25 November 2018 PM – 2Peter 1:5 – Add to faith – Scott Childs
Introduction: In Hosea 4:6 God said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” He could say the same today. Many Christians know Bible information but have very little knowledge of the character, heartbeat and will of God. That is the knowledge we truly need.
Transition: As we take a second look at verse five, I want to answer the question, “How are we to add knowledge to our virtue?”
To add knowledge to our virtue…
1. We must understand the meaning of knowledge
a. The Greek word is gnosis
1) It simply means a general intelligence or understanding.
2) In the context, it obviously refers to a knowledge or understanding of spiritual matters not scientific or secular.
a) Last week we learned that virtue describes excellence of character and morals.
b) Adding knowledge to excellent character will enable us to fine-tune our character and morals.
3) This knowledge hides in God. (Colossians 2:3) “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
4) We must add to our virtue a knowledge that comes from God. (2 Peter 3:18) “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. …”
b. In context, what is this knowledge we must add?
1) Dunagan believes that “this knowledge I a right understanding of the truth.”
2) McGee comments, “‘knowledge’ for both Peter and Paul meant growth and development in the Christian life.”
3) Warren Wiersbe points out that this knowledge is a “practical knowledge or discernment. It refers to the ability to handle life successfully.”
4) It is a knowledge of the character of God, His heartbeat, and His will for our lives.
a) It is getting to know the holy character of God, his hatred for sin and His righteous expectations for us.
b) It is getting to know the love of God that while we were yet sinners sent Christ to Calvary on our behalf.
c) It is getting to know the path God wants us to follow. Mahan is right to see it as “knowledge of the will of God that we may perform it, knowledge of the Scriptures that we may walk therein, wisdom and intelligence in regard to our conduct and conversation that we might be good witnesses for Christ.”
c. Let me summarize the knowledge we must add
1) It is a spiritual information.
2) This information is found in the Bible.
3) This information reveals the character of God, mind of God and the will of God for our lives.
4) This knowledge is information that we must apply to our lives to advance our virtue (i.e., excellence of character and morals).
To add knowledge to our virtue…
2. We must know how to attain knowledge
a. God has given us the ability to attain it.
1) We learned in the 2 Peter 1:1-4 that God has given every Christian sufficient grace and peace, His divine power to live the Christian life, and His divine nature to escape the corruptions of the world through lust.
2) We have all that we need to succeed spiritually. God has fully equipped us. He now commands us to add to and fully supply our faith.
b. We must discover the knowledge God has supplied for us.
² When I get something new, I dislike reading the manual if I think I can figure it out myself. However, I must confess that often I get stuck and must humble myself to read the manual. Sadly, we often try to put our Christian lives together the same way without reading the manual.
1) The Bible is God’s manual for successfully putting together the Christian life. It is our manual for spiritual knowledge. To ignore it is disastrous.
2) God’s knowledge is unlocked when we properly fear and respect Him as knowing what is best for our lives. (Proverbs 1:7) “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
3) We only find this knowledge in God’s Word. (Psalms 119:130) “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”
4) To grasp God’s knowledge fully, we must abound in it daily. (Philippians 1:9) “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;”
5) God wants you to be full of His knowledge. (Colossians 1:9-10) “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;”
² This Book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this Book. Anonymous
c. We must apply the knowledge God has given us
² Ladies, you can find a recipe and learn how to prepare a special meal, but it will never happen until you get the ingredients, follow the instructions, and put it all together. The same is true with adding knowledge to virtue. Information without application is negation.
1) God says that fools hate knowledge. They dislike following God’s recipe! (Proverbs 1:22) “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?”
2) Knowledge does us no good if we do not use it. (Proverbs 22:17) “Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.” (Psalms 119:9) “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”
3) We must apply God’s knowledge to daily life. Here is one way God commands us to apply knowledge. (1 Peter 3:7) “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”
To add knowledge to our virtue…
3. We must pursue knowledge with diligence
a. Last week we defined diligent
1) It describes haste and earnestness in doing a task. It is the opposite of a lazy careless attitude.
2) The knowledge that we must add to our virtue and faith is available but we must search for it. (Proverbs 2:3-5) “Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.”
b. Our part is to diligently pursue knowledge
1) God has graciously given us His Word and the ability to study it, now we must diligently pursue knowledge in the Bible.
a) As you study, pray, (Psalms 119:18) “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.”
b) Learn to say with the Psalmist, (Psalms 119:105) “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
2) We must also pursue knowledge on our knees in prayer. Pray as David did, (Psalms 25:4) “Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.” (Psalms 86:11) “Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.” (Psalms 143:10) “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.”
Conclusion: Now that we have learned that knowledge is understanding the character, mind, and will of God, He wants us to gain and add that knowledge to excellent character and morals enabling us to fine-tune our virtue. The Bible is our manual. We must study it carefully and seek to master it. Then, we must apply it diligently to our daily lives.
Song: Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord – 337