THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 9-19-10
LESSON TITLE: “FOR IF THESE THINGS ARE YOURS AND ABOUND: KNOWLEDGE”
In what is often referred to as the “song of Moses,” we hear these words, “The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father's God, and I will exalt Him.” The Lord our God truly is our God and the one and only God of all! Furthermore, we must praise and worship Him for He has offered us His grace and Salvation!
What a privilege it is this day, to once again assembly before our Creator and to Worship and praise His Name. May we each focus our thoughts on God at this time and give this time fully to His remembrance.
Thus, as we start our devotion to God this morning, let’s begin by talking with our Father in prayer. Bow with me please!
Let’s begin immediately with our songs of praise this day. The first song of the day reminds us of the great redeemer we have in Jesus Christ. So, won’t you do your part at this time and join in with the congregation as we sing together, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives!”
(SONG # 1)
As a parent myself, I finally know what it is like to have children of my own. What a great blessing our families are from God and what a privilege it is in this life to have loved ones to have, hold and God willing - to grow old with.
There is a verse in Proverbs 17:6, that reminds us of just how wonderful children are in this life. There we read, “Children's children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their father.” Notice how this verse reminds us of just how precious children are, but not only children but grandchildren also. In fact, our children are to be our crown and glory in this life. We should be able to look at them and smile, rejoice and know that we have had a great part in making them what they are. In fact, in the same verse we see that the “glory of children is their father!” Wow, what an awesome responsibility!
Here we learn the great importance of each person in a family fulfilling their respective functions according to God’s Will! If we all do what God wants and give our best, we become a great blessing, a glory, and an honor to the other parts of our family. The father is a glory to the mother and children, the mother is a glory to the father and children, and the children are a glory to the father and mother! How beautiful it is to see a family of God all functioning as He commands and ultimately bringing honor to Him, through our love and obedience!
Finally, consider the comparison given of the physical family to the church family. Just as the physical family brings honor to one another and ultimately to God, the church family does the same. Jesus the head brings glory to the church and the church brings glory to the head, Jesus! We read this in Ephesians 5:27, there we read, “that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”
The Bible is clear! What we are striving for in this life is to fulfill our respective positions in life just as God would have us to. Why, so that at the end of the day we will bring glory on those who are around us and on Almighty God Himself. What a blessing it is to be able to “lift God up,” through our obedience to His precious Will!
As far as our series, we will be continuing our study entitled, “For If These Things Are Yours and Abound! Our specific lesson of the day is on “Knowledge.” So, please stay with us this morning and after our next song I will be leading us in this study from God’s Word. Now let’s join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, “I Need Thee Every Hour.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We’re glad you’ve continued with us today.
We want to get right into our lesson by reading a verse found in Hosea chapter 4 and verse 6. There that verse begins by saying, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” What a beautiful and challenging thought is given here. The fact that first of all God has declared a situation of His people, a sad situation and yet a situation that shows why He is sending Hosea. But then secondly He also is telling why He is going to send Hosea. He says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
How important is knowledge? Well knowledge is very important. In fact, as we have been looking together in our series that those things that should be in us and abound in us, today we look at this idea of knowledge. Adding to our faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge. Why is knowledge so important? Well here we learn that one must have knowledge or they might chance being destroyed even by God Almighty. In fact, that verse goes on to say, “Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you.” You see the problem wasn’t God. The problem wasn’t God revealing the knowledge or the problem wasn’t God sending men, great prophets like Hosea to tell the northern kingdom of Israel what they should do and what they were required to do as followers of God. The problem was is that God’s people were now rejecting knowledge. They didn’t want to hear about it. They didn’t want to know about it. Sound familiar? Have you talked to anybody in this day and time that might really be apprehensive to discuss religious things? Or you bring something up and they say, “Well, you know I don’t think it matters. Everybody can just follow God however they want. You can follow whatever God you want and as long as you are spiritual in your own sense or in your own way…” Well, that’s quite a convenient thought. But it is not at all what we are reading here. Because God said because people might reject His knowledge, thus obviously not hearing to obey it, they can be destroyed.
So as we again ask the question: How important is knowledge? I think it is so significant to note that in the very beginning of time when God made man and woman that we find there in Genesis chapter 2 and verse 9 when He placed them in the garden that there was a tree in the midst of the garden that they were told not to eat of. Do you remember what that tree was called in verse 9? It was “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Well how interesting that the very first story in the Bible, the very first tree that we consider that was really a tree that would give some type of special ability or power, is a tree that encompasses the ability to know good and evil. Now that’s the problem because in this world we understand that there’s a such thing as knowledge which is good or profitable or even prosperous and there is a knowledge which is evil, wicked and ungodly. This tree was going to open their eyes if they ate of it and give them the ability to know and to discern between good and evil, to have the knowledge of good and evil.
So again I ask: How important is knowledge? God felt from the very beginning that it was significant that Adam and Eve know something even before they ate of that tree, but after they ate of that tree, that their eyes were clearly opened and they did have knowledge of not only good, but bad and that they had sinned and transgressed the covenant of God Almighty.
The writer of Proverbs, Solomon, again opens our eyes with some of the great importance of what we need as those who know God and as well those who love God. In Proverbs chapter 4 for instance, you might notice another aspect of this knowledge there in verse 5 as he states this. “Get wisdom and get understanding.” In verse 7 of the same text he says, “Wisdom is the principle thing. Therefore, get wisdom and all in all of your getting, get knowledge.” He begins to tie together this idea of needing to not only gain knowledge to know things, but then to understand things, and then as you and I well know to be wise in our understanding which means that we apply the understanding that we have gained through the knowledge and we obey. Wisdom, the wisdom of God!
It is found again in chapter 16 of Proverbs and verse 16. There the wise man said it this way. “How much better to get wisdom than gold,” and he goes on to say, “And to get understanding rather than silver.” He says, “What is better than the most precious things of this earth, gold and silver and those glorious and valuable possessions?” Wisdom, knowledge, understanding!
So when we go there to the New Testament and we see what Peter has to say by the Holy Spirit concerning those things that must abound in us and if they do abound, the verse tells us, we will neither be barren or unfruitful, but we will be fruitful and we will be those who are seen as followers of God. What is essential? Not only to have faith, but to build on that faith with a moral excellence or virtue, and not only to have faith in this moral excellence and to build on these things, but to also have what? Knowledge! Because knowledge is the only way we are able and capable of understanding and reacting, responding to what God wants.
Now to see that better I want us to now go to our main text because there I think one part of the text is significant that really helps us to see how knowledge stands out within the things that are said. There in again 2 Peter chapter 1 notice what Peter identifies to us first of all in his introduction, verse 2. He says, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God.” What type of grace and peace does he wish for these brethren? That they have knowledge in God. Well how else do we know about God’s grace and mercy and love and wonder and the path that He wants us to follow? By knowledge. He has mentioned knowledge there already once.
Look in the next verse. Verse 3 says that, “His divine power has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness through the knowledge.” How do I know all things pertaining to life that I need to know? How do I know all things pertaining to godliness, these things given to me from the Bible? By knowledge, by studying and gaining knowledge that I might understand who God is, what God wants and then by wisdom apply those things in my life.
And he is not done yet because he mentions that not only there in verse 2 and 3, but then as we have already seen together in verse 5 and 6 which is referring to the same one, “Add to your faith virtue and to virtue knowledge,” and then he says, “to knowledge self-control,” but then he also states the same concept in verse 8. “For if these things are yours and abound you will neither be barren or unfruitful (guess what) in the knowledge of God.” We will be fruitful in the knowledge, that which we are as it says here to be into knowledge or into discernment for God. In most of these occurrences we see that this is the idea that it is bringing about, the fact that we need to be those who are striving to get into knowledge or to engage in knowledge and thus full discernment and make judgment. But interestingly enough there, it seems, in verse 5 and 6 that the concept of knowledge is more general in nature. So the next thing we might wonder is how then do I get knowledge? Well we know that we go to God’s Word. It’s the only perfect place from God that would teach us about knowledge.
But specifically what ways do we get knowledge? The first would be that we are taught knowledge. This is nothing difficult to understand because we know that when we are born in this world we really know very little obviously and we have to be taught.
So who then is first responsible to begin teaching us not only to walk and speak, but even those minor things about what we should and shouldn’t do? Our parents! So we begin to be taught or instructed early on that we might gain what? Knowledge to do those things that certainly we must do.
As we grow up we find the same thing. As students in school, we still have teachers. What is the purpose of a teacher? To teach us! Why? That we might gain knowledge! By that knowledge, we will have the understanding necessary in life and godliness to do what should be done.
Then we know eventually that as we grow up, we understand that as adults that if you want to stay in your job and keep your job and keep active in life, you have to continue to grow in knowledge. If you’re a doctor and you just stay with what you gained when you were in school, you’re in great trouble! The same would be true if you were a preacher or a lawyer or anything else. Whatever you do, you must gain more knowledge as things begin to change or as you begin to grow older and you learn more and you have a greater capability and knowledge because of your understanding and application.
But then as we look here we also see the idea that as we in the Bible find examples of the same. I love the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts chapter 8. What I like about it is how it says that he was reading but he couldn’t understand and he asked Philip, after being asked by Philip if he understood what he was reading, and he says, “How can I except someone should guide me?” You see we have to be taught. We gain knowledge by being taught. We also gain knowledge by our own personal study. There are several verses that we could go to, but a very familiar passage to us is found in 2 Timothy there in chapter 2 and verse 15. We know the text says, “Be diligent.” The Old King James says to, “Study.” Well that’s what diligence is, committing to the things of God, the Word of God specifically to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed. Why did they say earlier to study that Word? Well because we have “to not be ashamed to rightly divide the Word of Truth.” The context is the Bible, the Word of God. So therefore, we must be what? Diligent or students of the Word. So yes, I grow because I am taught. I grow because I study, and I grow by experience.
I like an example found in Genesis chapter 30 verse 27 when Laban spoke to his son in law, Jacob, and Jacob was wanting to leave, but Laban said to him, “I have learned by experience that God is with you.” Well you see we learn by experience! Sometimes we have heard it said that experience is the best teacher. Sometimes we make big mistakes, don’t we? And we have been told not to and we’ve been taught not to, and we have knowledge of that, but then we do it anyway. Well sometimes experience is that only teacher that says, “Whew, I don’t want to do that again!” Like touching that hot stove for the first time. We’ve been told not to, but we do it anyway. You see, we must be taught. We must study and we must by experience gain what God would have us do. Why? That we might know His Will, that we might know John 8:32, His Truth, and by knowing it we can find freedom. What freedom? The freedom that is promised through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Interestingly enough in 2 Peter chapter 1 after we find five times the word “knowledge” used in these few verses again referred to as “The Christian Virtues” and we understand the need of knowledge to be tied to all of these aspects of Christianity including specifically the ability to gain a more general knowledge to live better, we also then find something similar at the end of the same epistle. Of all the things he could have said, of all the things it could have ended with, what did he say there in chapter 3 of 2 Peter and verse 18? He said there, “But grow in the grace and knowledge…” Of who? Of what? “Of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” I don’t know about you, but there is nowhere else to gain that or to learn that than the Word of God itself. Grow in the grace and knowledge!
Brethren, the question is, friends, we must look at our lives and ask: Are we growing in knowledge? You know to have that faith we need, the moral excellence we need, we have to have knowledge.
The Hebrew writer says there in Hebrews 5, that “we must move on from that immaturity.” Peter says that we must no longer just desire milk, but the meat of the Word.” We must grow in knowledge! So we are no longer babes in Christ, but mature. Not only then able to just save ourselves, but to help others be saved as well.
Are you growing in the knowledge of God? Knowing that by doing so you will be blessed today by your God but ultimately knowing that the promise of Heaven is yours and to all those who will be faithful to the end as well.
(SONG # 3 - “I Know Whom I Have Believed!”)
May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today? I hope our time together has been an encouragement and thus a blessing to us all. Please remember that you are invited back to join us every first day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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Are you striving to be diligent in gaining more knowledge in the teachings of Christ? For as we know, God’s Word is the only place to find true hope and salvation unto eternal life.