like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,1 Peter 2:2(NASB)
When we were born again we were positionally sanctified - positionally set apart unto God, once for all. We were taken out of the old creation in Adam and placed into the new creation in Christ. As new-born babes in Christ we were positioned in Him.. but our position in Him needs to be worked out practically - a practical sanctification that needs to take place in our everyday life and living. Our positional sanctification took place the moment that we were saved, and from that moment onward we were reckoned by God to be as righteous as Christ - however.. practically we are not yet sanctified.
Practically we know that sin works within our members every day of our life, but the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer is to bring us to practical sanctification. However it is a life-long process which is only completed when we go to be with the Lord - whether through the door of death or at the return of the Lord in the clouds for His saints.
As new-born babes in Christ we are sanctified positionally, but we need to be practically sanctified. We need to grow in grace, and become mature believers in our Christian faith. But practical sanctification does not happen automatically. We have to feed on spiritual food each day and be exercised spiritually in order to grow in grace and to mature in the faith .. and Peter clearly tells us the importance of taking in the right spiritual food to ensure godly growth: as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby.
Man cannot live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God and the Scriptures are the spiritual food that God in His grace has given us for our Christian life and spiritual growth. No matter what chronological age we may be, our desire for the Word of God should be like a hungry, little newborn babe who searches earnestly for his mothers breast.
Positional sanctification means that we are declared righteous, which takes place the moment we are saved by grace through faith in Christ - but practical sanctification is the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our life as He conforms us day by day into the image and likeness of Christ - and He does this as we read the Word, study the Word, learn the Word and apply the Word in our everyday lives.
As newborn babes we are required to grow in the faith, and faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God - and so we are to earnestly desire the milk of the Word in order that we may grow spiritually. We are to feed on the word of God day by day.
God has spoken to us in these last days through the Lord Jesus Christ - the incarnate Word of God, and in His grace has left us a written record in the Scriptures - and whether it be Peter, Paul, John or James we are urged to study to show ourselves approved unto God, so that we may grow and mature spiritually. We are to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest the Word of truth, so that we may grow in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus. We are to rightly divide the word of truth, so that we are not deceived by those that would twist and distort the word of God, which is able to make us wise unto salvation. We are to be doers of the word and not hearers only so that we may apply the important spiritual principles that are contained within its pages and we are to preach the word to others so that lost sinners might hear and believe in Christ to the glory of God.
May we never stop desiring the milk and meat of the Word so that we may grow thereby - may we meditate on the Word of God, trust His Word of truth, believe on His precious promises and look to Jesus day by day in the power of the Holy Spirit of truth - so that we may grow in grace to His praise and glory.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word, which has all we need for life and godliness. Thank You for the lessons it teaches and for its cleansing power, purify effect and spiritual nourishment .. which is so necessary in this time when the foundation of our faith is being attacked in all quarters. May we sincerely desire the pure milk of the Word so that we may grow in grace, mature in the faith and become increasingly conformed into the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus, in Whose name I pray, AMEN.