Peter 37 - What Do You Know?

What Do You Know?

To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 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. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2Peter 1:1-4)

A while back, I heard a young man say that he held to facts, not faith. I seem to hear this articulated frequently. There is a big problem with this statement on its face: it assumes that facts and faith are mutually exclusive. I think, too, that perhaps those making this, or similar statements, are confusing the meanings and usage of the words “facts” and “faith.” Many who claim to hold to facts, do not hold to facts at all, but to that which is theory at best, and is at worst, factoid [I use the word factoid in its true sense: an untrue piece of information pretending to be fact, when it is, in fact, not]. These same people hold the word “faith” as meaning something like, “I sure hope so, but I can’t prove it.” Neither of these premises is correct. Facts and faith are not mutually exclusive, neither is faith “I sure hope so,” but instead is actually based on knowledge of facts. The study of faith and the facts that uphold it is a wonderful and profitable study. However, for our purposes in this brief study, we concern ourselves with the question, “What do you know?” in light of what Peter writes in the first chapter of Second Peter.

If you haven’t noticed before, notice now this first chapter is a chapter on knowledge (note the many mentions of knowledge: 2Peter 1:2,3,5,6,9,12,13,15,19,20,21). All of these verses talk in some way of knowledge, either using the word knowledge or remembrance, or knowing, or taking heed to revelation. In verses 2-4, some glorious things are said about knowledge. We know Peter observed Jesus firsthand as well as being inspired. Jesus had already said that knowledge was important—it makes you free (John 8:32)—and He had already spoken of the importance of acquiring this knowledge (John 6:44,45).

The word “knowledge” as found in our text, must refer to something more than just knowing a limited number of facts because he tells us that knowledge is something that must be added (2Peter 1:5-6). Actually, this is referring to the progressive aspect of growth and is shown quite well in the concluding verse of this letter: “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (2Peter 3:18).

Peter explains that grace is multiplied through knowledge (2Peter 1:2). Grace brings salvation. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:11-14). That being true, how important is it to study God’s word to grow in that grace? What do you know?

Peter also explains that peace comes through knowledge (2Peter 1:2). There is peace with God and peace with fellow Christians. Ephesians 2:16-17 shows peace is to be had through the preaching and knowing of Christ and what he has done. Remember that grace is multiplied through knowledge? Our text also tells us that peace is multiplied through knowledge. How important is it to be where this knowledge is made available—in Him? “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). How much do we need depth in our peace with God? What do you know?

God does not limit what is to be gained through spiritual knowledge. Peter also reminds us that ALL that pertains to life and godliness comes through knowledge (2Peter 1:3). This says that we have available, in God’s word, everything man needs of a spiritual nature. This is a grant, so to speak. Notice that man must know of this to have the benefit. Again, how important is it to study and meditate on the word of God? What do you know?

The knowledge of His glory and excellence gives to us His exceeding great and precious promises. Think of all that He promises to those who are His. We become partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world. What good would there be for us to remain ignorant of His promises? What do you know?

How can this knowledge be acquired? The basis of it is truth as already noted in John 8:32. He has revealed truth and it is truth that Jesus says sanctifies (John 17:17). Truth is available through teaching and learning of that truth revealed by the Spirit. Peter’s letters are addressed to those who have obeyed the truth (1Peter 1:22). Have you obeyed the truth? Are you growing in the knowledge of the truth? What do you know?