I am amazed at the power that the Bible gives to knowledge! Consider 2 Peter 1:3, “God's divine power has granted all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”
Literally, all the power available from God to live and be godly comes through knowledge! Amazing!
What a premium we should put on doctrine and instruction in the Scriptures! Life and godliness are at stake.
Not that knowing guarantees godliness! It doesn't. But it seems that ignorance guarantees ungodliness. Because, Peter says, the divine power that leads to godliness is given through the knowledge of God.
1. Read! Read! Read!
But beware of wasting your time on theological foam and suds. Read rich doctrinal books about “the one who called you to his glory and excellence.” (For example, the books of J. I. Packer)
2. Ponder! Ponder!
Slow down. Take time to think about the Bible. Ask questions. Keep a journal. Let yourself be humbly troubled by puzzling things. The deepest insights come from trying to see the unifying root of two apparently antagonistic branches.
3. Discuss. Discuss.
Be a part of a class or a group that cares passionately about the truth. Not a group that just likes to talk and raise problems. But a group that believes there are biblical answers to biblical problems.
Next Sunday we focus on the second priority of our philosophy of ministry. Remember there are three:
- To reflect the grace of God back to him in worship.
- To apply the grace of God to each other for edification in faith and love.
- To extend the grace of God to unbelievers in domestic evangelism and frontier missions.
Next Sunday we urge edification. But now we can see how crucial the role of knowledge is for the fulfillment of this priority. If power for life and godliness comes through knowledge, and if edification is building people in new life and godliness, then...
“My people perish for lack of knowledge!” (Hosea 4:6).
“They have a zeal for God, but it does not accord with knowledge” (Romans 10:2).
“And they shall not teach every one his fellow or every one his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:11-12).