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1 Peter 2:1-3 COMMENTARY

August 21, 2012

HOW’S YOUR APPETITE? Medically, loss of appetite is a usually a sign of a serious illness, possibly even impending death. Just as serioius (even more so since it deals with eternal things) is one’s loss of appetite for the spiritual food found only in God’s Word of Life (Php 2:16-note). Beware, if you have lost or are losing your appetite for God’s pure Word, for it is the only real “soul” food! See below for links to in depth comments on the vitally important truths in 1Peter 2:1-3

Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if (since) you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

As William Gurnall said…

The Christian is bred by the Word 
and he must be fed by it.

In 1Pe 2:1-note we see that sin will blunt our appetite for the Word and needs to be cast off like dirty clothes. If your appetite is dulled for the Word, ask God’s Spirit to search you and see if any of the “hurtful ways” in 1Pe 2:1 are in your life (cp Ps 139:23-24-note). To paraphrase Bunyan, sin will keep us from the Bible or the Bible will keep us from sin.

A healthy baby has an instinctive yearning for its mother’s milk. When a baby is well, you don’t have to tell it to desire milk! Peter commands us to intensely long for, to yearn for the pure, unadulterated milk of God’s Word. No substitutes (even good devotionals and Christian books if they are SUBSTITUTES for intake of the Pure Word…it’s like snacking between meals, a practice guaranteed to decrease our appetite for the main meal). God’s Word has no additives, no admixture of man’s wisdom to “dilute” the nourishing value of God’s perfect wisdom for life (Ps 12:6-note, Pr 30:5-note). Dishonest merchants in Peter’s day sold “deceitful” milk which had water added to increase profits.

Remember that 1Peter 2:1-3 is one of the most important passages in the Bible for only as we have continual intake of “pure milk” can we grow into the fullness of salvation (cp Jesus’ words Mt 4:4-note). Some books are written to inform, a few to reform but only one can truly transform! The goal of Bible study is not just to know but that we might grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Pe 3:18-note).

A well-read Bible
is a sign of a well-fed soul

And a Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t! Indeed, when the Bible becomes a part of you, you’ll be less likely to come apart! You can mark it down – You will experience NO spiritual growth apart from intake of the pure Word of God. In short, in order to be healthy Christians, we can’t treat the Bible as “snack food.” And the corollary is that if we are careless in our Bible reading, we will “care less” about Christian living!

Spurgeon said it well… 

It is blessed, to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language and your spirit is flavored with the words of the Lord, so that your blood is ‘Bibline’ and the very essence of the Bible flows from you.

Thomas Guthrie warned…

If you find yourself loving any pleasure better than your prayers, any book better than the Bible, any persons better than Christ or any indulgence better than the hope of heaven–take alarm.


A young French girl born blind learned to read by touch. A friend gave her a Braille copy of Mark’s Gospel which she read so often that her fingers became calloused and insensitive. In an effort to regain her feeling, she cut the skin from the ends of her fingers. Tragically, her calluses were replaced by even more insensitive scar tissue. She sobbingly gave the book a goodbye kiss saying, “Farewell, farewell, sweet Word of my heavenly Father.” In doing so, she discovered her lips were even more sensitive than her fingers had been and she spent the rest of her life reading her great treasure with her lips!

Would that we all had such an appetite for the Word of God! “As the deer pants (Lxx = epipotheo = same verb used in 1Pe 2:2 = “long for”)  for the water brooks, so pants (yearns, longs) my soul for You, O God.” (Ps 42:1-note)

Are you “panting after” God’s Word
as a deer in the desert does for the water brooks?

Father give us grace to partake of the Psalmist’s beautiful invitation to “taste and see that the LORD is good.” (Ps 34:8-note) As we taste and see His goodness, this only serves to whet our appetites for more of God’s goodness as revealed in His Word. Indeed, the more we taste God’s goodness, the more tasteless, less attractive and less satisfying the world will become! (God and His Word alone satisfies – Ps 103:5-note)

The more you read the Bible, the more you love it.
The more more you love it, the more you read it!

Spurgeon sums up the application of 1Peter 2:1-3…

Let us desire ardently, as for our very life, the unadulterated milk of the Word. Let us cultivate that combination of hunger and thirst which is found in a little child, that we may hunger and thirst thus after God’s Word. We have done more than taste the Word; we have tasted that the Lord himself is gracious. Let us long to feast more and more upon this divine food, that we may grow thereby.


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