Written by His Grace,
Kevin K. O’Connor
Main thought: to explore the joys and yet trials of growing in knowledge
The Joys & Trials of Knowledge
1 Corinthians 8:1&2 1Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.
Romans 2:14-16 14(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) 16This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
2 Corinthians 3:2-3 2You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. 3You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
2 Corinthians 3:5-6 5Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Just as an excess of worldly wealth makes us complacent to seek the heart of God, so does knowledge tend to make us complacent to seek Him. We tend to take our rest not only in our possessions, but also in the revelations revealed to us. And yet, just as we will be held accountable for everything given to us, so will we be held accountable for every revelation given to us as well. Are we sharing what we’re given or are we just hording it?
1 Corinthians 8:1&2 is such a good scripture concerning these truths. Notice the kind of knowledge that is beneficial rather than destructive “2The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.” The kind that is beneficial is the kind that with each new revelation realizes how much they have yet to learn. But, the moment those revelations begin to take root and be hoarded away as something that is known by you and not others, is the moment it begins to rot just like the manna God gave the Israelites of old. None of God’s gifts are meant for our pleasure and benefit alone but are given so that we may be God’s vessel of blessings to others. 1 Peter 3:8-10 8Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 9Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.
It seems that this world is made up of two sets of people as God’s Word says, the sheep and the goats or the wheat and the tares. In the same way, there are the givers and the getters. And to some degree or another people are either givers or getters. God tells us that the way to success is by giving of ourselves while the world says it is getting for ourselves. This truth is especially clearly seen in the nature of God verses satan. Notice that it delighted God to give of Himself to satan and to give him great power and beauty so that he could more wondrously proclaim the beauty of God’s heart and what did he do with it? He allowed it to take root within his own heart so that he began to hoard the blessings instead of use them for the glory of God. He became proud instead of prostrate, conceited instead of concerned. No wonder that Christ proclaims the heart of His Father better than anything else that has ever been or ever will be because of his willingness to empty Himself out more than anyone has or ever will!
Both satan and Christ were given much power and authority, one choose to hoard it to his own destruction, the other choose to surrender it for the glory of the Heavenly Father Who in turn has bestowed on Christ more Glory, Honor, and Praise than anyone else. And yet there are still those who only can focus on their own gain and comfort and neglect those around themselves. Notice again at what 1 Corinthians 8:1 says about knowledge “ Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up”. Also note what Proverbs 24:14 says about wisdom; Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. (Whole Chapter: In context: ) So, as honey is to the tongue so is wisdom to the soul of man. But notice what our Lord tells us about eating more honey than our bodies are able to handle; Proverbs 25 16 If you find honey, eat just enough- too much of it, and you will vomit.
In the same way there are those who have so filled their heads with knowledge and have not taken time to live what they are learning that they have actually grown so arrogant and prideful that they were unable to function as productive human beings. It seems that when we get so consumed with the exercise of growing in knowledge, we’re actually trying to grow the importance of our selves or our own glory but notice that even Christ did not seek His own glory; John 8 49"I am not possessed by a demon," said Jesus, "but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge.
Also, God’s Word in James 3:1 warns us against having too many teachers; Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (Whole Chapter: In context: ) And why is that? Because the more we know, the more we will be held accountable for; Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. (Whole Chapter: In context: ) Another good scripture that speaks this truth is in But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Whole Chapter: In context: )
So then, God’s Word is pretty clear about the beauties and yet dangers of knowledge. It seems that anything of worth has a cost that goes with obtaining it. If we are to find life everlasting with Christ, then we must learn how to die to our own old sinful and selfish ways. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. (Whole Chapter: In context: ) In the same way, although there is a responsibility with growing in knowledge, there is also great reward to those who can grow within their hearts as they grow within their heads; Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Whole Chapter: In context: ) Can you imagine being considered “great” in the kingdom of heaven!? Wow, what an honor. And so, while growing in knowledge feeds our ego and makes us feel important, we need to learn how to temper our knowledge with humility and grace so that we may grow up into the fullness of Christ. Colossians 2 9For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 11In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ,
Heavenly Father, Thank you for the joy of growing in knowledge. Teach us how to temper our head knowledge with the humility of heart that was in your Son. In Jesus Glorious Name, Amen
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