Friday, September 24, 2010

The Value of Knowledge

2 Peter 1:2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

2 χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη πληθυνθείη ἐν ἐπιγνώσει τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν.

Normally when I think about this chapter I think of the latter verses that affirm the authority and inspiration of Scripture.  However, I want to focus on this verse in the greeting for two reasons.  One is that when I do my weekly review of 2 Peter I have a hard time remembering this verse in order because its structure is different than most of the other greeting verses in the New Testament.  Second is that this verse is different than most other greeting verses in the New Testament.

Paul typically incorporates χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη into his greetings.  This literally means "grace and peace."  It's a very nice greeting, isn't it?  Who wouldn't want to have grace and peace multiplied to them?  But what I find fascinating here is the means Peter prescribes for it.  How are they to receive this grace and peace?  It is ἐν ἐπιγνώσει τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν.  There is nothing fancy about this Greek.  It is as the ESV translates it.

What's the big deal?  It seems that there are plenty of folks who are all about experience.  They want to have a rocking "worship time" (read: music).  They want the pastor to touch their hearts so that they "feel blessed."  They want to have emotional times of deep fellowship with the Lord.  Frankly, I think that these are noble goals.

However, they become ignoble when we forget one of the means God gives us to experience His grace and peace.  He gave us His Word.  That is an incredible gift to us.  As we become more familiar with it we grow in grace and peace.  We can certainly pursue the purely experiential too, but we need everything to be grounded in His Word.

What are you doing with respect to this?  Are you spending regular time in it?  Have you read the whole Bible at least once?  If not, why not?  At the risk of sounding snarky, if you aren't reading the Bible then you are implicitly saying that you don't want to know God better.  You don't want to enjoy greater grace and peace.  You think that there is some other way to go and you aren't enjoying the gift that He gave us through Scripture.  You probably wouldn't say these things in so many words, but that is what your attitude demonstrates.

Let's turn to His Word and get to know it.  There we will find grace and peace.

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