CORINTHIANS 3:1-4 NKJV
Is Paul saying that a “carnal” person can not receive “solid food”? What are the characteristics of a carnal person? How does one go about becoming “less carnal”.