Temple Baptist Church - 8-17-2014
1 Corinthians 13:1-2; Genesis 2:7-9
A. When dealing with a particular subject, I often go back to the principle of First Mention in order to glean the truth of God’s Word in the first mention of that subject. We all know of the tree of knowledge of good and evil that God placed in the garden but I want to make a quick application from verse 9. Knowledge can be both good and evil!
B. God has given to man a mind that can learn and apply that which is learned. The application of knowledge can be applied in a good way or it can be applied in an evil way. Wisdom is the right application of knowledge and foolishness or wickedness is the wrong application of the same.
C. Knowledge is a wonderful thing. One of the things that has destroyed God’s peoples is a lack of biblical knowledge:
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (I have often said that largest denomination in America is the Church of the Ignorant Brethren. Paul said some 7 times in one form or the other “I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren.”)
D. Now, I want to look at the second mention of knowledge in the bible. Correct doctrine and biblical knowledge come through progressive revelation. In the first mention of any subject, God states His mind concerning that subject and never changes but as the subject is expanded through other mentions, we get a fuller explanation.
Exodus 31:1-3 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, (2) See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: (3) And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, (God’s will for biblical knowledge is anchored in His people having three things before knowledge.)
1. A Right Spirit. The spirit of God (notice spirit is not capitalized). The spirit of God is the spirit of love that brings about a godly relationship with Him. A spirit of meekness; a spirit that is contrite; a spirit of humility. Psalms 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
2. Wisdom. The right application of knowledge which is application to self! Matthew 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
3. Understanding. Understanding means to separate mentally or to distinguish. Not to understand the principles of knowledge is not to know how to use it. I have seen people that were well educated but could never rightly apply that education and make it work. Understanding is the bridge between wisdom and knowledge. It is the foundation for right application or wisdom to apply that knowledge. Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
4. Knowledge. Notice that knowledge comes after a right spirit, wisdom, and understanding. Not the child of God is ready to receive the proper teaching of God’s Word. Hebrews 5:11-14 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. (12) For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. (13) For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (14) But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
5. Workmanship. Now, all of the above give the child of God the right tools to do the all of the work of the ministry!
E. What ever happened to the words “I love you” coming from the pulpits or the lips of the saved? Simple words that need to be expressed. Love of the brethren; love for the sinner; love for the spiritually weak as well as the strong. Compassion or love is as important as knowledge and sound doctrine! I want to look at two things that knowledge without compassion will do:
1. Knowledge without Compassion will divide the brethren! ***Romans 14:1-8
a. Knowledge puffeth up. 1 Corinthians 8:1-2 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. (2) And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. (Puffeth up – to inflate or to make proud)
Galatians 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
b. Charity covers up. 1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. (Charity is more important than knowledge!)
1 Corinthians 13:1-2 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. (2) And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
2. Knowledge without Compassion will drive away the lost! John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
a. We are God’s epistles seen and read of men. 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: (3) Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. (Tables of stone are hard and cold truths. Fleshly tables of the heart are soft and warm truths.)
b. It is the love of God that draws men to Christ. John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (Men are drawn to Christ through our love for them, not our knowledge.)