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Needs Of A Babe In Christ

By sis Tan Yan Ling

Everyone, except Adam and Eve, is born once of a woman. However, Christians are born again “of water and the Spirit” (Joh 3:5) – this happens when we hear the Spirit-inspired word of God from the Bible (Rom 10:17), wholeheartedly believe in Christ (Rom 10:9), and obediently follow the instructions in the Gospel in repenting our ways (Acts 17:30), verbally confessing Christ (Rom 10:10) and undergoing water baptism for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 22:16, 1 Pe 3:21). So, Christians go through the “baby” phase of life two times – once physically when we emerge from our mothers’ wombs, and once spiritually when we emerge from the water after our baptism.

After baptism, a new Christian is commanded to put on the new spiritual man (Eph 4:24) and live to glorify God (1 Co 10:31).

Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

1 Co 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

This involves changing his understanding of the world, his mindset, values, habits, lifestyle and eventually his character. No matter how much wealth or education or success he has had in his secular life, he is a weak Christian baby who may go back to his old way of thought and lifestyle. He needs scriptural nourishment and living guidance to grow into a strong Christian adult so he can defend himself against the devil and keep his faith until the end of his life. Otherwise, he will be devoured when under attack from the devil and die spiritually (1Pe 5:8).

The Bible enlightens us to two tasks that are essential to growth – (1) the babe in Christ must start off by feeding on the pure “milk” of God’s Word (1 Pe 2:2); and (2) he must exercise his senses to discern good and evil (Heb 5:14). According to the scriptures, the mark of a strong adult is one who is able to take “solid food” (Heb 5:14).

1 Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

Heb 5:14 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.

Chapter 6 of John’s Gospel account describes a large group of people following Jesus relentlessly after He had miraculously healed their diseases and fed thousands of them with just five barley loaves and two small fishes. Despite the magnitude of the supernatural display they had witnessed, many of them turned their backs on Jesus and stopped following Him when He tried to teach them the spiritual truth about Himself. They said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” (Joh 6:60). Many of those who said this were Jesus’s disciples and they left Him from that day on (Joh 6:66). They took the “milk” – i.e. the goodness of Jesus’ healings and physical provisions – but did not grow in faith, and were unable to take the “solid food”, which called on them to trust Jesus and His words more than themselves and stick with Him.

It is fascinating to watch the physical growth of babies and perhaps we can take a leaf from them to understand the development of a Christian baby. Before little babies can walk, they have to go through a phase in which they would stand up, lean against a support and do this bouncing motion on their legs. They exercise and strengthen their muscles, and soon they will walk. Exercise is required for progress.

So, as the years fly by in our Christian life, let us be thankful for the spiritual food we are fed every Thursday and Sunday, and also remember to exercise our senses to discern good and evil. May we all grow up to a full Christian age and be able to reach our heavenly destination.

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