Summary: Spiritual growth begins and continues with knowledge, spiritual understanding and wisdom regarding the absolute truth of Gods Word.
Colossians 1:9 cont.
(2 Timothy 3:1-9) (Highlight verse 7)
Knowledge is a powerful thing. This passage in 2 Timothy points out the danger of it with the absence of understanding and wisdom. Ask any highly successful business man, like Bill Gates for instance, what the secret of their success is, and you will probably hear the word “knowledge”. They know everything there is to know about the profession they are in. And, if they don’t, they learn it. They make sure they know everything there is to know about their competition. In knowing all these things, they understand how the facts affect their business. With that understanding, they can wisely make decisions that will increase their profits and minimize loss. This is the same basic concept that Paul expresses in verse 9 here in the first chapter of Colossians. Knowledge is the foundational starting point in spiritual growth and, as we will learn later in our study of Colossians, it is also the means of its continuation. However, without understanding and wisdom, knowledge is not only useless, but destructive and deadly. The knowledge that Paul is referring to in vs. 9 is the complete and totally accurate knowledge of God’s will. It is the same thing Paul refers to in 2 Timothy 3:7 that these people are never able to attain. He says they are always learning, or increasing in knowledge, but never attain true knowledge because the knowledge they have is absent of spiritual understanding and wisdom. There are two types of people that reflect this type of knowledge.
1) There are people who know God’s Word cover to cover and they can empress you immensely with this knowledge of scripture. However, when you look at their lifestyle and the activities that occupy their time, it becomes evident that they talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. Their lives are laden with sin and corruption.
2) There are those whom, as Paul is really referring to in 2 Timothy, have studied scripture to a great extent. They to can greatly impress you with their knowledge. But their understanding of scripture is based upon lust, greed and selfish desire. They take the truths of God’s word and twist them to fit their own wants. They don’t care to understand God’s purposes as revealed in the knowledge of His truth but only to attain to their own.
This week, before we venture on to verse 10, I would like to go into further depth on these three points: knowledge, spiritual understanding and wisdom. There is so much deep truth and vital information in verse 9 that it cannot possibly be covered in one hour. In fact, it is so important that, if you can fully grasp this foundational concept, your whole Christian walk will be miraculously transformed. It will transform your study of scripture. It will transform your service to God. And, it will energize your faith and your pursuit of holiness.
Last week I pointed out three things we must do in order to attain the knowledge of God’s will. They where: 1) desire it, 2) depend on the Holy Sprit to reveal it, and 3) study its source.
This week I want to go into greater depths on this process by clarifying each point.
Let’s start by looking at the source of true knowledge. (2 Timothy 3:16) Let’s take a moment to really break this passage down. First of all, scripture is given by inspiration of God. Many would argue that the bible is merely a selection of writings that express a group of men’s personal interpretation, or personal opinion, of who God is. But let’s explore, for a moment, the implications of that statement. If that where a fact, that would mean that all religions would be valid and worthy of our acceptance. All belief systems would point to the same God regardless of the fact that opinions do not always reflect absolute truth. For instance, it is my opinion that the Kansas City Chiefs are the best team in the NFL, but the facts tell me that the Indianapolis Colts annihilated them in the playoffs and went on to win the national title. Therefore, my personal opinion does not reflect the truth. This elementary fact is taught in every grade school in America and yet we disregard it when it comes to religion. Let me ask you a question. When you go out into the public and introduce yourself, do you introduce yourself as George to one person and Carol to another person, and again as Kevin to yet another person? No! You want people to know you for who you are. Save, that is, a few elements that we don’t want others to know about. So why should we believe that God would do that very thing? The fact is, He didn’t. He wanted mankind to know exactly who He is and so He impressed upon the hearts of these men the very words of truth that He wanted them to write. Therefore, the words written in the Bible and all that it teaches, is the complete, inerrant, infallible revelation of the one true Living God, from God to man. He even states in His word that the validity of that statement is proven in the very nature of creation. He doesn’t leave us to flounder about trying to figure out who he is. He tells us who He is.