TOPIC – THE ACTUAL INCREASE
II. THE ACTUAL INCREASE (Romans 1:18ff; Philippians 3:1ff; 2 Timothy 3:16)
The human mind is one of the most wonderful gifts God has given man. Using it however is up to us. The knowledge we now have in science has always been true. We just had noticed discovered it then, and there are still many more to discover, as God deliberately put them there from time immemorial. The Bible is more available now than ever before, but few will discover the truth on its pages. Will you?
A. MODERN-DAY KNOWLEDGE (Rom. 1:18ff)
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (v. 20).
i. Now is the time (Dan. 12:4) is actually being fulfilled on a large scale. Look at the craze for knowledge everywhere. People run back and forth, comparing text, trying to figure out new things. Some even go as far as peeping into the mystical world of cultism. Terrible! But God’s standard remains sure (2 Tim. 2:19).
ii. Rom. 1:19-20: All knowledge are not directly covered in the Bible, but God gives to man, mind and intellect to deeply meditate on, and fashion out new things (Eccl. 1:13; 7:25; 1 Cor. 2:9; Phil. 4:8).
iii. Modern people who want to oppose all that is God’s at all cost have fashioned their own kind of knowledge which is anti-God.
iv. 21: As the light of the gospel continues to shine all over the place, more agents of darkness (2 Cor. 11:14) are also creeping in, to dissuade people from serving the true God. No wonder the mess today!
v. vv. 22ff: Wisdom outside God is foolishness, not true knowledge, will make man worship other creatures. Daniel and his friends were above all others. Beware of syncretism and mysticism, in the name of amassing knowledge. Don’t perish with them (vv. 26-28; cf. Dan. 1:8-20)!
vi. v. 18: The wrath of God is coming upon all who choose the godliness knowledge over and against God’s.
vii. People want to know what is happening in the world around them. This is natural and normal. But humanity has always had an obsession with knowledge.
viii. The more we want to know of the world around us without due regard for God and His ways, the more plunge into disaster. God save us!
B. BIBLE-BASED KNOWLEDGE (Phil. 3:1ff; 2 Tim. 3:16)
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death (Philippians 3:10).
i. God has revealed Himself throughout the Scriptures, as to all He wants humanity to know (Exod. 3:14; Deut. 29:29; Job 26:8,9,14; 2 Tim. 3:16). Happy is the man who makes discovery of them (Prov. 3:13).
ii. vv. 1-8: All that Paul had been and known as a highly renowned erudite scholar of the Law (vv. 1-6), he counted loss… for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord (vv. 7,8). That knowledge must worth far more than anything secular knowledge can offer; for Paul to have valued it that much.
iii. This is the knowledge of God through our Lord Jesus Christ by which God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). Believers are to desire growth in grace (Prov. 1:1-6; 2 Pet. 3:18).
iv. v. 10: This knowledge consists in knowing (having the deepest level of relationship with) Christ, and getting a deeper insight, by the day, about the Power of (inexplicably miraculous spiritual Force behind) His resurrection (the Power that raised Him from the dead), to increasingly become like Him.
v. 2 Tim. 3:16: The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself in relation to our life — all that He wants us to know (cf. Deut. 29:29). The more we delve into it, the more we know of Him, and the better we become (cf. Heb. 4:12,13; 1 Pet. 1:23-25). You are better off when you are a Christian in your field.
vi. Beyond the basic material knowledge, we all need for survival, we need the spiritual, understanding and right insight, into that special knowledge in God’s Word, which is divine, instructive, and instrumental to our relevance. Study and obey it (Hos. 4:6; Act 17:11; 1 Pet. 1:22), because wisdom is the application of what you know.
vii. Jesus Christ passed this knowledge to His disciples who kept passing on the baton till it got to our generation (Acts 2:42). It mustn’t stop with us (Deut. 6:1-6; Ezra 7:10), until it covers the face of the earth like waters.
viii. Any true child of God should passionately pursue the Bible- based knowledge, i.e. of God. If our Lord Jesus has given this to us, and the likes of Paul passionately pursued it till they died, what should stop us, with all our so called sophisticated in this generation, from pursuing this lofty vision? May we not be condemned in the end. Amen.
1. Wisdom outside God is foolishness. Let your heart be filled with the thought of heaven than perishable, earthly things.
2. It is a pity that the Bible-based knowledge is gradually diminishing, because of the ungodly civilization that is sadly winning believers’ attention.
1. What do you understand by the biblical description of knowledge?
2. Discuss some examples of modern-day knowledge that have found their ways into the church.
SUGGESTED ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
ANSWER TO QUESTION 1:
i. Refer to division I A
ii. The biblical description of knowledge refers to the proper perspective of the Word of God on knowledge. In the Scripture, it is the truth and those commands that God wants us to know, believe, and heed about Himself and the world around us.
iii. Knowledge is not for a few or selected people. God, out Saviour wants all to come to knowledge genuine and conversion.
v. Knowledge is to be gained from the Word of God, through devotion to thorough study and observance of the law of the Lord and, to His teachings.
vi. We must know that knowledge denotes understanding, an acknowledgment, and a gift from God.
vii. On the whole, only Jesus true knowledge, because, in Him alone can the truth be found. Any teaching, doctrine, or knowledge that negates His principles and teaching should be thrown off board.
ANSWER TO QUESTION 2:
i. Refer to division II A and Suggested Answer To Work To Do.
ii. The modern church and world has brought new difficulties to the quest for defining the essence of Christianity. This is worsened by the desire to be different, no matter how it affects the foundational Christian culture.
iii. A lot of godliness modern-day introductions to conform with the trends in the world are being made in churches. The proponents just want to do something new just to make the Church more appealing to the world of sinners, even if that wouldn’t help them to see the true Christ of Christianity.
iv. The doctrine of human autonomy and the use of reason in a search of truth are dangerous strands of knowledge that are trying to water down the gospel.
v. There are the dements of ICT in the application of the modern- knowledge. For instance, some preacher gulp just any information on the Net for their own consumption and those of their listeners without actually sieving or scrutinizing such junks.
vi. Glorifying the use of consecrated items/paraphernalia over and against the power of the Lord who has given them to us.
vii. There is also this dangerous practice of using Eastern mystical religious powers, strategies, and gimmick in ministration, most especially, deliverance and healing.
viii. All of these do not glorify God, and should be avoided like plagues, as we cooperate with the true Knowledge of Christ that we must take in on daily basis.
A look at our world today immediately reveals a trending increase in knowledge in every sphere of life and fields of human endeavour. Many Bible scholars believes that this prophecy in Daniel 12:4 very well applies to an increasing knowledge of science and technology as much as it does to increase desire to know the Lord.
Of course, technology is largely making the way things are done in these different fields become faster, more comfortable and convenient. The fact that we are in an age of information has made this sign even more obvious.
Even the most skeptical mind must admit that knowledge is exploding in all direction. However, our generation must be more careful, lest we allow technology take the place of God in our lives, and most importantly in the Church, lest we are accused of idolizing technology. We need God’s grace and help.
We have seen great progress in material knowledge, particularly in the transmission of knowledge and information. However, from God’s point of view, growth or increase in technological, or scientific knowledge is not enough. Hosea says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. And because you rejected knowledge, I will also reject you from being a priest to me.” Therefore, let us not make the mistake of dwelling on material knowledge, most especially, when it unnecessarily challenges the knowledge of God in Christ Jesus. Let us guide it with God’s great strength.
DEVOTIONAL BIBLE READINGS FOR WEEK TWO
Mon. 20: He That Hath Knowledge (Pro. 17:27)
Tue. 21: He That Increases Knowledge (Eccl. 1:8)
Wed. 22: He That Opposes The Truth Is Fake (1 Tim. 6:20)
Thur. 23: He That Loves Christ Loves Knowledge (Eph. 3:19)
Fri. 24: Hypocrisy: Teaching Against The Truth (Rom. 2:20)
Sat. 25: How Knowledge Must Increase (Dan. 12:4)