Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Aside from the question of precisely how to translate it, and exactly what it means, I was captured yesterday by this rendering in the NIV, “you may grow up in your salvation.” It could mean growing until one’s salvation is completed at Christ’s return, given what this letter says earlier. The idea is of babies growing or growing up to salvation, perhaps into that salvation. Whatever precisely this means, for me the idea as translated above begs the question just what growing up in one’s salvation might mean.
It’s always best to stay in the same book/letter when asking such questions, before scoping out beyond, and then to do so in similar book, like say, 2 Peter, and then beyond.
Salvation like sin has almost become a despised and therefore neglected word. It has been hijacked by “easy believism” and what Dallas Willard called “bar code Christianity,” in which salvation doesn’t mean much more than getting a one way ticket to heaven. But biblically speaking, it means so much more.
Salvation in the New Testament is past, present and future. All three have ramifications in what’s being said here. Because of God’s work in Christ, the Spirit shields us in the present in and for the salvation that is to come when Christ returns.
And that salvation is always from something to something else. From our sins, who we were before Christ, to the new person we’re becoming in Christ. All kinds of details are involved in that, as one can see from the passage above. It’s definitely a work in progress. Certainly we can say toward Christ-likeness and full maturity in Christ.
To be a part of our everyday lives now. In and through Jesus.