This morning in bible study our group went over 1 Peter 2. Tyler got me a journaling bible for Valentine’s Day so I’ve been using it and taking notes in the margins. (If you live off notes, I highly recommend a journaling bible! I’ve been able to add in my own commentary, ask questions and then go back and answer said questions, it’s just wonderful!) Anywho, we got into 1 Peter 2 this morning and immediately I was drawn to the second and third verses in the chapter.
“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation- if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
Even in my limited experience around babies, I know that when it’s time to eat it’s time to eat. If mommas not there someone had better be finding a way to get that baby some milk! Newborn infants long for milk, they need it- and that’s what helps them to grow. That is the first thing that popped into my head this morning as I read vs 2. Then I started to think about the phrase “by it you may grow up into salvation”. I’ve been talking to my CalFay girls about salvation a lot recently because they’re right at the age of beginning to understand and ask some really good questions. (Yikes!) So this phrase really made me wonder, what does grow up into salvation mean? Don’t we just ask Jesus into our hearts, badabing badaboom and it’s done? Well, yes and no. In my personal opinion, I think salvation is directly tied to sanctification. So yes, we are “saved” and “redeemed” and “brought back into the flock” the day we decide to follow Jesus and have faith that he really is who He says He is and really did/does what He says He really did/does. HOWEVER, if you never truly surrender your life and start acting according to God’s will instead of your own, I believe your “salvation experience” was just a show. For the rest of our lives after we decide to follow Jesus we have to fight against our sin nature. For some of us, that’s fighting against sexual sin, or fighting against pride, or lying, or idolizing money, celebrities, and even ourselves over God. The list could go on forever- but the point is, we have to be intentional about aligning ourselves with God if we are truly in it for the long haul. James 2:17-18 says:
“Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, ‘You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.'”
Now this is where things start to get prickly. We are not saved by works, we are saved by a faith in Jesus Christ. Period. But if you are truly saved, others will be able to see it by how you behave. We are called to stand apart from the world. See John 15:19, Romans 12:2, 1 John 2:15-17. We are also told to be sanctified which means to continually grow in Christ, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18) So to me, to “grow up into salvation” is another way of saying sanctification.
And now verse 3 “if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good”. Y’all God is good and we are not. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. This part of the verse throws us back to Psalms 34:8, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” This Psalm was written by David, a man after God’s own heart. He was also a man that committed adultery, had the woman’s husband murdered, and did various other questionable things. David wasn’t perfect, but his pursuit of God was pretty darn close. David laments in his Psalms after committing his “big sins” listed above, not because he hurt other people, but because he went against God and it literally pained him. It broke him to the core because he messed up against the one person that had always been there for him. By the world’s standards, he blew it BIG time. But by God’s standards, when David repented all was forgiven. David’s heart was pure in his repentance and the motives that lead to his repentance. He was so enthralled by God and His mercy and grace that he could say “taste and see”.
Think of your absolute favorite food. For me it’s Pasta, but specifically pasta with Catalina dressing a lot of shredded cheddar cheese. It’s delish! Everytime I make this pasta, I can taste it and know exactly what it is without even seeing it. It doesn’t always look very pretty, but the flavor- out of this world! I know this pasta so well and have made it so often that I can tell if anything is off about it. If someone used a different brand of Catalina dressing, or a different fineness of shredded cheese, I can tell. So think of a food that you know backwards and forwards- maybe ice cream, maybe spaghetti, maybe chicken. Now imagine knowing God even better than that. You see, I think David chose to use the words “Taste and see” because a lot of our fellowship takes place around food, and quite honestly a lot of our lives revolve around food. David was able to use this wording because he knew God. He knew how merciful, how full of grace, how loving, but also how just God was. David knew that even though he had screwed up royally, that God was still in control and God is still good even when we are not. Even when we mess up our favorite recipe, the recipe in itself is still a good recipe. It doesn’t stop being good just because we muddle things and have a user error. God has been, is, and will always be good.
Once we grasp the fact that God is good and we are not, we realize how desperately we need salvation and how important sanctification is. After all, we were never made to live on bread or milk alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Paraphrased from Matt 4:4)