PHBC August 10, 1997

Series: First Peter, Sermon #25

 WHEREFORE, IF YOU HAVE TASTED THAT THE LORD IS GRACIOUS

Part III


TEXT: I Peter 2:1-3

INTRO: Have you tasted that the Lord is gracious? Have you been born again by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever? If you have, as we have already seen, there are some things that we need to put out of our lives. In the passage we have read there is a list of some things that we need to get out of our lives. There is also something that should become very much a part of the daily life of every person who has been born again by the living word of God. Regular feeding on the word of God is essential if we are to grow as God intends. One who has been born of the word ought to love and desire the word by which he has been regenerated.

THE WORD OF GOD IS THE SPIRITUAL FOOD OF THE ONE WHO HAS TASTED THAT THE LORD IS GRACIOUS

It is sincere milk for the newly born babe in Christ. 1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.

It is the food that pastors are to serve up to the congregation. Jeremiah 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

It is the duty of pastors to feed their congregations upon this word. 1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.

It is milk for the newborn babes and meat for the more mature. Hebrews 5:12-14 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.

Milk is for the babes but those who have been saved a while should be on the meat of the word. 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 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.

It is evident from the passage in Hebrews that milk is for babes and strong meat is for those who have been saved a good while.

It is evident that those who must still be on the milk instead of the meat of the word, after a reasonable period of time, have a real problem.

This does not mean that the more mature do not still love the milk of the word when it is preached and taught.

It does mean that one who is no longer a babe in age should not be a babe in understanding.

It is sad that many who have apparently been saved a long period of time are still on milk.

This is due to their own neglect of the word of God.

This is, in many cases, a failure of pastors to teach all the counsel of God.

Some pastors are, after many years in the ministry, still milk babies instead of meat men.

Before passing to the next point, let me call to your attention that the milk of the word is desirable for new born babes; it is loved by the more mature; but in all of this we must remember that we are to grow.

THE NEW BORN BABE IN CHRIST IS ADMONISHED TO DESIRE THE SINCERE MILK OF THE WORD

The word translated desire means "to long for, desire; to pursue with love, to long after."

The word of God has such wonderful effects in the life of the born again Christian, it is to be longed after.

David wrote the 119th Psalm to set forth the wonders of the word and its blessed effects in our lives. Psalm 19:7-11 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

It converts the soul.

It makes wise the simple.

It rejoices the heart.

It enlightens the eyes.

It should be desired more than gold.

It is sweeter than a honeycomb.

It warns us about sin and Satan.

It holds great rewards for those who live by it.

No wonder it is to be desired by those born of it.

God has blessed his churches with such persons as needed to minister in the word both to babes and to mature Christians. Ephesians 4:11-15 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.

The word of God is absolutely essential if one is to grow as a Christian ought.

One could spend many hours each day in prayer but he would not grow unless he was also digging into the Word or being taught the word.

One could spend many hours in other activities that are desirable for a Christian but if the word is not a part of his daily diet, he will not grow.

Long after the word; sincerely desire the word; carefully study the word that you may grow thereby.

THE DESIRABILITY OF GROWTH AS A CHRISTIAN

This desirability of growth is seen in our text. 1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.

This desirability of growth is seen in Paulís rebuke of some of the believers to whom the book of Hebrews is addressed. Hebrews 5:12-14 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.

The value of growth as a child of God is seen in Paulís rebuke of the majority of the members of the church at Corinth. 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 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?

That God intends that we grow is evident from his giving his churches men whose work is to promote the growth of the congregations. Ephesians 4:11-15 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Though some of these offices were for the early days of the church age, we still enjoy the benefits of their work in the words they wrote.

God still blesses his churches and aids the growth of his children by giving them evangelists, pastors and teachers.

It is generally agreed by most old commentators that the idea of the expression "pastors and teachers" is men who are teaching pastors.

Some more modern commentators have added the office of teacher as a separate office.

They call on people, both men and women, to surrender to the call of God to teach Sunday School, etc. when that is not the idea here at all.

The pastor is admonished to feed the flock over which God has placed him. 1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.

Paul admonished the pastors of the church at Ephesus to feed the flock of which they were the bishops or overseers. Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Godís children should always be growing.

God-called pastors are to be teachers of the word so that they do grow. Jeremiah 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

This gets into the work of the pastor as shepherd of the flock. Jeremiah 23:4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.

The word translated pastor in Eph. 4:11 is the Greek noun poimen which means a feeder of the flock. A. H. Strong says the word denotes "a herdsman, esp. a shepherd; in the parable, he to whose care and control others have committed themselves, and whose precepts they follow. Metaphorically, it indicates the presiding officer, manager, director, of any assembly; so of Christ the Head of the church; of the overseers of the Christian assemblies; of kings and princes."

We are admonished to grow in the grace and in the knowledge of Christ. 2 Peter 3:18 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.

We are to increase in our knowledge of God and that comes through his word. Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.

CONC: Are you growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you have a real longing for the Word of God? How often do you study your Bible? Do you totally depend on those who speak from this pulpit to supply your knowledge of the word? I pray God you all may have the spirit of the noble Bereans who searched the Scriptures daily to see if what Paul and his co-workers were preaching and teaching was to be found there.

email(active).gif (14954 bytes) rwcamp@gpp-5grace.com

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