BIBLICAL INSIGHTS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH – PART 4
We saw in our first lesson that the Word of God is the key to spiritual growth. We are supposed to desire it like a baby craves milk so we can grow spiritually. We also discussed how important this is for the believer and that if the Scriptures are neglected, we will be stunted in our growth.
We discussed in our second lesson why we should desire the pure milk of the Word. We do so in order to discover the revealed will of God so we can obey it. We also saw the important role that the Bible has in spiritual growth.
We discussed in our third lesson some general principles of growth and then we talked about why we need to grow in grace. We need to grow in grace so we can handle our past and our present.
In 2 Peter 3:18, he mentions two areas that we need to concentrate on for growth; grace and knowledge. We will look at the second one in this lesson.
2 Pet. 3:18 – but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Messiah. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
4. THE CALL TO GROW IN KNOWLEDGE
A. AWARNING ABOUT KNOWLEDGE
1. There is an inherent danger in acquiring knowledge.
Knowledge in and of itself can make us proud. We do not want to grow in knowledge simply to be filled with a bunch of facts.
1 Cor. 8:1 – …Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.
B. THE IMPORTANCE OF GROWING IN KNOWLEDGE
One of the most important things a believer can be doing is growing in the knowledge of God and His Word.
1. The knowledge of God is the heart of salvation and all true spiritual experience.
For one to truly get saved they must know something of the one true God. That’s only the beginning. After that, God’s will is that growth would begin to take place.
John 17:3 – And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus the Messiah whom Thou hast sent. 17
2 Cor. 4:6 – For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Messiah.
1 John 5:20 – And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Messiah. This is the true God and eternal life.
2. The knowledge of God is the heart of true understanding in the believer’s life.
Knowledge of God is the foundation for all other knowledge. If we understand God incorrectly, then we can be sure many other things that we claim to have knowledge in will be found to be lacking in truth.
Prov. 9:10 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Some of the most brilliant men from human standards are shown to be fools when their knowledge is held up to God’s truth.
1 Cor. 1:20-21, 25 – Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
3. The knowledge of God is tremendously valuable.
Nothing we possess in the material realm can even come close to the value that exists in knowing God.
Ps. 119:127 – Therefore I love Thy commandments Above gold, yes, above fine gold.
Prov. 3:13-15 – How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding. For its profit is better than the profit of silver, And its gain than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her.
Prov. 8:10-11 – Take my instruction, and not silver, And knowledge rather than choicest gold. For wisdom is better than jewels; And all desirable things can not compare with her.
Prov. 16:16 How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.
Phil. 3:7-8 – But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Messiah. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Messiah Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Messiah.
4. The knowledge of God is vitally linked to that which God has provided for our life as a believer.
Everything that we need that pertains to life and godliness has been granted to us, but it is rooted in the knowledge that God desires for us to have.
2 Pet. 1:3 – seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
5. The ability to know God is one of our greatest privileges.
Of the vast number of things that one can gain knowledge in, knowing God is in a class by it self. Even though your occupation may require you to be expertly informed about your vocation, you are also charged with the responsibility of growing in the knowledge of God.
Jer. 9:23-24 – Thus says the Lord, Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things, declares the Lord.
C. FURTHER INSIGHTS FOR GROWING IN KNOWLEDGE
1. God alone is the author of our knowledge of Himself.
Left up to ourselves, we would be in the dark concerning the knowledge of God. We are dependent upon the ministry of the Holy Spirit to illuminate our minds in order for us to be able to understand the things of God.
Prov. 2:6 – For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
John 6:44 – No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God. Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.
2. The Holy Spirit plays a major role in the believers acquisition of knowledge.
All believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and He is the one who reveals truth to us as we read the Scriptures.
1 Cor. 2:10-12 – For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God.
No one less that God can bring us true and reliable knowledge about Himself.
Knowledge of God is received by believers who genuinely seek to know Him as we demonstrate dependence upon Him through prayer.
3. True knowledge of God will not become a reality without heartfelt prayer.
Prayer manifests our dependency upon God and this fits well, because knowledge of God is also dependent upon Him.
Eph. 1:15-17 – For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you, and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.
Col. 1:9-10 – For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
4. Growing in the knowledge of God will have a major impact upon our walk as a believer.
If growing in the knowledge of God does not impact our walk, there is a major short circuit in our spiritual life.
Phil. 1:27 – Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Messiah; so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.
1 Thess. 4:1 – Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you may excel still more.
1 Thess. 2:10-13 – You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. And for this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received from us the word of God’s message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.
The more we grow in the knowledge of God, the more we will discover how much we do not know about Him and that we need to keep on growing.