since you have been born again-- not of perishable seed but of imperishable-- through the living and enduring word of God.
"I assure you," He said, "unless you are converted and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
I assure you: Whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."
Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life.
Brothers, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ.
Brothers, don't be childish in your thinking, but be infants in evil and adult in your thinking.
The instruction of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise.
The precepts of the LORD are right, making the heart glad; the commandment of the LORD is radiant, making the eyes light up.
The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are reliable and altogether righteous.
They are more desirable than gold-- than an abundance of pure gold; and sweeter than honey-- than honey dripping from the comb.
I fed you milk, not solid food, because you were not yet able to receive it. In fact, you are still not able,
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of God's revelation. You need milk, not solid food.
Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant.
Is it not true my house is with God? For He has established an everlasting covenant with me, ordered and secured in every [detail]. Will He not bring about my whole salvation and [my] every desire?
Yet the righteous person will hold to his way, and the one whose hands are clean will grow stronger.
The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday.
Let us strive to know the LORD. His appearance is as sure as the dawn. He will come to us like the rain, like the spring showers that water the land.
I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like the lily and take root like [the cedars of] Lebanon.
The people will return and live beneath his shade. They will grow grain and blossom like the vine. His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon.
But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall.
The whole building is being fitted together in Him and is growing into a holy sanctuary in the Lord,
But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head-- Christ.
We must always thank God for you, brothers, which is fitting, since your faith is flourishing, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.