Passage of the Day: 2nd Peter 1: 5b … [NIV – see bold text] 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; …
2nd Peter 1: 5b … [NASB - see underlined text] 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, …
My Journal for Today: John MacArthur makes an excellent point in his Strength for Today devotional for this date. He writes the “… moral excellence (remember from yesterday the Greek term, “arête”) cannot develop in an intellectual vacuum.” MacArthur, I believe, correctly claims that our culture, and even the church, has begun to succumb to an experiential orientation, … a feelings-first mentality, if you will, … where the pursuit of truth [i.e., Godly knowledge/wisdom] is shunted aside. The question, “Is it biblically correct?” is considered an unloving, divisive issue [i.e., politically incorrect] in many churches today.
However, in today’s passage/verse, Peter makes the inexorable connection between moral excellence and the pursuit of knowledge (for which the Greek term is “gnosis,” which means “a proper understanding” or an accurate discernment of the absolute truth). Yet, the church, especially some ascribing to the charismatic movement, push aside an intellectual pursuit of doctrine in lieu of finding a spiritual experience in their abiding relationship with Christ.
God’s word is clear, however, (see also Eph. 4: 13 - 15), teaching that Christians who lack doctrinal truth are believers who are childish and/or unstable in their faith, subject to blowing with the winds of cultural/worldly influences. That’s why Paul in the passage in 1st Cor. 14: 20, exhorted believers to be mature in their understanding of truth and not like children, who rely on their feelings. Yes, of course, Christ would have His disciples be childLIKE in their trust of Him – but not childISH. Again Paul exhorts, “… that your (Christian) love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment.” (see Phil. 1: 9 - 11)
As the OT Prophet, Hosea, declared, “…let us know, (and) … let us press to know the Lord.” (Hosea 6: 3 - NASB) And that should the credo of every Christian; because to know God is to pursue becoming like God – which translates behaviorally into the pursuit of Christian “arête” or moral excellence; and that is the springboard of Spirit-led sanctification in discipleship.
My Prayer Today: Help me to know You, Lord, through Your truth. Amen