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1 Peter 2:2

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

As new-born babes - In the preceding chapter, 1 Peter 1:23, the apostle states that they had been born again; and as the new-born infant desires that aliment which nature has provided for it, so they, being born again - born from above, should as earnestly require that heavenly nourishment which is suited to their new nature; and this the apostle calls the sincere milk of the word, το λογικον αδολον γαλα, or, as some translate, the rational unadulterated milk; i.e. the pure doctrines of the Gospel, as delivered in the epistles and gospels, and as preached by the apostles and their successors. The rabbins frequently express learning to know the law, etc., by the term sucking, and their disciples are often denominated those that suck the breast. The figure is very expressive: as a child newly born shows an immediate desire for that nourishment, and that only, which is its most proper food; so they, being just born of God, should show that the incorruptible seed abides in them, and that they will receive nothing that is not suited to that new nature: and, indeed, they can have no spiritual growth but by the pure doctrines of the Gospel.

That ye may grow thereby - Εις σωτηριαν, Unto salvation, is added here by ABC, and about forty others; both the Syriac, the Arabic of Erpen, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Slavonic, Vulgate, and several of the ancient fathers. The reading is undoubtedly genuine, and is very important. It shows why they were regenerated, and why they were to desire the unadulterated doctrines of the Gospel; viz.: that they might grow up unto salvation. This was the end they should always have in view; and nothing could so effectually promote this end as continually receiving the pure truth of God, claiming the fulfillment of its promises, and acting under its dictates.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

As new-born babes - The phrase used here would properly denote those which were just born, and hence Christians who had just begun the spiritual life. See the word explained in the notes at 2 Timothy 3:15. It is not uncommon, in the Scriptures, to compare Christians with little children. See the notes at Matthew 18:3, for the reasons of this comparison. Compare the 1 Corinthians 3:2 note; Hebrews 5:12, Hebrews 5:14 notes.

Desire the sincere milk of the word - The pure milk of the word. On the meaning of the word “sincere,” see the notes at Ephesians 6:24. The Greek word here ( ἄδολον adolon) means, properly, that which is without guile or falsehood; then unadulterated, pure, genuine. The Greek adjective rendered “of the word,” ( λογικὸν logikonmeans properly rational, pertaining to reason, or mind; and, in the connection here with milk, means that which is adapted to sustain the soul. Compare the notes at Romans 12:1. There is no doubt that there is allusion to the gospel in its purest and most simple form, as adapted to be the nutriment of the new-born soul. Probably there are two ideas here; one, that the proper aliment of piety is simple truth; the other, that the truths which they were to desire were the more elementary truths of the gospel, such as would be adapted to those who were babes in knowledge.

That ye may grow thereby - As babes grow on their proper nutriment. Piety in the heart is susceptible of growth, and is made to grow by its proper aliment, as a plant or a child is, and will grow in proportion as it has the proper kind of nutriment. From this verse we may see:

(1) the reason of the injunction of the Saviour to Peter, to “feed his lambs,” John 21:15; 1 Peter 2:1-2. Young Christians strongly resemble children, babies; and they need watchful care, and kind attention, and appropriate aliment, as much as new-born infants do. Piety receives its form much from its commencement and the character of the whole Christian life will be determined in a great degree by the views entertained at first, and the kind of instruction which is given to those who are just entering on their Christian course. We may also see,

(2) that it furnishes evidence of conversion, if we have a love for the simple and pure truths of the gospel. It is evidence that we have spiritual life, as really as the desire of appropriate nourishment is evidence that an infant has natural life. The new-born soul loves the truth. It is nourished by it. It perishes without it. The gospel is just what it wants; and without that it could not live. We may also learn from this verse,

(3) that the truths of the gospel which are best adapted to that state, are those which are simple and plain. Compare Hebrews 5:12-14. It is not philosophy that is needed then; it is not the profound and difficult doctrines of the gospel; it is those elementary truths which lie at the foundation of all religion, and which can be comprehended by children. Religion makes everyone docile and humble as a child; and whatever may be the age at which one is converted, or whatever attainments he may have made in science, he relishes the same truths which are loved by the youngest and most unlettered child that is brought into the kingdom of God.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Evil-speaking is a sign of malice and guile in the heart; and hinders our profiting by the word of God. A new life needs suitable food. Infants desire milk, and make the best endeavours for it which they are able to do; such must be a Christian's desires after the word of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ is very merciful to us miserable sinners; and he has a fulness of grace. But even the best of God's servants, in this life, have only a taste of the consolations of God. Christ is called a Stone, to teach his servants that he is their protection and security, the foundation on which they are built. He is precious in the excellence of his nature, the dignity of his office, and the glory of his services. All true believers are a holy priesthood; sacred to God, serviceable to others, endowed with heavenly gifts and graces. But the most spiritual sacrifices of the best in prayer and praise are not acceptable, except through Jesus Christ. Christ is the chief Corner-stone, that unites the whole number of believers into one everlasting temple, and bears the weight of the whole fabric. Elected, or chosen, for a foundation that is everlasting. Precious beyond compare, by all that can give worth. To be built on Christ means, to believe in him; but in this many deceive themselves, they consider not what it is, nor the necessity of it, to partake of the salvation he has wrought. Though the frame of the world were falling to pieces, that man who is built on this foundation may hear it without fear. He shall not be confounded. The believing soul makes haste to Christ, but it never finds cause to hasten from him. All true Christians are a chosen generation; they make one family, a people distinct from the world: of another spirit, principle, and practice; which they could never be, if they were not chosen in Christ to be such, and sanctified by his Spirit. Their first state is a state of gross darkness, but they are called out of darkness into a state of joy, pleasure, and prosperity; that they should show forth the praises of the Lord by their profession of his truth, and their good conduct. How vast their obligations to Him who has made them his people, and has shown mercy to them! To be without this mercy is a woful state, though a man have all worldly enjoyments. And there is nothing that so kindly works repentance, as right thoughts of the mercy and love of God. Let us not dare to abuse and affront the free grace of God, if we mean to be saved by it; but let all who would be found among those who obtain mercy, walk as his people.
Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 124

There are great laws that govern the world of nature, and spiritual things are controlled by principles equally certain; the means for an end must be employed, if the desired results are to be obtained. Those who make no decided efforts themselves, are not working in harmony with the laws of God. They are not using the provisions of the heavenly Father, and they can expect nothing but meager returns. The Holy Spirit will not compel men to take a certain course of action. We are free moral agents; and when sufficient evidence has been given us as to our duty, it is left with us to decide our course. FE 124.1

You who are waiting in idle expectation that God will perform some wonderful miracle to enlighten the world in regard to the truth, I want to ask you if you have employed the means God has provided for the advancement of His cause? You who pray for light and truth from heaven, have you studied the Scriptures? Have you desired “the sincere milk of the word,” that you may grow thereby? Have you submitted yourselves to the revealed command? “Thou shalt,” and “thou shalt not,” are definite requirements, and there is no place for idleness in the Christian life. You who mourn your spiritual dearth, do you seek to know and to do the will of God? Are you striving to enter in at the strait gate? There is work, earnest work, to be done for the Master. The evils condemned in God's word, must be overcome. You must individually battle against the world, the flesh and the devil. The word of God is called “the sword of the Spirit,” and you should become skillful in its use, if you would cut your way through the hosts of opposition and darkness. FE 124.2

Wrench yourself away from hurtful associations. Count the cost of following Jesus, and make it, with a determined purpose to cleanse yourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. Eternal life is worth your all, and Jesus has said, “Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.” He who does nothing, but waits to be compelled by some supernatural agency, will wait on in lethargy and darkness. God has given His word. God speaks in unmistakable language to your soul. Is not the word of His mouth sufficient to show you your duty, and to urge its fulfillment? FE 125.1

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 130

The understanding takes the level of the things with which it becomes familiar. If all would make the Bible their study, we should see a people further developed, capable of thinking more deeply, and showing a greater degree of intelligence, than the most earnest efforts in studying merely the sciences and histories of the world could make them. The Bible gives the true seeker an advanced mental discipline, and he comes from contemplation of divine things with his faculties enriched; self is humbled, while God and His revealed truth are exalted. It is because men are unacquainted with the precious Bible histories, that there is so much lifting up of man, and so little honor given to God. The Bible contains just that quality of food that the Christian needs in order that he may grow strong in spirit and intellect. The searching of all books of philosophy and science cannot do for the mind and morals what the Bible can do, if it is studied and practiced. Through the study of the Bible, converse is held with patriarchs and prophets. The truth is clothed in elevated language, which exerts a fascinating power over the mind; the thought is lifted up from the things of earth, and brought to contemplate the glory of the future immortal life. What wisdom of man can compare with the grandeur of the revelation of God? Finite man, who knows not God, may seek to lessen the value of the Scriptures, and may bury the truth beneath the supposed knowledge of science. FE 130.1

Those who boast of wisdom beyond the teaching of the word of God, need to drink deeper of the fountain of knowledge, that they may learn their real ignorance. There is a boasted wisdom of men, that is foolishness in the sight of God. “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.” Those who have only this wisdom, need to become fools in their own estimation. The greatest ignorance that now curses the human race is in regard to the binding claims of the law of God; and this ignorance is the result of neglecting the study of the word of God. It is Satan's determined plan to so engage and absorb the mind, that God's great guidebook shall not be the Book of books, and that the sinner may not be led from the path of transgression to the path of obedience. FE 130.2

The Bible is not exalted to its place, and yet of what infinite importance it is to the souls of men. In searching its pages, we move through scenes majestic and eternal. We behold Jesus, the Son of God, coming to our world, and engaging in the mysterious conflict that discomfited the powers of darkness. O how wonderful, how almost incredible it is, that the infinite God would consent to the humiliation of His own dear Son! Let every student of the Scriptures contemplate this great fact, and he will not come from such a contemplation without being elevated, purified, and ennobled. FE 131.1

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Ellen G. White
Medical Ministry, 124

The soul that converses with God through the Scriptures, who prays for light and opens the door of his heart to the Saviour, will not have evil imaginings, worldly scheming, or ambitious lust after honor or distinction in any line. He who seeks for the truth as for hidden treasure will find it in God's means of communication with man, His word. David says, “The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” This does not mean those who are weak in intellect, but those who, whatever their position, have a true sense of their need of conversing with God as did Enoch. The word of God will ennoble the mind and sanctify the human agent, enabling him to become a co-worker with divine agencies. The elevated standard of God's holy law will mean very much to him, as a standard of all his life practice. It will mean holiness, which is wholeness to God. As the human agent presses forward in the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in, as he receives Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, he will feed on the bread of life. The word is spirit and life, and if it is brought into the daily practice it will ennoble the whole nature of man. There will be opened to his soul such a view of the Saviour's love as portrayed by the pen of Inspiration that his heart will be melted into tenderness and contrition. MM 124.1

We are to see and understand the instruction given us by the great apostle, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby,” in perception, in likeness to the character of Christ. Development of character, growth in knowledge and wisdom, will be the sure result of feeding on the word. MM 124.2

We present to all our workers, our ministers and physicians, the necessity of careful consideration in all their work, perfect and entire obedience to the precepts of the word of God. Carefully inquire at every step: How would my Saviour act in this line of work? What impression will I leave upon the people? I am to yoke up with Christ in the work as a restorer of health to the body, the mind, the heart, the soul. How careful should every physician be to represent the Master! ... MM 124.3

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Ellen G. White
The Publishing Ministry, 227.1

We want that Good Health shall be circulated, and we want to shape our work and our efforts to reach the people where they are, much in the same way Christ worked in simplicity, that the uninformed may be reached and the highest minds may be benefited also. There is danger of burying the truth so deep in science that the common minds for whom we labor and who will compose the members of our churches will fail to see it and appreciate it. We want the truth as it is in Jesus. We want to meet the wants of our people.—Letter 34, 1887. PM 227.1

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