Solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
What happens if you try to feed a T-bone steak to an infant? It does not work because the child’s digestive system has not been fully developed. That was the problem with the Corinthian Christians. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:2: “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not able.” Paul was saying, “As much as I wanted to give you meat, your digestive system was not ready for it.”
So how do we strengthen our spiritual digestive systems? Through exercise. One way we develop our spiritual muscles is through service to Christ. Remember what the writer of Hebrews said: “Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for somebody to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God” (5:12). Maybe you have been taking in God’s Word, but you are not giving out the truth you have received. You need to find a place of service, whether it is teaching a class or discipling a young Christian.
Second, we develop our spiritual muscles through obedience to Christ. Look at verses 13-14: “Everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” If you take in truth from the Word of God but you do not act on that truth, the result is going to be spiritual decline. The way we develop our spiritual muscles is by practicing what we know to be true from the Word of God.
That leads to one final truth I want to leave you with: becoming a carnal Christian is natural; remaining a carnal Christian is unacceptable. We live in a sin-infected world, and we have that old sin nature within us. If we do not take pains to exercise discipline in our lives, to serve Christ, and to obey what we know to be true, the normal course of life will pull us toward carnality. Becoming a carnal Christian is natural.
But remaining a carnal Christian is unacceptable. If you want to know what God thinks of carnal Christians, read His warning to the church at Laodicea in Revelation 3:15-16: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. . . . So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” That is what God thinks of carnal Christians. And He loves you too much to allow you to remain in a carnal state without bringing some serious intervention in your life.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Baby Talk” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.