July 25, 2024

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A PURE HEART – HOW CAN WE HAVE IT?

THE NECESSITY OF HAVING THE TRUE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD

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Read 2 Peter 1:1-4

The Second Epistle of Peter is a powerful testament to the urgency and importance of knowing God in a deeply personal and transformative way. This letter, attributed to the Apostle Peter, is believed to be one of the last he penned before his impending death. It serves as a poignant reminder that when facing the end of one’s earthly journey, the desire to convey what truly matters becomes paramount. In this article, we will explore the significance of having a true knowledge of God, as articulated in 2 Peter 1:1-4.


SIMON PETER, A FOUNDATIONAL STONE

Peter begins this letter by introducing himself as “Simon Peter.” The name Simon denotes his former self, the one who merely heard and followed, while Peter, derived from “rock,” symbolizes the transformation he underwent. He became one of the foundational stones of the Church, demonstrating the profound change that encountering Christ brings.

The concept of Simon (the old nature) and Peter (the new nature) is crucial. Every person grapples with two natures, akin to the analogy of a black dog (capable of wrongdoings) and a white dog (spotless, righteous, and dearly loved by God). This duality within individuals reflects the ongoing struggle between sin and redemption, highlighting the necessity of a personal relationship with Christ.

John Newton’s profound insight, “I am a great sinner, and Christ is a great Savior,” underscores the dichotomy between one’s sinful nature and the redemptive power of Christ. Like Peter’s transformation from an unbelieving fisherman to a fisher of men, our understanding of God deepens, evolving from Peter without comprehension to Peter full of the knowledge of God.

Peter emphasizes that there are no second-class Christian citizens. All believers are equal in the eyes of the Lord, sharing the same precious inheritance and privileges. This reinforces the idea that what the Apostles received, we too have received, and it is up to us to allow the Spirit to grow within us.


MULTIPLYING GRACE AND PEACE

Peter further explains that grace and peace can multiply and increase in our lives. Grace, as Titus 2:11-12 teaches, is the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ within us. The more we receive Christ, the more grace abounds in us, leading to the fullness of the Lord dwelling in our hearts.

Peace is the fruit of grace. True peace is unattainable without experiencing God’s grace. Grace and peace are directly proportional to our knowledge of the Lord, as evident in 2 Peter 3:18, which urges us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The knowledge of our Lord is not mere intellectual understanding but an intimate knowing of Him. Ephesians 3:4-5 defines knowledge as profound understanding of our Lord, a revelation that unites us with Him. Just as a husband and wife become one through deep knowledge and a loving bond, our unity with God emerges through knowing Him.


KNOWLEDGE FOR TRANSFORMATION

Peter clarifies that he is not advocating knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Some may pursue knowledge as mere head knowledge, amassing facts and information without allowing it to penetrate their spirits and bring about transformation. This is knowledge that falls short of the life-giving knowledge Peter is discussing.

The Bible was not given for head knowledge alone but for transformative purposes. It is meant to change us from the inside out, to shape our character, and to lead us into a deeper relationship with God. Mere memorization of scripture, without a personal encounter with Christ, does not lead to a life filled with His presence and transformative power.


THE PRECIOUS PROMISES

Through knowledge, we lay claim to God’s precious promises. This knowledge operates within our divine nature, enabling us to escape the corruption of the world. The hope of being raptured, or experiencing God’s ultimate salvation and deliverance, becomes a reality through this knowledge.

In the context of the last days, Peter’s message underscores the paramount importance of knowing God. It prompts us to reflect on where the knowledge of God ranks in our lives. How precious is the Word of God to us? Are we striving for head knowledge, or are we seeking the transformative knowledge that brings life?


CONCLUSION

The Second Epistle of Peter is a profound reminder of the importance of having a true knowledge of God, not merely as an intellectual pursuit but as a transformative and life-giving experience. Peter’s own transformation from Simon to Peter, from a mere follower to a foundational stone of the Church, illustrates the power of encountering Christ. As believers, we are called to understand the duality within us and to seek a deep, intimate knowledge of God that multiplies grace and peace in our lives. This knowledge is not for the sake of knowledge alone but for our transformation, enabling us to claim God’s precious promises and escape the corruption of the world. As we navigate the complexities of the last days, let us heed Peter’s message and prioritize the knowledge of God in our lives, recognizing its profound significance in our journey of faith.

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