BLOG: Milk Babies vs. Meat Eaters

Written by
Melissa H. Strautman, LMT

Companion blog to “Baby Talk,” from Pastor Steve Wilson

Milk vs. Meat

We all start out in spiritual, Christian diapers, drinking spiritual milk and there is nothing wrong with that. But we must grow up; if we don’t, our attitudes and actions will eventually create problems within a growing church.[1] We will avoid these tensions by going after real spiritual meat. How do we do that?

I feel that I can speak to this because I was a non-growing spiritual baby for about 32 years. Yes, it is a shame, but it’s true. I got my Christian booster shot each time I showed up at church on a Sunday. I made my kids go to church. I wore a cross necklace. I shopped at the local Christian bookstore. I sang in the choir. I occasionally helped with the youth. I could recite a few Bible verses. I prayed. I went to Sunday school and the occasional Bible study. I prided myself on not taking the Lord’s name in vain. What else could anyone want as proof that I was a Christian? I honestly had no idea that I was a big fat spiritual baby; let alone that there was meat yet to be tasted.

Hebrews 6:1-3 tells us that we have to move past the “elementary doctrine of Christ” and grow into a mature Christian. So how do we do that? Should our pastors cater to us at our spiritual level as schools do with different grades? Should each congregant get an IEP? No: God has already given us the real means to mature our faith along with the guidance of a very active tutor called the Holy Spirit.

Digging deeper leads to maturity.

“We must stay devoted to the flow of grace [meat] through the means of grace.  We must be moved deep within our souls when we read/listen to the Word, fellowship [be in church] and pray.  All of this is to keep us from becoming despondent in the face of trialsexperiencing a sin-relapse, or further shame from a stunted spiritual growth; all of which take away from the ultimate goal of bringing glory to God.”

Melissa H. Strautman [2]

Those Christians who partake (listen to preaching) and do nothing else the rest of the week stay babies. Those who participate and then practice righteous endeavors throughout the week, training their senses, will become mature in Christ and able to handle solid food.[3] 

The Meat Store

Aisle #1 – You’ve got to read your Bible & be immersed in Biblical teaching.[4]

Aisle #2 – You’ve got to learn how to pray correctly.

Aisle #3 – You’ve got to fellowship with the saints regularly in a local church.

If you saturate yourself in the word of God on a constant level, the same words will work more profoundly down in your spirit. Reflections of that message will begin to appear in the sermons you hear, the newspaper that you read…etc.

Don’t be left out!

Yes, the message of Christ’s mission here on earth is of first importance. This is milk, and it will save us and send us on our journey, but it won’t grow us. This is where we have to go shopping in Aisles 1-3. You can’t grow if you don’t dig deeper. The baby sits in church and hears one thing, and the mature Christian understands so much more because they apply themselves to know more.

The baby hears…“Jesus came to earth.” The mature Christian hears evidence of the Trinity, omnipotence, and the omnipresence of our creator.

The baby hears…”Jesus Christ died.” The mature Christian grieves over their own wretched, depraved sins. They hear the wages of sin is death, and that Christ’s substitutionary penal atonement paid that price – mercy we did not deserve. “Oh, why us?”…then we grieve for those who don’t have this precious gift. This propels us to evangelism.

The baby hears… “Christ rose again.” The mature Christian recalls the verses in the Old Testament which pointed to Jesus and His work being made complete. This generates strength, confidence, and urgency for the kingdom.

“Listen, friend, you cannot live your life all week with the volume of the world turned to max, and the volume of the truth turned off and expect that you are going to grow. You’re not.”

Pastor Steve Wilson

We all need to grow in holiness if indeed Christlikeness is what we seek, and not a faux Christianity of our own making. The Bible couldn’t be more clear about how that happens, and it couldn’t be more clear about what happens if we don’t.  If you are unsure of your status as a baby or a mature Christian, go ask your pastor or elder. It’s their job to shepherd you, and it’s your job to work out your faith.[5]


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[1] 1 Cor 3: 1-4; Hebrews 5:11-12

[2] Spiritual Growth, Part 4: Fresh Supplies of Grace, by Melissa H. Strautman, Views From the Pew Blog, 11/30/17

[3] Hebrews 5:11-14

[4], John MacArthur, Phil Johnson, Alistair Begg, John Piper, Steve Wilson

[5] Philippians 2:12