2 Peter (623c)
Seek Knowledge

What do you really know? Our world has undermined certainty. Knowledge is not possible in the minds of many. What is knowledge? This is a key word in 2 Peter, we meet it first in the introduction.

From the Greek epignosis, has a three-fold significance:

  • 1. Knowledge directed toward a particular object. Here this knowledge is directed toward Jesus Christ. We should strive to increase our knowledge of Jesus, John 5:39; Hos. 4:6; Isa. 5:13. Phil. 3:10.
  • 2. Epignosis means full knowledge. Plutarch spoke of the knowledge of the master vs. the mere amateur or apprentice. We are to become experts, not novices, in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
  • 3. Epignosis sometimes refers to knowledge in a way that unites subject with object. Col. 1:27, we in Christ. Gal. 2:20.

    I. Knowledge has a purpose, 1:3-4
    Knowledge equips us. We do not seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge. I think I'll go to church tonight. Why? So I can get smarter. Knowledge must be applied. One can have knowledge and be dumb. I remember a 5th year aeronautical engineering student at WSU who had never learned to drive. Grace and peace come from knowledge.

    II. Knowledge is productive, 1:5-8
    To moral excellence we are to add knowledge. This is in the spiritual realm. This is not admonition to go back to school, continue our education. This is spiritual knowledge. Phil. 4:8, as we saturate our minds with spiritual knowledge, we mature, grow into Christ. Our goal is that the pages of our Bible might become dirty so that our lives might be clean. I remind you again of Phil. 3:10. In the introduction to Peter's second letter, grace and peace come from knowledge. This is productive knowledge. The same truth is reflected in 1:9-11. Knowledge is productive when remembered and applied.

    III. Some seek pseudo-knowledge, 2:1-3; 3:3-7
    Here we come back to our word knowledge.
    This concept can refer to increasing knowledge, knowledge toward, in the direction of, toward an object. This is the first definition we gave in the introduction.
    It can also mean full knowledge. This is the idea of the master's degree. A bachelor originally was an apprentice, ready to study under the master. After studying under the master, one could master the trade, the art, the information. This is the master of science, a concept which we also discussed in our introduction.
    Peter is using here a word common the lips of pagans, giving new fulness to its meaning. The Greeks defined sophia, wisdom, as knowledge of things both human and define. Greeks sought after God and after that knowledge in two main ways.

    This is especially interesting against the background of the false teachers of whom Peter speaks. They are seeking a pseudo-knowledge, perhaps philosophic, perhaps the popularized version, but certainly not the personal knowledge Jesus comes to make possible.

    IV. Knowledge is not passive, 3:14-16
    Another way of saying this is, attaining knowledge is often difficult. Knowledge does not always come easy. It is often difficult to attain. There is a price. Illus: old-time preacher, I would give my life to know the Bible like you do. Well, I did. Knowledge is not passive, knowledge is active. It involves both the mind and the doing. It is on the job training. The OT priests read the word, explained the word, lived the word. Doctors are trained by book knowledge, telling others, and practicing.

    V. Knowledge is progressive, 3:17-18
    The epistle closes with the admonition to grow in grace and knowledge. Some have stopped growing. I heard of a well-known brother, he said in debate that he learned the truth 50 years ago and he had not learned anything since. What a statement! How sad.
    Knowledge is progressive. Tomorrow I will know more than today. I am growing in knowledge. I am seeking to learn, not just facts, but Jesus. I want to know him, his power, his life, his spirit, his plan, his purpose, his eternity.

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    Last updated March 20, 2005.