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Understanding the Babe in Christ

When someone dedicates his life to Christ, he is often referred to as a “babe,” as seen in 1 Peter 2:2. No matter the age, a new believer becomes a spiritual newborn baby when he becomes a Christian. Being “born again” can only happens through the work of the Holy Spirit. Although it happens instantly, growth thereafter is something that is done through discipleship and is similar to a natural newborn babe (John 3:1-8).

For example, the need for milk is an instinct for a baby. It signifies the desire for nourishment that will lead to growth. The milk is an easily understandable part of scripture that creates a foundation of knowledge and connection to God. The desire produces a hunger, and that hunger sometimes leads to overzealousness, but it is still vital that Scripture is delivered in an attainable way. That’s why a baby doesn’t receive solid food in its infant state. Just as milk is good for the baby’s physical growth, so is Scripture good for a new babe’s spiritual growth.

Milk contains all the nutrient substances for physical growth, and God’s Word has the necessary ingredients for one’s spiritual growth. The goal of every believer is to grow up to be like Jesus, and Christian leaders must nurture this desire, but at a pace that is responsible and relative to the new babe. Maturity cannot happen overnight. It takes time to grow, and this is why we study the Word daily, so we can love God and understand why we are no longer people of this world (1 John 2:15).

As leaders, we must remember what it was like being a babe in Christ and use those memories to assist in how we disciple others. As a babe in Christ, we must maintain our desire for the Word of God while still understanding that there is a process we must go through to mature in it. Then, as both the leader and babe grow, the baton is passed so the student becomes the teacher, and a new Christian is born by the Holy Spirit.

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