good quote

" In my opinion, the great single need of the moment is that light-hearted superficial religionists be struck down with a vision of God high and lifted up, with His train filling the temple. The holy art of worship seems to have passed away like the Shekinah glory from the tabernacle. As a result, we are left to our own devices and forced to make up the lack of spontaneous worship by ...bringing in countless cheap and tawdry activities to hold the attention of the church people." ~ A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Common Knowledge...

you can find this on Fundamental Baptist Institute website as well, I think....

Believers in general have a common knowledge that we must grow in Christ. Those that make the effort to grow have this question come to mind, "How should we grow?" Peter commanded in his second epistle, "But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen." (2 Peter 3:18) Believers should grow in grace and in their knowledge of their Lord and Savior.

Grace is the first area of consideration by God in Scripture. But the question arises out of the text, "What is grace?" Grace comes from God as we see in Psalm 84:11 "For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly." Grace for our relationship with God came about from Jesus, as it is stated in John 1:17 "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." Grace is also justifying in its nature. As Paul wrote to the Romans, "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:" (Romans 3:24) Turning to ulterior and other definitions of grace, grace, according to Word Net, is the free and unmerited favor or beneficence of God. This grace comes about to people who are lowly and humble. As it says in Proverbs 3:34 "Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly." It also comes to them that obey, as Paul wrote "By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:" (Romans 1:5) So to attain more grace (note: not saving grace), one must be lowly in heart and obedient to God.

The knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is also an area commanded that one should grow. In the beginning of the book of 2 Peter, Peter tells us the components of this knowledge. "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity." (2Peter 1:5-7) The first thing that is seen is that one needs to have faith. Again the question arises, "What is that?" There are many components of faith, three of which I will cover here.

Faith must have an object. Christians must have as the object of their faith Christ, nothing else can substitute. the second of the major components of faith is one must have intellectual agreement with Scripture. But just having intellectual agreement is not good enough, because even the demons believe it. The last component of faith that one must have is complete submission to every command in Scripture. To have true faith one must have these basic components.

Another thing that is part of the knowledge of Jesus Christ is virtue or moral excellence. The question that one must ask himself is whether he is striving to be pure in this corrupt culture; this one thing that one must constantly strive for. The next thing that is part of the knowledge is knowledge itself. One must be constantly adding to his knowledge, not just of the Scriptures, though this is the most important thing, but of life in general. The next thing that one must exercise is self control. This self- control must not be in one area of life such as physical or academics, but in all aspects of existence; physical, mental and spiritual. Patience or perseverance is the next thing that one must grow in his life. A Christian must keep the faith even when tried by others; others that may kill the body. Another thing that is necessary for a Christian's knowledge of Christ is godliness. A Christian must strive to be perfect, even though, in this life, it is not obtainable. The goal of his life should be perfection in all areas of life, except that which is sin. The next thing that a Christian much grow in is brotherly kindness. One must be kind and gentle to all men, kind especially to the household of faith, though not excusing the sin which, because of our fallen nature, comes out of our daily life. The last thing that is written in this passage is love. A Christian must love the Lord his God with all his soul, mind, and strength. this is not an option for the believer, but a mandate to all mankind.

After considering all that, one must wonder, "What will come about if I do all that?" The answer is very simpler. It is explained by Mather Henry in his commentary on the Bible in this way:

"This is the knowledge of Christ the apostle Paul reached after and desired to obtain. such a knowledge of Christ as conforms us more to Him, must needs be great use to us, to preserve us from falling off in times of general apostasy; and those who experience this effect of the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will, upon receiving such grace from Him, giving thanks and praise to Him, and join with our apostle in saying, 'To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen!'"

This knowledge conforms us to Him and it also keeps us away from apostasy. So to safe guard against error, let us continually work at growing in our knowledge of Him. Growth must occur in these two areas of life, as it is commanded by God through Peter, for us to please God. Believers should continue growing in these areas till we reach the end of eternity. So, let the Christian who desires to please God with his life continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So that he can truly say, "to Him be the glory, both now and forever. AMEN!"

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