Friday, March 6, 2015
This third step is one I enjoy – and I share each day. Knowledge. The joy I have learning about God’s word falls into this category:
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; (2 Peter 1:5 KJV)
If you’re not familiar with the faith and virtue part, look back a couple of days and you’ll find that these are steps Peter sees as essential to Christian growth. This third part is where we can get stuck. Especially, if like me, it is so wonderful to learn – and so difficult to apply, so we keep looking to find something that fits our lifestyle.
Adding knowledge may sound as simple as single verse salvation – do as the jailer who asked Paul and Silas what he had to do to be saved:
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:31 KJV)
Saying “I believe” is not believing. The jailer had knowledge, doctrine - a set of beliefs - to acquire and build upon:
And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. (Acts 16:32 KJV)
I wonder which scriptures they used. There were no New Testament writings at this point – Luke hadn’t written these words to Theophilus. Did Paul speak of doctrine, as Moses did?
Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. (Deuteronomy 32:1-3 KJV)
Zophar declined Job’s doctrine:
For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes. But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee; And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth. (Job 11:4-6 KJV)
Yet we know – and Zophar discovered – that Job’s doctrine, his knowledge of God, was correct. His tribulations were seen as God’s punishment, but his belief that his actions were pure in God’s eyes remained firm. His doctrine was pure, and he was unmoved, as David described:
He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. (Psalms 62:6 KJV)
Yet, it is possible to be stuck in this area. Unable to accept there is a true doctrine we keep searching, tossed to and fro:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
The way we move past this is often overlooked in the next verse:
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (Ephesians 4:14-15 KJV)
For Christians need to be aware that one single, very important, person had doctrine in which we need to place our faith:
And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: (Matthew 7:28 KJV)
And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine. (Matthew 22:33 KJV)
The knowledge we need most is the doctrine Jesus Christ taught.
Knowledge is only the third step. A place where we can be carried about by those who may be in the same step. Peter gives us eight to consider. Moving to the fourth part may be difficult. I know from personal experience.