Summary: A real relationship with God will give you an appetite for knowing him intimately
Do You Know What You Are Talking About?
Reverend A. L. Torrence, Pastor Antonio L. Torrence
1. We live in a knowledge based society- a world motivated by information. This is an information-driven society. It’s concerned with what you know, who you know, how you know, and why do you know. With the proper information available and accessible one could accomplish many things from not just getting a job but actually governing a nation. No wonder King Solomon prayed not for military prowess or financial wealth, but he prayed that God would grant him the gift of wisdom. Wisdom (knowledge) would tell how to conquer his enemies and have the wealth of many nations at his feet. That’s why the scriptures say, in all your getting, get understanding, get wisdom, get insight, prize her highly and she will exalt you.
2. Knowledge is the truth or facts of life that a person acquires either through experience or thought.
a. We have mental (intellectual) knowledge: but this can lead to pride
b. We have moral knowledge which affects a person’s will. It is knowledge of one’s heart
c. We have experiential knowledge which is gained through one’s experience
d. The greatest truth that a person can possess with the mind or learn through experience is the truth about God. The Palmist says, “Be still and know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations. I am exalted in the earth. “This is the knowledge that Peter now has.
3. There is an Arabian Poem from an unknown author that many of us probably had to recite at one point or another in our literature class.
a. “He who knows not and knows not that he knows not, He is a fool - shun him. He who knows not and knows he knows not, He is simple - teach him; He who knows and knows not he knows, He is asleep - wake him; He who knows and knows he knows, He is wise; follow him.”
4. It often amazes me just how many people seem to fall in that first category of knowing not and not knowing that they know not. Proverb: From the fruit of his mouth a good man eats goods, but the desire of the treacherous is for violence. He who guards his mouth preserves his life, he who opens hides his lips comes to ruin. (proverbs 13:2-3)
5. Maybe you have encountered a person who seems to open their mouth and seem not to know what they are talking about. Peter through out his life seems to fall in each of those categories. You remember Peter who had the bad habit of opening his mouth to speak without knowing the significant of what he was saying.
a. He did not know that confessing Jesus as the Messiah also meant that Jesus would have to suffer and died. For when Jesus was telling him what He would have to endure on cross, Peter opened his mouth and chastised Jesus; and Jesus had to correct him.
b. He did not know that in order to walk on water with Jesus would require more that just having the desire to do so but it required faith. When he saw Jesus standing upon the waters of the Sea of Galilee, Peter opened his mouth and said, Lord if it really you, allow me to come to you on the water. And he got out of the boat and walked on the water towards Jesus. But when he saw the winds upon the water, he got frighten and began to sink. Jesus had to save him.
c. He did not know that although he promised never to leave Jesus, he would not only leave him but he would deny him when asked by several people after Jesus’ arrest, “do you know Jesus.” No, no, no.” And Jesus just looked upon him
d. He did not know that loving Jesus required more than just a ‘philos’ love but it would required a sacrificial love- agape. Jesus asked Peter three times, do you love me and yet each time Peter responded with an “I love you, (philos in Greek-meaning brotherly love).
6. And it was not Peter’s own personal fault for thinking like this. He was taught like any other Jewish fishermen of his time to think a certain way. During this time, the minds of the Jewish people were shut-in by walls of prejudice. They were taught to think this way- socially, religiously, financially, and politically. The Jews thought that all God’s grace and favor was reserved for themselves alone. The Pharisees thought that true holiness was confined within the circle of their pious members.
a. Peter’s mind had to be transformed to think a new way. Our spiritual transformation can only take place when we make ourselves available, accessible, and acceptable to God. “I appeal to you therefore brethren by the mercies of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1) He was available, accessible, and acceptable.” And when you have covered those three points then and only then can there be a “transforming by the renewal of your mind that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.