Sermons

Summary: Paul longed to know Christ and the power of his resurrection. The two go together. In the knowledge of God and of Christ is the power to be and become all that we should be.

Columbus was on his fourth voyage in 1504. His ships were

grounded in St. Ann's Bay in Jamaica, and the natives revolted

and refused to supply the Spaniard with food. There seemed to be

no way of escaping the agonies of starvation. Columbus was

looking at the almanac, and he learned that a total lunar eclipse

was coming. On the evening it was due he called for the natives to

assemble and told them that unless they repented and helped

them God would blot out the moon, the sun, and the stars, in that

order. He pointed to the moon which had already begun to

darken. The natives were terrified and begged Columbus to

intercede for them. Delivering food was resumed at once, and

Columbus promised that disaster would be averted. The darkness

passed, and nothing happened, of course, and the natives never

revolted again. Here is an example of the power of knowledge.

Because Columbus understood the workings of God's creation, he was

able to save his life and the lives of his men. Knowledge enabled

him to dominate and manipulate the natives who were ignorant

and superstitious. The weak are almost always weak because of

ignorance, and the strong are almost always strong because of

superior knowledge. This is supported by Scripture, reason,

history, and experience. Knowledge is power because it leads to

the discovery of the means of power. America is the strongest

nation in the world because of its superior technological

knowledge, and because it has been able to tap the resources of

power in God's creation. Only those nations that are also in

possession of this knowledge are any challenge. In some nations

wood is still the primary fuel. As nations advance they use greater

sources of power right up to nuclear fuel. Growth in knowledge

leads to growth in power. This is beyond dispute.

This being so, it follows that growth in the knowledge of God

should lead to greater power in the spiritual realm. We do not

need to speculate on this, for this is precisely what Peter and the

whole of the Bible teaches. Paul longed to know Christ and the

power of his resurrection. The two go together. In the knowledge

of God and of Christ is the power to be and become all that we

should be. Peter says in verse 2 that "grace and peace be

multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our

Lord." Grace and peace are two major values for the Christian

life, and Peter says they are multiplied in the knowledge of God

and of Christ. Growing in grace and peace is a matter of knowing

God better.

Then Peter goes on in verse 3 and says, "His divine power has

given us everything we need for life and godliness through our

knowledge of him..." In verse 5 knowledge is one of the things

that we are to diligently add to our faith. In verse 8 the goal of all

is from the negative side that we shall not be unfruitful in the

knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then in 2:20 Peter says the

power that enables men to escape the evil forces of the world is

the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He closes this

letter by writing, "But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our

Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." If we had nothing but II Peter, we

could say that the knowledge of God is the power of God, and the

means to all His benefits and promises.

This means modern man is so close to the truth and yet so far.

The worldly wise know that knowledge is power. In fact,

knowledge has become their idol. The success of science in

demonstration the power of knowledge has led to knowledge and

education being held forth as the panacea for all our problems,

and the cure for all our diseases. Knowledge is the modern

Messiah, which will bear our burdens and heal our diseases.

Salvation through science is the only hope that millions even

consider today.

The tragedy is that they have the right answer, but the wrong

object. Knowledge is the answer, but not knowledge of the

creation, but knowledge of the Creator. Modern man is making

the same foolish mistake the ancient wise men made. Paul in

Romans 1 says they had the revelation of God, and they could

have chosen Him, but in their wisdom they became fools and

chose the impersonal handiwork of God and ignored the personal

love and purpose of God. Man is becoming an expert on the

disease, but ignoring the cure completely. He has the right idea

that knowledge is power, but he is blind to the highest and most

necessary kind of power that man needs, which is spiritual power.

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