The Gift of Knowing God
2 Peter 1:1-15
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,. [2 Peter 1:2-3]
Before beginning our study of Second Peter we would do well to remember the key themes of First Peter: Grace, mercy, and hope, in the midst of suffering. In this world where there is suffering, God’s children can respond in God’s grace, mercy, and hope. These are Spirit-filled marks of a Spirit- filled life that ministers and advances the Kingdom.
Second Peter pivots on these themes and delves into the topic of knowledge. In the midst of persecution, the Christian must know the truth, know right doctrine, and know intimately the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The word “knowledge” is used at least thirteen times in this short letter. It is used five times in the first eleven verses that we will be reading this morning. But it is more than a scholastic knowledge. “The word does not mean a mere intellectual understanding of some truth, though that is included. It means a living participation in the truth in the sense that our Lord used it in John 17:3 – ‘This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent’” [Wiersbe].
In short, the knowing substantively includes relational. Knowing Jesus [relationally] is the basis of knowing truth, i.e., “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” [John 14:6].
The great challenge, however, is false teaching and false teachers. This is actually a topic of the remainder of our New Testament letters. Second Peter; 1, 2, and 3 John, and Jude all warn against apostate teachers. “Antichrist” is what John calls them [ref. 1 Jn 2:18, 24; 4:3; 2 Jn 1:7], an appropriate name being that they are anti [against] Christ. But anti is not only against, it is also a counterfeit. A counterfeit is against the real but it looks like the real. Thus, the spirit of antichrist will look and sound like the real and therefore will lead many astray.
The counterfeit is a great warning in these last New Testament letters, and is especially applicable today. We cannot tolerate wrong doctrine. However, we must understand that the knowing is more than intellectual understanding; it is more importantly the knowing [relationally] of the Person of Jesus Christ.