Summary: Most of our knowledge about God is second hand knowledge. God calls us to expereince first hand knowledge about Him.
Growing in your Knowing
Intro: Ever heard someone say, “There are people who know things then there are people who really know things”? Meaning there is second hand knowledge then there is first hand KNOWLEDGE. What you know or think you know can hurt you. For example:
Religion is nothing more than man’s response to the god he thinks he knows. IF all you knew about god was what you were taught from Moslem parents, then you would respond to the god you think is know.
What if the god you think you know is not the God who is?
There are going to be a lot of surprised people who stand before the God who says, “Depart from me ye who work iniquity, for I never knew you.”
Note the order of the scripture in verse 5. First comes faith. “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing the Word of God.” Then we are told to add to our faith virtue. This word means to please God. What pleases God? Faith that causes us to obey Him and become like Him. In essence we become like the One we worship. He is holy so we become holy in all our conduct. See I Peter 1:15
Now we are to add to our holy lifestyle more knowledge.
This word “knowledge” is in Greek gnosis from ginosko, which means to know experientially. It is the piecing together of the present fragments of knowledge about God that you have.
This knowledge is the pieces of knowledge we have personally experienced about God. So as we walk in holiness we will personally experience more first hand knowledge of God and this knowledge we are to keep adding will cause us to grow more like Him.
I know more about God today than I did when I first got saved.
I remember how disappointed I was when I first arrived at Bible College. It was mostly intellectual 2nd hand knowledge in academic environment. Churches in the area were dull, and seemed lifeless. They had the letter of Law but not the Spirit of the Law.
I know more today about God than I did this time last year! I have experienced some things about God that the Bible does not come right out and explicitly teach but reveals by many illustrations in Bible. But I also know from experience. For example:
God sure seems slow to me sometimes, but He is never late! This is not taught in the Bible but from personal experience.
Another thing I have personally learned about God is, God may hurt you but He will never harm you. Some painful experiences in life have been best training ground for me from God.
There are things you may know about God that you have learned as you walk in obedience to His obvious Word.
Read John 14:21
He will show you things you could never know if you will purposely pursue holy living.
Only God knows everything, He is Omniscient. People ask “Will I know everything there is to know when I get to heaven?” They use I Cor. 13:12. Certainly we will know more thoroughly than we know now, but I don’t think that means we will know everything like God.
We don’t need to know everything! Example: Where did God come from? He is Eternal, but who knows exactly and fully what that means? The fuses in our brains start popping at that thought because it is too much power for us to think about. God does not explain it so we don’t really need to know it. It would not make any difference anyway.
God does not want us to have the knowledge of evil. Gen 2:17 “of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:…die”
Knowledge is taking in data. Wisdom is properly applying the knowledge we have.
2 Types of wisdom: James 1:13-18
1. Wisdom from above
2. Wisdom from beneath.
Data + wisdom from above = truth that results in love action (Godly knowledge)
Data + “ “ beneath = pride resulting in error (earthly, sensual, devilish knowledge)
All this takes place in the mind. This is where spiritual warfare begins. 2 Cor. 10:4-5.
Illustration from scripture Matthew 16:16-17.
Jesus points out this truth was not gained by intellectual pursuit but by divine revelation. This is combining data with wisdom from above.
In same context is example of combining data with wisdom from beneath. When Peter learned Jesus would die, he combined this data with Satan’s wisdom that Jesus was just a man and needed protection. Read 16-23.
The key to recognize whether a thought is fro God or Satan is in your walking in faith and holiness. When you do this you become mighty in spirit. As you walk in victory over sin by allowing HS control your spirit, soul, and body, you grow in power from God’s Spirit.