Summary: #2 In the scriptures there is the assumption that anyone who is born again of the Spirit of God, that that person has the very power of God to live a life of godliness. This is not a life that is some unproductive barren wasteland, but a life that is full
The Enlargement of Life
Living Virtue confirmed by Knowledge
Reading: 2 Peter 1:1-11
There is a premise in the scripture, that anyone who is born again of the Spirit of God has within them the very enabling power of God to live lives of godliness. The premise is not that we are a people who are destined to struggle and fudge our way through life; with a vague sense of direction, which happens to have the happy ending that, we finally go to be with Jesus. The premise of the scripture is that we are people who have the power of God to live lives that are full, complete, whole, enriched and godly.
Since we are talking about a way of life that is growing and developing, it means that there is a learning process that begins at the point of new birth and is ongoing throughout life. The process of redemption and sanctification are ongoing and not a final arrival point, when you are born again.
Last time we looked at the charge of Peter to add to our faith, virtue. Add to what is lived out, what is a fact of your new birth, what is an ongoing renewal of your Lord; add to your faith Moral Excellence. Be in an ongoing way people who are living a morally upright life, that is free and continually being freed, from the onslaught of the corrupting world and its system. That system is insidiously and persistently seeking to undermine and corrupt with the aim of entrapping you into being a slave to sin once again. Having once caught you once again, you are rendered ineffective and unable to completely fulfill what God has for you as child of His life and light. Add to your faith the Moral Excellence of your Lord God.
Now that sounds a fine but abstract sort of thing. "Yes, I have received the Moral Excellences of my Lord." [Slide 6] But receiving the likes is one thing, but knowing what they are and what to do with them is another. Peter them points to the need for adding to this Virtue the Knowledge of such.
In the reading the word Knowledge appears some five times. The occurrences in verses 2, 3 and 8, have the sense of our coming into a [Slide 7] comprehension of His revelation. In verses 5 and 6, holds the sense of that which we have come to know is true because of our experiences of the truth of that revelation
Verses 2, 3 + 8; (READ) [Slide 8] this is the Greek word E-PI-GNOSIS, there is the recognition, the full discernment and acknowledgement of what has been revealed to you. It comes from another Greek word, which holds the sense of, "What you have become fully acquainted with." You now know it to be true because it has been revealed to you as truth. God is good, God is holy, and God is righteous and pure. God is totally uncontaminated by anything that reduces or lessens what He actually is.
That word E-PI holds the meaning of the "superimposition of direction." There is the sense here of something imposing a [Slide 9] shape and direction. Using the analogy of water, the life of man is the water. If it were permitted to it would spread out do nothing, and in the heat of the day, evaporate. However if it is channeled, be it through rivers, channels, ducting, conduits, pipes or what ever. It now has a direction, its energy can be enhanced and used, and it now has a use and purpose. This superimposition has detained you, it has so arrested you and got a grip one you, and it now has you paying attention to it. [Slide 10 + 11]
Now that word E-PI is combined with the word GNOSIS. GNOSIS, [Slide 12] which basically means Knowing, or having knowledge. This has come from another word, which means, "To be aware of, to perceive and to understand." You have by experience come to know, you have proved by your experience that this is so. So you have the revelation, which your experience has shown to be true. So when Peter writes, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." He is saying, ‘This grace and peace which God has revealed, let your experience of this channeling revelation be one which holds an ongoing growth for you in such things.’ This revelation of God has so got a grip of you, it is shaping and directing your life, what is more our experience is proving this to be so.
The revelation that not only confirms our experience but initiates our experience. Even though that is a contradiction in terms, that is what happens. The revelation of Jesus and the experience of Jesus in our lives are to be inseparable.