Did you know there's a serious literacy problem in the Church?
I'm not talking about ability to read and write. I'm talking about our knowledge of God's Word.
Lifeway research found 55% of regular church attendees do not read their Bible more than once a week, 40% admitting they don't read it more than once or twice a month.
"Choose whichever statistic or survey you like, the general pattern is the same. America’s Christians know less and less about the Bible."(1)
When we first discover the goodness of Christ, we should crave pure spiritual milk so we can grow (1 Peter 2:2).
Then there comes a time to feed on "solid food" (deeper Scriptural truths). If we don't move forward, we remain worldly and focus more on teachers than Scripture (1 Corinthians 3:1-4). Only solid food allows us to progress so we can distinguish right from wrong.
And we never lose our daily need for Bible nourishment. So let's ask God if there are ways we can improve our spiritual nutrition.
All three of the passages below talk about this concept of milk and solid food. This is a fitting analogy. Babies start on milk and progress to more and more solid food. At first, they must be fed, but they gradually learn to feed themselves.
This passage is the positive aspect of the "milk" of the Gospel. It's essential for new Christians to start with basic truths.
1 Peter 2:2-3: Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
The quarreling and jealousy seems centered on favorite teachers, a sign that Christians are depending on the knowledge of others more than their own knowledge.
The two following Scriptures explain the problems when Christians never move beyond the "milk" stage of growth.
1 Corinthians 3:1-4: Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?
Hebrews 5:11-14: We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
(1) Bible Illiteracy; Other resource: Epidemic of Bible Illiteracy
copyright 2016, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com