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Milk and Meat
By Kevin Cauley
Date written: March 31st, 2007
Scripture ref: 1 Corinthians 3:1-3
SUBJECT: Christian Growth
TITLE: Milk and Meat
PROPOSITION: When considering milk and meat we notice 1) the content of milk and meat is similar, 2) the consistency of milk and meat are different, 3) the consumption of milk and meat is different as well.
OBJECTIVE: That we would know how to discern between spiritual milk and meat so that we may become spiritually mature as Christians.
1. Read: 1 Corinthians 3:1-3
2. About the Text:
1) The church at Corinth had problems.
2) They were divided into groups.
3) Paul wrote to them to correct these problems.
4) Because of their un-spiritual behavior he had to deal with them as children.
5) Because of their child-like spirituality, he had to feed them with milk because they couldn’t handle meat.
6) Milk is for the spiritual babe in Christ.
7) Meat is for those who are spiritually mature in Christ.
8) Let’s consider a few things about milk and meat this morning.
3. A word about the meaning of this milk and meat.
1) Paul is speaking of teaching and learning truth.
2) Learning the gospel is like drinking milk and eating meat.
3) Let us consider this as we study about milk and meat.
4. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
I. The Content of Milk and Meat is Similar
1. Consider their makeup.
1) Both milk and meat have protein.
2) Both milk and meat have fat.
3) It’s not unusual that this would be the case since they both originate from the same source.
4) So, the content of milk and meat is, basically, the same.
2. This principle holds true in the educational world.
1) Reading, writing, mathematics, history, etc.
2) From grade school through college, the same things are taught only with increasing complexity.
3. The content of spiritual milk and meat is basically the same as well.
1) Spiritual milk contains the same teaching as spiritual meat.
2) That is to say that the same spiritual nutrition is contained in both.
3) All teaching comes from the word of God, the scriptures ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
4) It is the only source for spiritual milk and meat.
5) 1 Corinthians 10:3-4 teaches us the source of our spiritual food and drink is Christ.
4. By drinking the milk of the word and eating the meat of the word, we grow.
1) This is the process of learning from God’s word.
2) Jesus says to take his yoke upon us and learn from him ( Matthew 11:29).
3) In order to learn, we must know God’s will for our lives.
4) The Psalmist wrote, “Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments” ( Psalm 119:73).
5) Jesus said, “ Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” ( Matthew 5:6).
5. So we note, whether milk or meat we still study the same basic truths.
II. The Conditions of Milk and Meat are Different
1. Consider their physical properties.
1) Milk is a liquid.
2) Meat is a solid.
3) Milk is easy to handle, to divide, combine, transport, distribute.
4) Meat is much more difficult to transport and process, divide and distribute.
2. Spiritual milk and meat are similar.
1) Spiritual milk is teaching that is easy to understand and handle.
2) Whereas spiritual meat is teaching that is more difficult to divide and process.
3. The Bible teaches that there are both simple teachings and difficult.
1) There are first principles of the doctrine of Christ as recorded in Hebrews 6:1-2 “Wherefore leaving the doctrine of the first principles of Christ, let us press on unto perfection; not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the teaching of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”
2) There are also things harder to understand. Peter wrote, “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” ( 2 Peter 3:15-16 )
4. Spiritual milk and meat may also be discerned through presentation of truths as well.
1) Take for example how Paul writes in 1 and 2 Thessalonians.
2) In 1 Thessalonians he speaks gently to the fledgling church. 1 Thessalonians 2:7 says of Paul’s manner, “But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:”
3) In 2 Thessalonians Paul reiterates some of his teaching while he was with them, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” ( 2 Thessalonians 3:10).
4) Paul taught them this same truth while with them according to verse 10.
5) His manner of teaching was as a nurse with children when he first worked with them.
6) However, in 2 Thessalonians, he dealt with them abruptly and directly.
7) This also marks a difference between milk and meat.
III. Consumption of Milk and Meat is Different.
1. There is a difference in how milk and meat is consumed.
1) Milk is drunk, it goes down easy.
2) Meat must be chewed well which requires teeth.
3) Babies drink milk because they have no teeth to chew.
4) Adults, however, can eat meat because they have teeth.
2. Spiritual food is similar.
1) Spiritual milk is given to babes in Christ so that they can grow. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” ( 1 Peter 2:2).
2) Spiritual meat is given to full grown Christians. “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 5:14)
3. Problems occur when we partake of the wrong spiritual diet.
1) You don’t give meat to babes.
a. Just as babies need to drink milk to grow, so also new Christians must have milk to grow.
b. We teach the fundamentals.
c. Hebrews 6:1-2 teaches us that there are first principles: faith, repentance, baptism, laying on of hands, resurrection, and eternal judgment.
d. In order for new Christians to grow, they must learn these things first.
e. To give meat to babes and expect them to survive is to kill them.
f. The same thing will happen spiritually.
2) You don’t only give milk to adults.
a. While we give some milk to adults, that isn’t the only thing they need.
b. Mature Christians need mature spiritual food—meat.
c. If mature Christians do not get such food they will become spiritual babies once again.
d. Hebrews 5:12-14 states, “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 unskilful 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.”
e. To demand milk when one ought to be eating meat, according to 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 is to return to carnality.
f. Folks who have been Christians long enough ought to know these things and has no excuse not to receive the meat of the word.
4. If we are to grow, our babes need milk and our matur Christians need meat.
1. We have teaching in the Bible that is characterized by milk and meat. Let us understand the following…
1) The content of milk and meat are similar.
2) The conditions of milk and meat are different.
3) The consumption of milk and meat is different also.
2. If we want to grow let us partake of the correct spiritual food.