It is important that children of God grow in knowledge and faith as they seek to serve God. Peter wrote: “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).
The words that Peter penned still need to be heeded today. All men — especially those who claim to be Christians — should “desire the sincere milk of the word” in order to grow as children of God. Spiritual food is needed just as it was in the time of Peter’s writing. Without having a steady diet of spiritual food, the possibility of “perishing from hunger” exists. The world surrounds man with all kinds of temptations and sin. Growing is a must.
As a baby counts feeding time as an important event, so should a child of God count the time when the Bible can be studied as important. As one begins to take in spiritual nourishment, the appetite for things spiritual should increase. A steady diet of the word of God will help a person to realize the need for God more each day.
It also will help one to realize the responsibility to “feed” the starving masses with this same word. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). It also will better equip one to “… fear God and keep his commandments …” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). The desire to be a true follower of God will come only with study, learning and obedience.
Failure to grow shows weakness in faith and commitment to God. The Hebrew writer put it this way: “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:12-14). Growth manifests itself in the teaching of others.
The comparison of a baby and a “newborn” Christian serves to show the need for continual “feeding” on God’s word. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). Feeding upon spiritual food enables one to discern between good and bad. The babe begins to grow, becoming able to partake of more solid food. The new Christian moves beyond the fundamentals of Christianity and is able to “digest” more of the word. This process causes the Christian to realize more and more responsibility as a child of God. It enables them to do as Paul exhorted the Christians at Colossae to do.
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3).
Maturity is important as a Christian in order to be pleasing to God. Maturity is a personal thing in which the individual must desire to mature and do something to help it happen.