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The Full Gospel Church

      Vol. IV Number 33                                                                                                 August 13, 2000

Knowledge of the Lord

2 Peter 1:1-8

1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The knowledge of the Lord is paramount to being a Christian. This knowledge comes through following the precepts of the Lord Jesus Christ as Peter enumerated:

As you can see this listing begins with faith. Now faith is something that is done upon blind trust. You cannot see the Lord, or even fathom what heaven looks like. But everyone desires to go there.


Hebrews 11:1

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting solely and implicitly on his authority and veracity; reliance on testimony.

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true (Phil. 1:27; 2 Thess. 2:13). Its primary idea is trust. A thing is true, and therefore worthy of trust. It admits of many degrees up to full assurance of faith, in accordance with the evidence on which it rests.

Faith is the result of teaching (Rom. 10:14-17). Knowledge is an essential element in all faith, and is sometimes spoken of as an equivalent to faith (John 10:38; 1 John 2:3). Yet the two are distinguished in this respect, that faith includes in it assent, which is an act of the will in addition to the act of the understanding. Assent to the truth is of the essence of faith, and the ultimate ground on which our assent to any revealed truth rests is the veracity of God.

Romans 10:17

17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Without faith it is impossible to have any of the other items required to have a true knowledge of God. Without faith there is no virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, Brotherly kindness, or charity. In order to gain a true knowledge of God you must have faith. For without faith it is impossible to please God.

Hebrews 11:6

6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Next in the list to knowing God is virtue.


From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

1. Manly strength or courage; bravery; daring; spirit; valor. [Obs.] --Shak. Built too strong For force or virtue ever to expugn. --Chapman.

2. Active quality or power; capacity or power adequate to the production of a given effect; energy; strength; potency; efficacy; as, the virtue of a medicine. Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about. --Mark v. 30.
A man was driven to depend for his security against misunderstanding, upon the pure virtue of his syntax. --De Quincey.
The virtue of his midnight agony. --Keble.

3. Energy or influence operating without contact of the material or sensible substance. She moves the body which she doth possess, Yet no part toucheth, but by virtue's touch. --Sir. J. Davies.

4. Excellence; value; merit; meritoriousness; worth. I made virtue of necessity. --Chaucer.
In the Greek poets, . . . the economy of poems is better observed than in Terence, who thought the sole grace and virtue of their fable the sticking in of sentences. --B. Jonson.

5. Specifically, moral excellence; integrity of character; purity of soul; performance of duty. Virtue only makes our bliss below. --Pope.
If there's Power above us, And that there is all nature cries aloud Through all her works, he must delight in virtue. --Addison.

When we add to faith virtue we are adding strength and the ability to be righteous in the Lord. This strength comes after we have faith, for without faith how can you have the Lord's virtue, righteousness, and holiness?When we first are born again we begin to acquire virtue in our quest to know the Lord.

When we have some of the Lord's virtue we are to add knowledge. The knowledge here comes from the study of the scriptures. We are to study the scriptures to gain the Biblical knowledge of the Lord. To have a good understanding of the scriptures we need to have the virtue of the Lord. Without the virtue of the Lord in us we cannot have the spiritual understanding of the scriptures. There are some who read the Bible and complain that they cannot understand it. But when you have the virtue of the Lord and the Lord's spirit dwelling in you all of the sudden your eyes are opened and what was hidden is now made clear.

Now that we have the understanding of the scriptures temperance is added for we begin to understand what the Lord expects out of us. The Lord expects us to lead moderate lives and not indulge in the lusts of this world.


From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

1. Habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural appetites and passions; restrained or moderate indulgence; moderation; as, temperance in eating and drinking; temperance in the indulgence of joy or mirth; specifically, moderation, and sometimes abstinence, in respect to using intoxicating liquors.

2. Moderation of passion; patience; calmness; sedateness. [R.] "A gentleman of all temperance." --Shak. He calmed his wrath with goodly temperance. --Spenser.

After we have discovered how hard it is to add temperance in our own lives we learn to have patience. For when we had trouble with our own sins we can see the difficulty that a less mature Christian is having. Instead of being rash and harsh telling them that they should quit smoking immediately, we have the patience to pray with them and help them grow in Christ. This patience comes only when we also struggled to live for the Lord.

After patience we add godliness to our lives. This is where we become more Christ like and the world see in us the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. We become slow to judge, and fervent in our belief in the Lord Jesus. This is where we really mature in the Lord. We have overcome the desires of the flesh and have realized that not everyone is at our level in Christ. This is where we have grown steadily in the Lord and have taken on his attributes.

Now we are ready to add brotherly kindness and be like Christ when he asked the Father to forgive them for they know not what they do. Even hanging on the cross Jesus showed what true brotherly kindness was when he forgave the very people who were executing him without cause.

Finally in our quest for the knowledge of the Lord we add charity.


From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

1. Love; universal benevolence; good will. Now abideth faith, hope, charity, three; but the greatest of these is charity. --1. Cor. xiii. 13.
They, at least, are little to be envied, in whose hearts the great charities . . . lie dead. --Ruskin.
With malice towards none, with charity for all. --Lincoln.

2. Liberality in judging of men and their actions; a disposition which inclines men to put the best construction on the words and actions of others. The highest exercise of charity is charity towards the uncharitable. --Buckminster.

3. Liberality to the poor and the suffering, to benevolent institutions, or to worthy causes; generosity. The heathen poet, in commending the charity of Dido to the Trojans, spake like a Christian. --Dryden.

4. Whatever is bestowed gratuitously on the needy or suffering for their relief; alms; any act of kindness. She did ill then to refuse her a charity. --L'Estrange.

5. A charitable institution, or a gift to create and support such an institution; as, Lady Margaret's charity.

6. pl. (Law) Eleemosynary appointments [grants or devises] including relief of the poor or friendless, education, religious culture, and public institutions. The charities that soothe, and heal, and bless, Are scattered at the feet of man like flowers. --Wordsworth.

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

(1 Cor. 13), the rendering in the Authorized Version of the word which properly denotes love, and is frequently so rendered (always so in the Revised Version). It is spoken of as the greatest of the three Christian graces (1 Cor. 12:31-13:13).

Putting this all together means that to gain a true knowledge of the Lord we must grow step by step in the knowledge of grace.

The Full Gospel Church

	3014 E Street
	Philadelphia, PA  19134
	Church Office Phone: (215) 634-3637
	Published by: Rev. LeRoy D. Cressy (215) 535-4037 
Sunday School . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10:30 AM
Sunday Morning Worship . . . . . . . . . . 12 NOON
Sunday Evening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6:30 PM
Wednesday Evening . . . . . . . . . . . . 7:30 PM

Copyright © 2000 LeRoy D. Cressy
Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this transcript as long as the copyright and this permission notice appear.

Last modified: Wed Sep 13 20:21:43 EDT 2000