1 Peter 2:2
This verse in 1 Peter 2 is extremely important as every new believer strives to grow in their salvation. It is also important for disciples as they decide how to grow those they are discipling. The question in both of those situations is, “How can new believers grow in their relationships with Christ?” This verse lays it out very clearly by saying, “long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation…”
What is the word? The word is God’s Word, the Bible. Yet how is it supposed to help us grow? In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul answers this question by saying, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” Paul says that the Word of God isn’t just a book, but it is God’s own words that He inspired through the Spirit. Not only this, but His Word accomplishes many things inside of us. No word of God is empty or void, but they build us up so that we may be equipped and adequate to work in God’s kingdom, bringing glory to His name on earth.
This also comes into play when we talk about having a relationship with God. The Bible is clear that God is interested in a personal and intimate relationship with each one of us, not just surface-level “good deeds”. As God says in Hosea 6:4-6, “What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? For your loyalty is like a morning cloud and like the dew which goes away early. Therefore I have hewn them in pieces by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of My mouth; And the judgments on you are like the light that goes forth. For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”
God wants a genuine relationship with us that shows loyalty and not just sacrifice. He wants us to know Him, not just offer burnt offerings to Him and then go away unchanged. Yet how can you know someone if you don’t communicate with them? How can you know someone if you don’t spend time listening to them and getting to know their character? That is where the pure milk of the word comes in as 1 Peter 2 says.
We should long for the pure milk of the word because the word reveals to us who God is and what He is like. Being in the word and being dedicated to it develops in us a love for God that is loyal and unshakeable. If we want to have a true relationship with God, we have to be spending time in His word. We have to be craving it and delighting in it. It is what will reveal God to us and create in us a desire to love and glorify Him.
King James Version (KJV)
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby”
New International Version (NIV)
“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation”
New American Bible (NASB)
“and like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation”
English Standard Version (ESV)
“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation”
The Living Bible (TLB)
“Now that you realize how kind the Lord has been to you, put away all evil, deception, envy, and fraud. Long to grow up into the fullness of your salvation; cry for this as a baby cries for his milk.”