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I've often heard the term 'the meat of the Word' and 'milk of the Word'. Some say they are no longer on the 'milk' of the Word but are now onto the 'meat' of the Word of God. I've often wondered what this means.
Here we will briefly examine what it means to be at the 'milk' level of the Word of God and to be at the 'meat' level of the Word of God.
First lets look at the verses that describe the milk of the Word. One thing that shows very clearly is that the milk of the Word is for young believers or babies.
1 Pet 2
2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
Here Peter writes that believer should desire the milk of the word. Why? So a believer can grow and mature in Christ. This really applies to all believers. As we read and study and learn from the Word of God, we grow and mature in Christ. In fact, every backslidder I have met has always told me that they do not read the Bible on a daily basis. Reader, are you reading God's Word each and every day? If not then stop your backslidding and get reading and desiring the sincere milk of the Word!
So the milk of the Word helps new believers to grow and mature in Christ. I believe that both young and old believers in Christ should make time each and every day to read the Word of God! It can be considered spiritual food. Just like we tend not to ignore our physical food needs, we also should not neglect our spiritual food needs.
Next lets look at the meat of the Word of God.
1 Cor 3
1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
In these verses believers didn't grow and mature in Christ. They were still at the milk stage of their growth. Just like a newborn baby they couldn't receive any meat and had to continue with the milk. What prevented their growth? The above verses mention that they were carnal, earthly, worldly believers. Paul rebukes them for being this way as it is wrong.
How many believers today are carnal and have stunted their growth and are still a baby in Christ only able to receive a little bit of milk? If given the meat of the Word of God these carnal believers cannot receive it. They will choke and spit it out.
Lets look at a few more verses on the meat of the Word:
12 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.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 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.
Again we see believers who are carnal and are still at the milk stage of their growth. In fact, they are rebuked as this is not a good position to be in. People at the milk level of their spiritual growth are still babies in Christ. But in this case they are babies who have not matured and grown up! These babies can only receive milk and are unable to take the meat.
Next look at verse 14. It gives a description of those who have advanced out of the milk stage and are able to receive meat. These are mature believers in Christ who can handle the deeper things of the Word of God (meat) and are able to receive sound Biblical teaching. Also, those at the meat level are able to discern between good and evil. This is a very interesting point! Discerning between good and evil is a very important activity in these last days of apostasy. Sadly, not many have discernment in these last days!
Many today cannot discern between good and evil. They accept rock and roll, Roman Catholicism, Charismatic foolishness, and wolf false teachers. When confronted with the heresies of these things these people cannot receive the warning. It is like their little minds shut down and they get angry. In fact, it is just like trying to feed meat to a baby still on milk. It cannot be done! Personally, I believe this is also where many of the false Christian tares can be found. Yes, there are also some baby carnal Christians (very few!), but there are also lots of false professing Christians who cannot receive sound doctrine.
Those who are on the 'meat' of the Word of God can receive sound Biblical teaching. These Christians read the Bible daily and they have the ability to discern between good and evil. If they are presented with some form of teaching, these people test all things with the Word of God. Errors and false teaching are rejected while sound Biblical counsel and teaching is received with joy.
We have seen that the milk of the Word applies to baby Christians. A new believer in Christ is still a baby and needs to feed on the Word of God to get established in the foundational doctrine of the Christian faith. As a new Christian feeds on the milk of the Word of God, he will grow and mature in Christ. A growing baby does not stay a baby forever! At some point the Christian will be able to handle the 'meat' of the Word of God. This means the Christian has an obedient heart that is able to receive sound Biblical doctrine. Since the Christian can receive sound Biblical doctrine, he can also discern between good and evil.
It is also a sad fact that many today cannot receive any of the 'meat' of the Word of God. These people fall into compromise and error and cannot be corrected. They have no ability to discern between good and evil. When presented with Biblical warning or councel these people are unable to receive these things. They reject any 'meat' of the Word. Also, many react with a closed mind and great anger if the sound Biblical doctrine goes against their compromise or pet heresy. These people are easy to spot. They are the first to cry out: legalism!, unloving!, narrow-minded! and other terms to justify their sin and compromise. These people are either carnal babies or false Christian tares. They have no heart for doctrine or correction. They do not mature in Christ nor do they grow spiritually. My personal view is that the majority of these persons are false Christian tares rather than carnal babies in Christ. Here is a description of such people:
2 Tim 4
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
We are living in the last days before the return of the Lord Jesus. Soon, and only God knows how soon, the Lord Jesus will rapture His Church home to heaven. These are not days to be backslidden! I would encourage every believer to read the Word of God on a daily basis and continue to grow and mature and grow in Christ. Be encouraged as the Lord Jesus is coming back soon!
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
Are you a faithful servant of the Lord Jesus?
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