Personally Knowing Something To Be True, Not Just Accepting It As True
“and to virtue knowledge”
I. Introduction (1Peter 2:1,2)
Faith gets us into God’s family,
and forms the
foundation that our life can rest upon
Virtue keeps us from getting
defeated by sin like it used to
C. Next comes KNOWLEDGE that needs to be added to our spiritual diet
1. Why must a Christian pick this Book up and read it from cover to cover?
2. Why come to a church that teaches through the contents of this Bible Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening?
3. Why go through Discipleship? Two years of discipleship!
4. Because there is a spiritual instinct, a spiritual need in every human being to feed on TRUTH – knowing it, and learning it, and believing it, and living on it – instead of living on fairy tales and on theories and on opinions, and on philosophies!
D. The purpose of growing in my own personal knowledge is so that I have some answers for the problems I go through, and answers for the uncertainties in those troubles – in other words, if I could just KNOW some things, the devil will not be able to easily scare me anymore! Examples:
1. Car acting up – just dying, right on the road in traffic – scary. But then when I know that it is an idle problem, then I can adjust my driving and just keep it above the idle and get it home – confidence
2. Health scare – scary when you feel like you are in danger. Only to find out it is the flu, and you are just weak, and will get better in a week – then you can endure without the fear!
II. Knowledge is More than Information and Education
A. Knowledge alone is wrong
1. Information and education fill your mind with facts, names, places, events, statistics – all but with no meaning – no relationship with your life and purpose
2. Knowledge alone kills – is dead – just promotes pride (1Cor 8:1)
3. Martin Luther said “Education without salvation equals damnation”
B. God’s Knowledge is what we need
1. Knowledge is a confidence, a calm assurance in what I KNOW to be true and real, in spite of how I or anyone else feels!
2. Knowledge is an intimacy with some things (knowing something through and through – not just skimming, or superficially)
a. Like knowing God – I KNOW God, and I want to KNOW Him better and deeper (2Tim 1:12; Philp 3:10)
b. Like knowing the Bible – I know some of the truths in this Book, but I so want to know the depths of the riches of the knowledge in this Book (Rom 11:33)
c. Like knowing my wife (1Pet 3:7), and the wife with her husband
d. Like knowing my Job – supposed to learn it better and better, and read up on how to do it better, and improve my performance – that’s how you get raises and promotions folks!!!
3. Knowledge is something that is Proven to be True – you must be able to prove something that you know, or else it is just a guess, or a feeling. If you know something, CAN YOU PROVE IT?
C. Grow in Knowledge (2Peter 3:18) – don’t ever stagnate!
1. All the days of our lives as Christians we are to be increasing in our knowledge of the things of God. It is not enough that we should coast along on the little knowledge we have at our conversion to Christ. We have to have some knowledge in order to be saved. No one is converted to Christ without any knowledge at all. What we know when we are first converted is like the ABC; it is not the whole alphabet.
a. Start off with milk – only able to digest simple truths like a baby
b. Then, slowly you add meat and potatoes
c. Add some salt
d. Then, top it off with some honey from time to time – good stuff, encouraging stuff, uplifting stuff
2. So, the appeal of Peter (2Pet 1:5) here is to be always at our Bible. Always, either reading it or, when we have a moment to spare, thinking about what it says, meditating upon what it says, reflecting on what it means. Even when we are resting, our minds should be trained to go back to the words of this Book and its teaching, its truths and think about how they relate to your life right then and there
3. The appeal is for us to be getting to know more and more of our Lord, and His will – but always through personal, first hand knowledge through the Scriptures – not through other people’s knowledge, not through their thinking, or their interpretations – your own!
4. The appeal is the same as for us to be getting to know more and more of our wives and our husbands, our kids, and our daily tasks
III. Things a Christian Can and Should Firmly KNOW inside and out
A. That God keeps His promises (Rom 4:17-21)
B. Your eternal destiny (Job 19:25; Jn 5:24)
C. That you are different because of Jesus Christ (Jn 9:25; 2Cor 5:17)
D. The will of God for your life (Rom 12:1,2) – your purpose and calling
E. That you reap what you sow (Gal 6:7)
F. What is clearly right and clearly wrong – convictions (Amos 5:15)
G. That people are wicked and in need of God and His word (Dt 31:29; Acts 20:29,32; Rom 7:18)
H. That troubles are ultimately God’s business (Ps 119:75)
I. The Joy of the Lord (Neh 8:10) – don’t just act like you believe it’s there – KNOW it, experience it, LIVE in it, and show it
J. The Fear of the Lord (Prov 1:7) – you had better know this inside and out – don’t ignore
K. Some things will be hard to understand (2Pet 3:15,16) – this is why:
1. Some things are meat, so are meant to be chewed, not just swallowed – very painful, and not easily digested that way – so that means, you have got to study your Bible
a. Read the context
b. Ask the questions
c. Look up cross-references – many Bibles have them listed
2. Some things must be experienced yourself before they are understood
a. Like tithing – you will not ever know the blessings of giving no matter how much you read about it, until you just start giving!
b. Like patience – have to go through trials to appreciate grace and patience and rewards for endurance
3. Some things are meant for others
a. Lambs and temple and Jerusalem and priesthood – belong to the Jews, not to Christians
b. Reading Matthew 24 and it says what to do when the antichrist comes – meant for the Jews in Israel
4. Some things may never be fully understood (1Cor 13:12)
IV. What is a Christian’s Life without a Growing Amount of Biblical Knowledge?
A. Dead, dry, empty and worthless – why?
1. Because all the information of the world won’t help your soul
2. You need to get to know things inside and out
3. More than just memorising letters on a page, facts, figures, names – who cares?! Real Knowledge is learning the WHY’S of the facts, and the MORALS of the events of history!
B. Simple knowledge is like a boring relationship – nothing more to talk about, discover, explore – life should not be that way!
1. Marriage – always be a little intriguing, always exploring (1Pet 3:7)
2. Bible – go on a treasure hunt – deeper still deeper
3. Prayer – see how much grace you can tap into (James 5:16)
V. How to Grow in Knowledge
A. Grow in grace first (2Pet 3:18)
B. Study out what you believe for yourself
1. Personal devotions and Bible Study at home
a. Bring Bible Study tools
b. Examples of a search and learning time
c. Use a notebook!
2. Church meetings – learning all the time
3. Discipleship lessons
4. Bible Institute
C. Teach others – get answers for them – then you will grow
1. The purpose of being discipled, is to learn for sure, but you will REALLY learn when you take the lessons that you learned under Paul, or under myself, or under Tony, and turn around and teach someone else, yourself!
2. There is no better way to learn than to be forced to learn so that you have answers for someone else – Sunday School teacher (Bro Kevin, have you learned through teaching? Of course!)
3. Moms – teach your kids at home
4. Dads – teach your kids
5. Teens – get involved and help out with Sunday School and Creche, and Bible Clubs, and teach a bit – and YOU WILL LEARN!
D. Test what you think you know – adjust as you discover new truths, and always bring what you know in line with what God says (EX: Christopher Columbus and the circle of the earth)
E. Keep your knowledge practical (Heb 13:9; 1Cor 8:1) and balanced with love
A. In simple terms, we are to be adding knowledge of the Bible constantly to our minds and hearts. This is the very life of our life: the very soul of our faith - the Word of God. If you and I intend to be diligent Christians, able to stand against the wiles of the devil, there is no other formula on earth,
1. We must have the shield of faith, yes!
2. And the breastplate of righteousness - virtue
3. AND the knowledge of the Word of God, which is a sharp two-edged sword against all attacks.
B. Therefore, Peter tells us we must add knowledge; and that is why we have to read the best books.
1. There are a million books that we will never read; even good books that we will never be able, in our lifetime, to read. I love good books, and have some books in my study that I will never read. I wish I had time to read them all, but there isn't time. Time is rushing us on with so many duties, night and day.
2. But, there is one book that we dare not be ignorant about - the Word of God. We must read it from Genesis to Revelation over, and over, and over again. Not simply that we might have a superficial knowledge of it, as a person may scan over a newspaper and pick out a bit here and a bit there. No, we must know its very language, its ready application; its very tone and spirit must be ours.
C. In two weeks (after resurrection Sunday, we will return to the next step to take, the next characteristic to add to our lives - Temperance
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland