By Don Robinson, Pastor, Grace Baptist Temple, Bloomington, Indiana

Summary: An exposition of what it means to in knowledge of our Savior. Based on the eight graces mentioned 2 Peter 1.

Introduction What does it mean to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? How can we be sure that we are growing in this knowledge? 2 Peter 1:2-11 answers these questions.

I. What it involves

a. It involves the development of eight graces

i. These graces are listed in verses 5-7

ii. Briefly defined

1. Faith is conviction, strong assurance

2. Virtue is moral excellence, goodness

3. Knowledge is correct insight

4. Temperance is self-discipline

5. Patience is bearing up under trials

6. Godliness is godly character out of devotion to God

7. Brotherly kindness is love toward brethren

8. Charity is active goodwill toward those in need

iii. Note verse 8

1. We must abound in these eight graces

2. Only then can we be growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ

iv. Therefore we are discussing something more than simply increasing our intellectual knowledge of Jesus Christ!

1. Knowledge has a place, but is just one of the graces necessary.

2. Peter is talking about growing in a fuller and more personal knowledge of Jesus Christ!

a. Which comes by developing Christ-like attributes

b. The more we grow in these graces, the more we really know Jesus (for He is the perfect personification of these graces)

v. The word used for knowledge in verses 2, 3, and 8 means to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly, to know accurately, know well

vi. Such knowledge comes only as we demonstrate these Christ-like graces in our lives

b. Develop these graces in conjunction with each other

i. Notice the word add in verse 5 Before each grace mentioned, the word is implied

ii. Suggests that each grace works with the others to produce an overall effect

iii. Each grace is to temper and make perfect the grace that goes before it

iv. Note the illustration

1. to knowledge (add) temperance-- the grace of self-control enables one to apply properly the knowledge one has

2. to temperance (add) patience--self-control in turn needs the quality of patience to be consistent day after day

3. So each grace is necessary, it is not a list from which to choose

4. They all need to be developed in conjunction with each other

c. It involves diligent effort

i. Notice the word diligence in verses 5 and 10

ii. It means earnestness and zeal

iii. To grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ requires much effort

iv. We do not accidentally or naturally develop these graces

II. Why we should be growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ?

a. Grace and peace are multiplied in this knowledge (2 Pet 1:2)

i. Grace and peace are common forms of greeting in the New Testament

1. Grace is the greeting that requests God’s unmerited favor

2. Peace is the greeting that requests the natural result of God’s favor

ii. These two blessings are multiplied in the knowledge of Jesus

1. All men experience God’s favor and its result to some degree (Matt 5:45)

2. Only in Christ can one enjoy the fullness of God’s favor and peace (Eph 1:3; Phil 4:6, 7)

b. All things pertaining to life and godliness are given through this knowledge (2 Pet 1:3, 4)

i. Only as we grow in this knowledge do we enjoy the true, full life available by God’s divine power

ii. Which includes exceedingly great and precious promises

iii. Which enables us to be partakers of the divine nature

iv. Which can free us from the corruption that is in the world through lust

c. Failure to grow in this knowledge results in spiritual myopia and amnesia (2 Pet 1:9)

i. Our vision is shortsighted if we are not growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ

1. What is the ultimate objective of being a Christian?

2. To become like Christ! For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren (Rom 8:29)

3. As we have seen, this is what it really means to grow in the knowledge of Christ

ii. Failure to so grow is an indication that we forgot why we were redeemed by the blood of Christ in the first place!

1. To have our sins forgiven, yes . . .

2. But then, that we might present ourselves to God and become what He wants us to be--like His Son!

d. We will never fall (2 Pet 1:10)

i. This does not mean we will never sin (1 Jn 1:8,10)

ii. The word fall means to fall into misery, become wretched, lose our salvation

iii. We will never fall so as to lose our salvation

e. An entrance into the everlasting kingdom (2 Pet 1:11)

i. This everlasting kingdom is likely the heavenly kingdom (2 Tim 4:18)

ii. In other words, the ultimate destiny of the redeemed

iii. What is meant by the idea of an abundant entrance?

1. You may be able to enter, not as having escaped from a shipwreck, or from fire, but as it were in triumph

2. By possessing the eight graces, we will be able to live victoriously in this life and to joyously anticipate what lies ahead (2 Tim 4:6-8)

Which of these graces have we developed best? In which are we most lacking? Are we making progress in the knowledge of Jesus Christ? If not, why begin now to do what is necessary to start making progress?

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January–March, 2000

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