Summary: 2 Peter 1:3 says that God's power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him. Knowledge is key. Even though knowing is not enough, we must also be doers, we can't minimize the importance of knowing the Lord and his ways.
BE IN THE KNOW
Last week, in my sermon on having a fresh restart, I talked about being refreshed. I went to 2nd Pet. 1:3-13 and we did some audience participation and highlighted all the refreshing things in that passage. Peter said God's power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him. Then, listing some very important and refreshing qualities, he said that if we possess these qualities in increasing measure they will keep us from being ineffective and unproductive in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This made me think about the importance of knowledge; especially the importance of knowing the Lord. Quote: "We will not believe more than we know and we will not live higher than our beliefs." In one sense that just states the obvious since one cannot believe something they don't know. But think about that reality; especially from a spiritual perspective.
From there we think of it in light of what we are striving for. What are we convinced of? That is as far as you can go unless you strive for more. More learning; more understanding-which will lead to more capabilities and more achievements. I've said before that simply knowing is not enough, we have to be doers. While that's true, we can't minimize the importance of knowledge. Knowledge is the first step. We can't act on what we don't know.
The word know and its variations occurs 1,263 times in the NIV. That's a lot of focus on knowing.
1) We need to know how little we know.
Remember when we were teenagers and thought we knew everything? We knew what we were doing, we knew better than our parents; all that. Now that we are parents we laugh when our kids behave that way. We try to educate them and tell them that they don't know it all and that they need to listen to the ones who have been there, done that and learned the hard way.
Sometimes we grow up and we still think we know everything. That can happen through having intellectual knowledge. We study hard and gain a wealth of information. We may be skilled in math or science, we may know multiple languages or know a lot about computers or a certain trade. While having this vast knowledge is beneficial in many ways, it can also be a downfall.
We can actually be too smart of our own good. We can get prideful and think we're superior to others. We can get bogged down by logic and reason and excuse the miracles of God, keeping us from a knowledge of the truth about God.
We need to get to the place that says God knows better than we do. We might not say outright that we're smarter than God but when we reject his word and do it our way that's pretty much what we're saying.
Rom. 10:1-3, "Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness."
The Jews had passion but it wasn't based in having a right understanding. People can believe in God and even be zealous in going to church and whatnot, but if they haven't submitted to God's way of righteousness and instead have established their own way based on what makes sense to them then they don't really know what it's all about.
Perhaps they don't want to know what it's all about. Perhaps the key word in that passage is submit. If I'm not willing to submit in humility then I will not accept what God said will establish my righteousness and I will continue to think I know better and stay established in my own idea of what makes me righteous.
If you read the book of Job, you will see that Job was a righteous man who persevered through the most painful trial anyone could ever go through. But along the way, with no help from his friends, Job got a little big for his britches. He thought he could demand an audience with God to plead his case. He put himself on a level he shouldn't have and God dealt with that.
Job 38:1-5, "Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?"