Monday, July 25, 2011
liquid diet or solid food?
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
Not all believers are ready for all biblical teaching. There are levels of maturity in the faith. Just like you can't feed steak to a newborn, so you can't expect strong doctrine to be desired by an immature Christian. There is something of a "learning curve" in the faith. There are basics that ought to be mastered first. You have to be able to hold the fork and knife before you can cut the meat into bite-sized portions.
There is an expectation also that as Christians mature in their faith, they move into training roles. The point of the passage was that the audience to which this truth was written should have had enough time to mature to that role. They should have been teachers. Instead, they were still sucking on a bottle of milk. They were unskilled. They were still infants at heart.
The gauge of maturity was familiarity with the Word of God and some practiced discernment from understanding scripture. This allowed the mature believer to distinguish right from wrong in terms of doctrine and practice. That takes both time and exposure. We have to know the Word of God by reading, studying, understanding, applying, and living out its truth in our lives. Then, and only then, can we truly mature to the point that the Bible is our "solid food".
- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13