Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Importance of Biblical Knowledge

Temple Baptist Church - 11-29-2017
2 Peter 1:1-2


A.  The key word to this second epistle, written by Peter to the dispersed Jews, is “knowledge.” 

1.  In verse 2, we find that the grace of God to live in this present evil world and the peace to live in this present evil body come through the knowledge of God and our Lord Jesus Christ.  Knowledge belongs to God as one of His attributes is that of omniscience, or all knowledge. 

2.  Science without the knowledge of God becomes “science falsely so-called.”  Thus, we understand the importance of knowing God through the natural world and knowing Him personally through the Lord Jesus Christ.

3.  The biblical definition of the word “knowledge” is found its first mention.  I continue to express the importance of the First Mention Principle of Bible interpretation. 

a)  The first mention of knowledge was not found in the fruit of the tree but in the command of God.  Genesis 2:9  And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil

b)  I do not know what that fruit was, and it really makes no difference.  It was probably a tree that no longer exists as it was there for a divine purpose and that purpose is finished.  The purpose of the tree was to obey or nor to obey. 

c)  The word “knowledge” goes with both words: good and evil.  The knowledge of good was to obey God and not to eat; the knowledge of evil was to disobey God and to eat.  The possibility of knowing is found here.

Genesis 3:5  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods,knowing good and evil.  (The actual knowledge or being fully aware of is found here.)

4.  Through disobedience to God’s clear command, Adam and Eve’s spiritual eyes were opened.  Genesis 3:6-7  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.  (7)  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

a)  The fruit was good for food.  There was nothing wrong with the fruit! 

b)  The fruit was pleasant to look upon.  It was a beautiful creation of God!

c)  The fruit was desired to make one wise.  It was there to give wisdom to the obedient!

d)  The fruit did not cause their eyes to be open nor did it remove their innocence.  Their disobedience did that!  Disobedience to God brought about the knowledge of good and evil!

5.  In the First Mention of the word ‘knowledge,” it is the knowledge of both good and evil.  This principle remains consistent throughout the Bible. 

6.  The responsibility of knowledge is found in Genesis 2:9 and is also explained in the first four verse of the Book of Proverbs:

Proverbs 1:1-4  The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;  (2)  To know (to be subjected to knowledge) wisdom and instruction; to perceive (to understand knowledge) the words of understanding;  (3)  To receive  (to personally implement knowledge) the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;  (4)  To give (to pass knowledge along to the next generation) subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

B.  Here in Genesis, we find both the positive and negative aspects of knowledge:

1.  The positive side of knowledge.

a)  Knowledge informs the believer of the ways of God -Psalms 95:10  Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:  (The knowledge to Adam and Eve was to not eat of the tree.  We do not have to taste of sin to know it is sin.  If God said to leave something alone, He means it for our good.)

b)  Knowledge informs the believer of the will of God -Ephesians 1:9  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: (The will of God is purposed in God!  Christ Jesus made this perfectly clear in the Garden when He said, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Matthew 26:39) 

2.  The negative side of knowledge.

a)  A lack of knowledge destroys the believer - 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.  (Adam and Eve transgressed the command of God and knew that they were naked of innocence and in a sinful state.  The verse keeps coming back to me: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”  The transgression of the knowledge that God gives to us becomes the knowledge of nakedness or the loss of innocence which is sin.)

b)  A wrong use of knowledge puffs up the believer - 1 Corinthians 8:1  Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. (To inflate by blowing; to make haughty; to make proud.)

C.  God wants His children to be knowledgeable concerning the Word of God and His will for our lives.  The word knowledge is used 41 times in Proverbs alone.

            1.  God wants us to know His Word for our profit.

            2.  God wants us to know His Will for our lives.

            3.  God wants us to know His Work for soul’s sake.

            4.  God wants us to know His Wherewithal to get the work done.

D.  Here is my definition of Wisdom: Wisdom is the right application of knowledge.  Knowledge is the foundation for wisdom, thus, the two are intricately tied together.

a.  The Wisdom Of Testimony - 2 Chronicles 1:10  Give me nowwisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?  (Knowledge can only be properly used with wisdom.)

b.  The Wisdom Of Silence - Proverbs 8:12  I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.  (Prudence means shrewdness or craftiness.  There is a time to be quiet.  As wise as serpents-harmless as doves.  Just because something is right does not mean that you need to say it!!!!)

c.  The Wisdom Of Discernment - Colossians 1:9  For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.  (Knowing when and where to use the knowledge that God has given to you.  You can do the right thing in the wrong place or time and still be wrong.)

d.  The Wisdom Of Meekness – James 3:13  Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

Galatians 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  (Most correction is done in a harsh manner!)

E.  Six reasons why it is important to pursue knowledge of the Scriptures:

1.  Knowledge gives substance to faith.

2.  Knowledge stabilizes us during times of testing.

3.  Knowledge enables us to handle the Word of God accurately.

4.  Knowledge equips us to detect and confront error.

5.  Knowledge makes us confident and consistent in our walk with God.

6.  Knowledge filters out our fears and superstitions.

F.  As a lack of knowledge destroys, the wrong use of knowledge also destroys:  Knowledge must be accompanied with charity in order to be used properly.  It is interesting that charity is a New Testament Word.  In the Old Testament, under the law, it was do or die.

1.  Knowledge Without Charity Becomes An Instrument Of Criticism!  Luke 18:9-14  And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.  (Some people are simply critical.  They know that they are critical and continue to use their tongue in an unloving manner.)
2.  Knowledge Without Love Becomes An Instrument Of Condemnation!  Romans 14:1-5  Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.  For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.  Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.  Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.  One man esteemeth one day above another: nother esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.  (Some people are simply hard and harsh.  They know that they are hard and harsh and yet continue to be so. To harshly judge or to tell someone off.)

3.  Knowledge Without Love Becomes An Instrument Of Cruelty!  Luke 9:51-56  And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,  And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.  And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.  And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?  But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.  For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.  (The lost are lost!  Every harlot, drunk, drug abuser, shacked up person, etc. are more than welcome on the pews of Temple Baptist Church.  We have biblical standards for the lifestyles of our people and expect them to abide by those standards and, yet, even babes in Christ who come to Temple and must be taught.  Let your pastor decide who needs to come and when to correct!)

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