The one who feeds only his flesh hungers forever, but he who feeds his soul the truth will never want.
Just as there are things that are sweet to the taste buds on our tongues and which our bodies crave as pleasant and enjoyable, so are there those spiritual truths of Scripture which are sweet to our soul:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.
I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.
1 John 5:1
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.
1 John 5:13
These words of Scripture are candy for our souls. They are sweet truths in which our souls delight and of which we can never get enough. And yet we recognize that as a physical diet consisting only of candy is hardly nutritious for the building of a strong and healthy body, neither is a spiritual diet consisting only of the same. Indeed, as every parent knows, a child who feeds only on candy will quite soon become sick, and if he persists may even die. Even the Bible admonishes us, “If you find honey, eat just enough—too much of it, and you will vomit” (Prov 25:16). In the same way it is important to recognize that a spiritual diet consisting only of those sweet truths of Scripture will hardly lead us to spiritual maturity but in fact leave us weak and sickly, perhaps even to the point of death. Just as people have learned to be careful about providing a balanced diet for themselves and their children, so must they also exercise discernment about their spiritual diet. For “man does not live on bread alone” (Deuteronomy 8:3), much less candy alone, “but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”. Thus the apostle Peter admonishes us,
Like newborn babes, long for the pure (unadulterated) milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord (i.e., if we have tasted His sweet and precious promises).
1 Peter 2:2-3
Those who have just been born again into the kingdom of God are babes in Christ. And if they are to grow in respect to salvation they must crave the milk of God’s word, and not the candy offered by the many false prophets of our own day:
For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires (with candy!), by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error (the newborn babes who are in need of milk), promising them freedom (from their sins) while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved (the false prophets themselves are in fact slaves to their sins).
2 Peter 2:18-19
For the false prophets of our own day lure those little ones of God’s kingdom with the candy of easy believe-ism, that salvation is as easy as 1-2-3-4: just say some words and shake hands with a preacher. They entice the newborn babes with a diet consisting only of those sweet truths mentioned above, but not the milk of the many other balancing truths of Scripture. For as James reminds us, even the demons believe, and shudder (James 2:19). And although Jesus said those sheep who follow Him shall never perish and no one shall snatch them out of His hand, He never said that those sheep who ceased to follow Him would not be cast away by God Himself for their own sin and rebellion. On the contrary, He taught repeatedly that only those who endure to the end will be saved (Mat 10:22, 24:13). And while the false prophets are quick to offer the candy of 1 John 5:13 (“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.”) they are loath to offer the milk of “these things” which John has written by which one may truly have such assurance:
By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
1 John 2:3-6
Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, let no one (like a false prophet) deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God.
1 John 3:2-10
He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (Notice here what it means to believe in the Son.)
We see then the importance of a well-balanced spiritual diet by which we may grow up “to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ, that we may no longer be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trick- (or treat!) -ery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Eph 4:13). And it was precisely for this reason that in contrast to the false prophets that God “gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the works of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Eph 4:11-12). Thus we recall Jesus’ thrice repeated admonition to Peter, “Feed My sheep” (Jn 21:15-17), and not with candy, but with milk and solid food. Indeed, let us understand that even the milk of such elementary teachings of God’s word mentioned above is for babes and not the solid food of the mysteries of Christ that will lead us on to maturity. Thus Paul and the author of Hebrews admonish that we cannot remain in Christian infancy lest we fall away:
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men (who will not inherit the kingdom of God, cf. Gal 5:20-21).
1 Corinthians 3:1-3
Concerning this (the high priesthood of Christ in the order of Melchizedek that is able to perfect us in righteousness and holiness) we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Therefore, leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance form dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings, and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment (notice that these are the elementary teachings about Christ, the milk of the word). And this we shall do, if God permits. For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.
Dear saints, let us then observe the “food pyramid” of God and eat sparingly of the sweet candy of His truth. And let us grow up in our salvation and press on to Christian maturity, to a well balanced diet of solid food by which we may discern good and evil and no longer be infants tossed here and there by every wind and wave of the false prophets’ doctrine. For only after we have eaten such a good dinner will we be able to truly enjoy those sweet things of God as He intended them to be.
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The Atonement of Christ's Blood: Understanding How the Blood of Christ Saves and Reconciles us to God
- What is the relationship between Jesus’ sacrifice and our redemption, forgiveness and receiving an inheritance per the terms of the covenant / will that was effected by His death?
- From what, and to what, are we saved? Is it Jesus’ death alone that saves us? What part does His resurrection have in our salvation?
- Does the justice of God demand the satisfaction of blood before He will forgive, similar to what pagans throughout history have believed?
- What was the purpose of the Old Testament sacrifices?
- Does blood alone atone for sin?
- How does Christ’s death render powerless the devil?
- To whom was Christ’s life given as a ransom? From what are we ransomed?
- Why did Jesus not only die, but suffer and die? If all that was necessary was His shed blood, why didn’t God sovereignly ordain a more merciful death for His own dear Son?
- What is the relationship between a will or testament, and a covenant? What was willed to Jesus as an inheritance from His Father, and what was willed to us through the new testament in His blood?