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Verse 2. As new-born babes. The phrase here used would properly denote those which were just born, and hence Christians who had just begun the spiritual life. See the word explained See Barnes "2 Ti 3:15".

It is not uncommon, in the Scriptures, to compare Christians with little children. See Barnes "Mt 18:3"

for the reasons of this comparison. Comp. See Barnes "1 Co 3:2"

See Barnes "Heb 5:12,14".


Desire the sincere milk of the word. The pure milk of the word, On the meaning of the word sincere, See Barnes "Eph 6:24".

The Greek word here (adolon) means, properly, that which is without guile or falsehood; then unadulterated, pure, genuine. The Greek adjective rendered "of the word," (logikon,) means properly rational, pertaining to reason, or mind; and, in the connexion here with milk, means that which is adapted to sustain the soul. See Barnes "Ro 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 element, 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," Joh 21:15; 1 Pe 2:1,2.

Young Christians strongly resemble children, babes; 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. See Barnes "Heb 5:12, seq. 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 he at the foundation of all religion, and which can be comprehended by children: Religion makes every one 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.

{b} "babes" Mt 18:3 {*} "sincere" "pure" {c} "milk" 1 Co 3:2

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