Bulletin Articles

Bulletin Articles

Knowledge - 2 Peter Series

In 2 Peter 1:5 - 7, the apostle Peter admonishes us to “make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love” (CSB). These are all key ingredients in making our calling and election sure.

But, what is knowledge? someone may ask. And how can knowledge help make my calling and election sure? This article seeks to briefly address these questions.

In the Bible, the concept of knowledge refers to the understanding of truth and wisdom that comes from God. It encompasses more than just factual or intellectual knowledge such as there are 24 hours in a day, or the Fishers Church of Christ meets in Fishers, Indiana. It also includes moral, spiritual, and practical knowledge.

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for knowledge is “da’at”. It is a noun derived from the verb “yada”, which means to know. The idea of “knowing” in Ancient Hebrew thought, is similar to our understanding of knowing, but is more personal and intimate. We may say that we “know” someone, but simply mean we “know” of their existence. In Hebrew thought, one can only “know” someone if they have a personal and intimate relationship with them. In Genesis 18:19, the NKJV translated it right when God says about Abraham “I have known him”, meaning he’s had a very close relationship with Abraham. Your version may say “I have chosen him.”

In the New Testament, the Greek word for knowledge is “gnosis”, which denotes “inceptive and ongoing knowledge.” It designates ongoing, personal knowledge, which implies a relationship between the person who knows and the person who is known. This is why many definitions of “gnosis” refer to it as “experiential knowledge” that can grow and mature. In 2 Peter 1:3, 5, this is the type of knowledge that the apostle Peter calls on us to have of God and His will.

We get to know people by investing time in them, talking, listening, and engaging with them. The same approach works with God. We talk to God through prayer, listen to God by studying His word, and engage with God by keeping His commandments and His will (see Matthew 6:33, 1 Peter 3:15, Psalms 119:11, James 4:8, and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). These all take time. True knowledge of God helps us understand that He loves us enough to give his one and only son, so that everyone who believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13). That’s what Christ did in our stead. We can show our love to God by keeping his commandments (John 14:15).

God knows us and wants us to know Him. In 2 Peter 1:10, 11, Peter urges us to be diligent to make our calling and election sure by adding knowledge and the other 6 virtues listed in the chapter to our faith. If we do these things, not only will we not stumble, but also an entrance will be supplied to us abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.