THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 4-30-06
LESSON TITLE: "PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE: KNOWLEDGE"
The prophet Jeremiah once proclaimed the Word of God when he said, "I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord!" So what about you, do you know your God on this wondrous Lord's day? Have you chosen to serve your God and to put Him first in all things?
Welcome to our program and let me thank you all for joining us this day for this time of Worship to our God. It is my prayer that we are all doing our best, today and every day, to accomplish everything according to God's precious will and His eternal purpose. Won't you do your part this morning so that God may truly be praised and so that all we offer toward His throne will be done in spirit and in truth.
With these thoughts in mind, will you bow with me before His almighty throne in prayer.
Now it's time to join in our first song of the morning. Our first hymn of the day reminds us that we have an anchor in this life to help us to stand firm and secure. So, won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "Will Your Anchor Hold."
(SONG # 1)
In Mark 10:9 we read the words of Jesus in connection to those who become husband and wife in the eyes of God. There we read, "Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." In the context we read about a man and woman leaving their parents to establish a new home in the sight of God. furthermore, we learn that the joining of this man and woman is before God and He then considers this as one flesh! Thus as the marriage relationship is before God, it is sealed by God there is no one on this earth that has a right to dissolve it. Wow, this doesn't sound at all like what we find happening in our country today.
With this in mind I would like to briefly mention some other things in the Bible which God has joined together, yet man has chosen to separate them - although this is contrary to the Will of our Creator. How about God the Father and God the Son! There are many today who want to accept one or the other, but reject the fact that you must accept, believe in and obey both the Father and the Son. Both are God and you can not separate the two. This is exactly what Jesus said in John 10:30, "I and My Father are one." He further stated in John 14:9, "...He who has seen Me has seen the Father...;" Truly the Father and Son are one and the same!
Another thing which many like to separate in our world today is Christ and His church! Somehow, many have been able to ignore what scriptures say and feel that the church is insignificant or unimportant to our salvation. Well, I love the way Luke put it in Acts 20:28, there we read, "...to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood." In this text these elders where encouraged to shepherd the church of God which was purchased with the very blood of Christ. I would say that if the church is purchased with the blood of Christ, that this makes it of the utmost importance!
On and on we could go, but suffice it to say that many will always turn away and twist the simple truths and teachings of Christ. So what about you, are you willing to accept the teachings of Christ. Or will you be guilty as many men of separating what God has joined together?
As far as our speaker of the day, we are happy to again have brother Jerry Sullins with us. As you know, brother Jerry is the director of the Bible Institute of Missouri, and as well he is my father! We thank brother Sullins for being with us this day and we look forward to him guiding our thoughts on God's Word.
Our topic of study this day, will be a continuation of our discussion entitled, "Partakers of the Divine Nature." Our specific lesson of the morning will focus on, "Knowledge." So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, brother Jerry Sullins will be leading us in this study of the day. But for now let's join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "Let Him Have His Way."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Jerry Sullins
I'd like to welcome you to The Living Word broadcast. It's so wonderful to have you in the audience this morning and we hope and pray that what is said today may strengthen you in the faith.
A wonderful theme has been provided for us for the next few weeks. I believe it began last week or the week before on "Partakers of the Divine Nature." One of my favorite passages of the scripture, in fact, books, would be the book of 2 Peter and so this morning, we're going to be involving ourselves in a detailed study of some of the things that are found in the book of 2 Peter.
Knowledge is so important. In fact, without knowledge as we might say, there is nothing we can know. There is nothing we can perceive. There is no way to assume in anyway or to try to plan anything because we would actually not know anything. There are many people that project in our world today, especially in the educational world, that it is impossible to know anything, but the scripture certainly opposes such a thought and such an idea. In fact, the scripture opposes it in such a strong way that we see two books basically in the New Testament dealing with knowledge, the necessity for knowledge, the wonderful attribute of having knowledge in our lives and what knowledge can do for us.
One such book is the book of 1 John and if we turn our Bibles over to 1 John, we see that knowledge is something that is perceived through experience. 1 John chapter 1, verse 1, John the apostle said, "That which was from the beginning which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and our hands have handled concerning the Word of life, the life was manifested and we have seen and bear witness and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us, that which we have seen and heard we declare to you that you also may have fellowship with us and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ." Now John went on in his book to talk about knowledge itself and the gaining of knowledge and especially the ability to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. You've heard the term "agnostic." That's a person who does not believe that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. In fact, there is no way that you can believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God unless you believe that He came in the flesh. And so John uses that entire book to speak of knowledge and over and over again we see knowledge, the concept of knowledge being promoted in that wonderful epistle of 1 John.
Now some have asked, "Well, is it possible to know anything, in fact, is it possible to know the truth?" I'd like to give you an answer to that, and the answer is "Yes!" John 8:32, Jesus said... If I can believe anyone, can I not believe Jesus? It was Jesus who said in John 8:32, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." You shall what? "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." And what was that truth? Jesus said in John 17:17 to His apostle, "Sanctify them in thy truth. Thy words are truth." So as we look at the words on the pages of the Word of God, we can know the truth. We can know the truth and it is that truth and our adherence to it whereby we can be saved.
Now in the book of 2 Peter chapter 1 as we look at those principles that are taught in that first chapter, sometimes they're referred to as "The Christian Virtues," and where the apostle Peter is saying there in verse 5, "For this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, virtue knowledge..." Faith and virtue, that is moral purity has already been covered. And now he mentions knowledge. There seems to be a progression here signifying and symbolizing the growth and knowledge is one of those things that is included right here at the first of this list.
Now we want to look into the book of 2 Peter and see what is spoken of concerning knowledge. Let's look first of all at the very first few verses of 2 Peter chapter 1. As you look at verse 1, "To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ..." And then in verse 2, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." So what can we know in God and Jesus our Lord? We can know grace and peace. And then in verse 3 it says, "As its divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who has called us by glory and virtue." So therefore we can know all things. And again, in verse 4, "By which have been given to us exceeding great and precious promises that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature." Now by which? By the knowledge of Jesus Christ. So here we see grace and peace comes to us through knowledge. We also see how all things that pertain unto life and godliness come to us by knowledge and we also see how that all the precious promises of God come to us by knowledge. Now my friend, I've got a question to ask of you. How can you know of these things unless you know them? And if you know them, where did you get that truth? Where did you obtain the understanding? You obtain the understanding through the knowledge of what you know that is revealed to us through God's precious and holy Word.
Now 2 Peter greatley emphasises this term or concept of knowledge. In fact, over ten times in the book of 2 Peter, knowledge is mentioned. But it is a different word from the word that is used sometimes in 1 John, the original language word "gnosis" (not sure of spelling) which means simple knowledge. Now he doesn't use that same term always in 1 John, but gnosis is used. But here in 2 Peter and also in 1 John when it speaks about all of these wonderful things that we have through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and God the Father, the Word is used from the original "epignosis" which simply means "a full, perfect and precise knowledge." Now look at verse 2 again, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge..." That is the full, precise, and perfect knowledge of God. So what is Peter saying here? We have the full, precise and perfect of God through whom? Through Jesus and God our Father. The precious promises, that is found in verse 4, "All things pertaining to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who has called us by glory and virtue." These very same things are the full, perfect and precise knowledge that we receive through the precious words of God.
Now how does this knowledge come to us and how did it come to us? Well, Peter gives some insight in that. As we turn to 2 Peter chapter 3, verse 2, Peter said that, "You may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets and the commandments of us, the apostles of our Lord and Savior." So how do we know it? Through the prophets and the apostles of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. John was one of those apostles.
2 Peter 1, verses 20-21 says, "Knowing this first of all that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the Will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." So did these men bring their own words? Certainly not! They brought the Words of the Father and those Words were given to them by the Holy Spirit of God. Those were the Words that they spoke.
Then again in 2 Peter chapter 3, verse 2, it says that it comes through the apostles. So through the prophets, the holy men of God, through the apostles, we have those Words of truth that make us knowledgeable. That gives us what? All things that pertain unto life and godliness. That give us further what? All the promises, precious promises that are found in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Now as we think about these wonderful gifts that have come to us from God through the knowledge of the Word of God, I would like for us to understand knowledge in this way, and let's think of it as being a key. Knowledge is really the key that opens many doors for us and when we think of it in a spiritual way, we see that knowledge is something that we could envision as a key that opens the door by understanding to many things and Peter points out some of those things. My friends, how would we understand or know that we're in sin and we need a Savior unless we had the knowledge of it? In fact, as Peter said in 2 Peter 2 verse 20, "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome the latter end is worse for them than the beginning." So what is it we learn as we become Christians and even before we become Christians through the knowledge of the Word of God? We understand how the world has polluted us with sin. It seems like that this world today has literally gone crazy out of their minds seeking after the pleasures of this world. I know you might say, "Well, you're just another preacher who is singing the same tune." Well yeah, that's the same tune that Jesus spoke. That's the same tune that the apostles spoke. That's the same tune that the prophets spoke of. That's the same tune that every man of God and every woman of God speaks of because they know what sin will do to us. It will lead us away from God and it has led, unfortunately, most of this world, including the United States of America, to follow after the things of this world and be in the process of losing their souls for doing so.
Now as we look at how it unlocks our understanding of this, remember what was said in verse 4, "By which He has given unto us exceeding great and precious promises..." This is 2 Peter chapter 1, verse 4, "... that through these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." Lust is an inordinate desire for anything. An inordinate means an unlawful desire. An unlawful desire means that which God does not allow. Whether we like to accept it or not, being made by our Creator, our Creator did not leave us on this earth and not tell us that there are some things that are allowed and that there are some things that are not allowed. He left us with the knowledge of what sin can do to us and how we can get rid of that sin.
A beautiful passage of scripture is found in the 1st epistle of Peter where Peter said in 1 Peter chapter 1, verses 22 and 23, "Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth, through the Spirit and sincere love of the brethren, love one another with a pure heart fervently, having been born again, not of corruptible sin but incorruptible with the Word of God which lives and abides forever."
We have done what? We as Christians know that we have purified our souls in obeying the truth through what? Through our knowledge, the knowledge that we have gained from the Word of God itself.
Knowledge is that key that opens the door to grace and peace as Peter said in 2 Peter chapter 1, verse 2. Did you notice that? It opens the door to grace and peace. Well how does it open that door? Because it tells us of the grace of God.
Ephesians 2, verse 8, "For by grace are you saved through faith, that not of itself it is a gift of God."
Titus 2, verse 11 says that definitely God has made it possible for us to become involved in the grace of God because the grace of God that brings salvation hath appeared unto all man, teaching us, and that grace of God that brings salvation to all men, that is Jesus Christ the Son of God, has taught us what we must do to rid ourselves of sin in our lives. The scripture says so. How do I know? Because I can read it and if I can read it, I can understand it because God has given me those words that I can understand and if I can understand it and if I have the knowledge of it, then I have the responsibility to obey what God has said.
The only question in your mind today is, "How can I have grace and peace by obeying Jesus?" Well, what did Jesus say? How can I have that peace that passeth all understanding? How can I become a partaker of that divine nature? By burying myself in baptism in the body of Christ. "Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into His death that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should be raised to walk in newness of life." If you haven't submitted to God's Will concerning that, then you are denying the knowledge that is present for you in the scripture. Why did Jesus say, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be condemned." If He did not expect us to "believe that He was the Son of God and be baptized in the likeness of His death, burial, and resurrection so that we may be raised to walk in the newness of His life," Mark 16:15-16.
So the decision is yours. Can you know the grace of God? Yes. Can you know God's Will? Yes. Can you experience God's peace? Certainly so. Can you be a partaker of those precious promises that are there for you? Yes you can and you will if you obey God's Word. That's the only thing that you need to do to commit yourself to an obedience of God's Word and then, as the scripture says in verse 3 of 2 Peter chapter 1, verse 3, "By which we are given to us exceeding great and precious promises that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." My friend, you can do that if you respond to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and obey it.
(SONG # 3 - "Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus!")
As always it was great to have you join us this morning. I hope our time together has been uplifting and profitable to all. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this worship to God!
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How blessed we are to have the knowledge from God to fully know Him and His precious Will. May we all obey that which is from God and found in His Word - the Bible!