I don’t know many adults who don’t appreciate a well-cooked steak. However, when serving a child dinner, chicken nuggets are usually preferred to a medium-rare filet mignon. Steak is delicious, but you probably wouldn’t serve it to a toddler, and you certainly wouldn’t serve it to a baby. Our eating palette grows as we grow and develop. It would be ridiculous to serve an infant steak and it would be equally ridiculous to offer a teenager a bottle. Our spiritual development is no different. When we first become Christ-followers, it’s very appropriate and necessary for our sanctification (our spiritual growth) to ingest “spiritual milk.” Spiritual milk would be the foundational understanding of the good news of Jesus. But as Christ-followers, we don’t maintain a diet of only milk throughout our Christian life. As we continue to follow Jesus, the goal is to become more like him, moving beyond “milk” and beginning to ingest “meatier” truths surrounding Jesus and his teachings. Our entire being, body, soul, and mind, should grow in maturity every day we claim Christ as Savior.
John 3:16 is a perfect example of spiritual milk. It’s probably the most quoted verse in Scripture, and individuals can quote it from memory. It succinctly summarizes the gospel and gives us foundational spiritual truths. But if all we can do is quote John 3:16 we have failed to move from spiritual milk to “spiritual steak.” The gospel has been described as a pool in which a toddler can wade and yet an elephant can swim. It is both simple enough to tell a child and profound enough for the greatest minds to explore. Yet, as Christ-followers we cannot stay as toddler Christians. There must be growth in our relationship with God. We must eventually grow and begin exploring more substantial spiritual sustenance. We need to move beyond the milk so we can enjoy steak. The apostle Paul says it this way in Ephesians 4:11-15 (NIV)
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors, and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
As Christians, we are saved by grace through faith. There is nothing we can do to earn our salvation. However, a saved soul is not a stagnant soul. We are saved for a purpose and a calling within God’s kingdom. We are saved to be in a relationship with God. And a relationship requires communication, growth, and depth. Our salvation is the beginning of our sanctification journey. And our sanctification journey continues until we breathe our last breath here on earth.
Restoration Institute exists to help support the sanctification journey of Christ-followers. We want Christians to be deeply rooted in their faith and continue to grow, becoming more like Christ. We want to provide opportunities for Christ-centered learning communities to gather, deepening their love for God and becoming more like Jesus Christ. The link below will take you to the Restoration Institute course catalog where you will see all the different opportunities available through Restoration Church to support you in deepening and growing your relationship with God. Bon Appétit, Let’s eat steak!
By: Leslie Banwart