Summary: Spiritual Growth is important! In this series we’ll use 2 Peter 1 as a blueprint for the areas we are called to continually add to our faith as we grow spiritually. This week: Knowledge of God
Growth by Addition
“Knowledge of God”
2 Peter 1:5 (NIV)
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge
As we continue in our series Growth by Addition, we come to the next level that we are to add to: Knowledge. This level challenges us to add to our Faith a better understanding of our faith. When we do this, we are proactively seeking answers to the questions of:
- Why do I believe?
- Who is controlling things?
- What is my purpose?
There are three categories that we as humans fall into in regards to our feelings of knowledge
What I’m not going to do is speak to the different levels of intellect today. Some people may retain more than others for longer periods of time, but let’s face it; we’re all capable of doing stupid things!
So when I say Ignorance, I’m speaking of simply the lack of knowledge. Maybe it’s because we’ve never been taught, or maybe it’s because we didn’t put in the effort to learn, but regardless, we simply do not know it.
Here we know it all! We can tell you all the info you need forward and backwards, right down to the very last detail. But that’s where it stops. It’s truly just “head-knowledge”.
Wisdom takes all the knowledge and experience, and uses it practically in life. It is the action and application of knowledge.
It is possible to move in categories based on subject. For me, I am knowledgeable and wise in the form of writing, spelling and proper grammar usage. But there are just some areas in math that I’m just plain ignorant!
Well as you can probably tell, God is calling us to Increase by adding to our faith, knowledge, but not just by “knowing more stuff”…
1. Knowledge Itself
Knowledge by itself is nothing. We can amass all the knowledge in the world, and still have gained nothing. It might help you if you ever get on Jeopardy or Who Wants to be a Millionaire, but for the other hours in your day it will be useless because it is not being used for purpose.
Our Spiritual Maturity works the same way. Did you know there are biblical scholars and professors that know the bible inside out, yet still don’t know God? Let’s remove the titles, and bring it closer to home. There are people (maybe even in the church today!) who say they “believe in God”, but don’t really know God.
James 2:19-20 (NIV)
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?
What separates us from demons? How we act on what we profess to believe! We’ve got to take what we know and apply it. It’s not just about the knowledge, but truly “The Knowledge (or Knowing) of God.”
One of the best examples I can think of is that of training to be a Medical Doctor. First you have to get through college (4 years). Next you have to make it into Medical School, where you study more, gaining as much knowledge as possible (4 more years). Then once that is complete, you enter a Residency, which is basically “on the job training”.
Now notice that last step. After 8 years of acquiring knowledge of the human anatomy, and specific skills necessary per each specialized form of medicine, one does not simply walk into the hospital and become a doctor. You have to go and put your knowledge into practice! The Residency portion of training can take up to at least 3 more years! It’s quite a process that requires hours of devotion and sacrifice.
You could look at any profession, and draw the same conclusion: to know how to perform is one thing, to be able to effectively put that knowledge to use is another!
Recognizing this, why is that we are so quick to neglect this principal in our spiritual walks? If we’re going to “know God intimately” we’re going to have learn more about His word, and apply it to our hearts.
And realize that this works the other way around as well.
Just as we can know all about God’s Word, yet still not know God on an intimate level,
Can we know God intimately, but be ignorant to the knowledge of God.
Ignorance is not bliss! If we have a relationship with our savior, but don’t take the time to study His word, or grow in practicing His commands we’re going to miss out on the many blessings that come from “Knowing God”.
John 17:3 (NLT)
And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.