The New Life: Words of God for Young Disciples of Christ
By Rev. Andrew Murray
Chapter 2 The Milk of the Word
"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation" kjv@1Peter:2:2.
Beloved young Christians, hear what your Father has to say in this word. You have just recently given yourselves to the Lord and have believed that He has received you. You have received the new life from God. You are now as newborn infants. He will teach you in this word what is necessary so that you may grow strong.
The first point is: you must know that you are God's children. Hear how distinctly Peter says this to those just converted: "You have been born again," "you are newborn infants," "you are now converted," "you are now the people of God" (kjv@1Peter:1:23 kjv@1Peter:2:2 kjv@1Peter:2:10 kjv@1Peter:2:25). A Christian, however young and weak, must know that he is God's child. Only then can he have the courage to believe that he will make progress and the boldness to use the food provided in the Word. All Scripture teaches us that we must know and can know that we are children of God (kjv@Romans:8:16 kjv@1Corinthians:3:1 kjv@1Corinthians:3:16 kjv@Galatians:4:6-7 kjv@1John:3:2 kjv@1John:3:14 kjv@1John:3:24 kjv@1John:4:13 kjv@1John:5:10 kjv@1John:5:13). The assurance of faith is indispensable for a healthy, powerful growth in the Lord (kjv@Ephesians:5:8 kjv@Colossians:2:6 kjv@1Peter:1:14 kjv@1Peter:1:18-19).
The second point which this word teaches you is: you are still very weak, weak as newborn children. The joy and love which a new convert sometimes experiences do indeed make him think that he is very strong. He runs the risk of exalting himself and of trusting in what he experiences. He should nevertheless learn much about how he should become strong in his Lord Jesus. Endeavor to deeply feel that you are still young and weak (kjv@1Corinthians:3:1 kjv@1Corinthians:3:13 kjv@Hebrews:5:13-14). Out of this sense of weakness comes the humility which has nothing in itself (kjv@Matthew:5:3 kjv@Romans:12:3 kjv@Romans:12:10 kjv@Ephesians:4:2; kjv@Philippians:2:3-4 kjv@Colossians:3:12 kjv@Colossians:4:14 kjv@1Thessalonians:4:1 kjv@2Peter:3:18). It therefore expects all from its Lord (kjv@Matthew:8:8 kjv@Matthew:8:15 kjv@Matthew:8:27-28).
The third lesson is: the young Christian must not remain weak. He must make progress and become strong. He must grow and increase in grace. God lays it upon us as a command. Concerning this point, His Word gives us the most glorious promises. It lies in the nature of the thing--a child of God must and can make progress. The new life is a life that is healthy and strong. When a disciple surrenders himself to it, the growth certainly follows (kjv@Judges:5:31 kjv@Psalms:84:7 kjv@Psalms:92:13-14; kjv@Proverbs:4:18; kjv@Isaiah:40:31 kjv@Ephesians:4:14 kjv@1Thessalonians:4:1; kjv@2Peter:3:18).
The fourth and principal lesson, the lesson which young disciples of Christ have the most need of, is: it is through the milk of the Word that God's newborn infants can grow. The new life from the Spirit of God can be sustained only by the Word of God. Your life, my young brothers and sisters, will largely depend on whether you learn to deal wisely and well with God's Word, whether you learn to use the Word from the beginning as your milk (kjv@Psalms:19:8 kjv@Psalms:19:11 kjv@Psalms:119:97 kjv@Psalms:119:100 kjv@Isaiah:55:2-3 kjv@1Corinthians:12:11).
See what a charming parable the Lord has given us here in the mother's milk. Out of her own life does the mother give food and life to her child. The feeding of the child is the work of the tenderest love. The child is pressed to the breast and is held in the closest fellowship with the mother. The milk is just what the weak child requires, food--gentle and yet strong.
Even so, the very life and power of God is found in His Word (kjv@John:6:63 kjv@1Thessalonians:2:13 kjv@Hebrews:4:12). Through the Word, His tender love will receive us into the gentlest and most intimate fellowship with Himself (kjv@John:10:4). From the Word, His love will give us what is needed for our weakness. Let no one suppose that the Word is too high or too hard for him. For the disciple who receives the Word and trustfully relies on Jesus to teach him by the Spirit, the Word of God will prove to be as gentle, sweet milk for newborn infants (kjv@Psalms:119:18 kjv@John:14:26 kjv@Ephesians:1:17-18).
Dear young Christians, would you continue standing, would you become strong, would you always live for the Lord? Then hear this day the voice of your Father-"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word." Receive this Word into your heart and hold it firmly as the voice of your Father. Your spiritual life will depend on your use of the Word of God. Let the Word of God be precious to you above everything (kjv@Psalms:119:14 kjv@Psalms:119:47 kjv@Psalms:119:48 kjv@Psalms:119:111 kjv@Psalms:119:127).
Above all, do not forget, the Word is the milk. The sucking or drinking on the part of the little child is the inner, living, blessed fellowship with the mother's love. Through the Holy Spirit, your use of the milk of the Word can become warm, living fellowship with the living love of your God. Long very eagerly for the milk. Do not consider the Word something hard and troublesome to understand-in that way you lose all delight in it. Receive it with trust in the love of the living God. With a tender motherly love, the Spirit of God will teach and help you in your weakness. Always believe that the Spirit will make the Word in you life and joy-a blessed fellowship with your God.
Precious Savior, You have taught me to believe Your Word, and You have made me a child of God by that faith. Through that Word, as the milk of the newborn babes, You will also feed me. Lord, for this milk I will be very eager. I will long after it everyday.
Teach me, through the Holy Spirit and the Word,to walk and converse everyday in living fellowship with the love of the Father. Teach me to always believe that the Spirit has been given to me with the Word. Amen.
1. What texts do you consider the best for proving that the Scriptures teach us that we must know we are children of God?
2. What are the three points in which the sucking child is to us an example of the young child in Christ in his dealing with the Word?
3. What must the young Christian do when he has little blessing in the reading of God's Word? He must set himself down through faith in fellowship with Jesus Himself and believe that Jesus will teach him through the Spirit, and so trustfully continue in the reading.
4. One verse chosen to meet our needs, read ten times and then laid up in the heart, is better than ten verses read once. Only as much of the Word as I actually receive and inwardly appropriate for myself is food for my soul.
5. Choose for yourselves what you consider one of the most glorious promises about making progress and becoming strong, and learn it by heart. Repeat it continually as the language of your positive expectation.
6. Have you learned to understand well what the great means for growth in grace is?
word conversion adoption children exaltation humility learn scripture assurance joy love promises fellowship spirit trust