“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge.”
to virtue knowledge
The second building block of Christian character is “knowledge.” Another item to add to faith is “knowledge.” There are certain principles that we must know before we can apply them. We also must add knowledge to our faith.
Knowledge is not wisdom. Knowledge is the accumulation of the facts of God’s Word. Wisdom is the application of knowledge to experience. Knowledge here is the experience of knowledge. In this context, knowledge is a personal acquaintance with Jesus Christ.
Jn 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
Php 3:10, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.”
Co 1:10, “That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
If we add knowledge to faith, we will know what to do in any predicament we might face. Courage (“diligence”) without knowledge is dangerous.
Knowledge should precede zeal so that our zeal can be effective.
If zeal comes first and knowledge second, our zeal may not be properly directed. Zeal without knowledge is like an empty semi that takes off down the road without its load. There is no purpose for the trip. Zeal, for the experience of enthusiasm, is not a Christian value.
God wants us to add the knowledge of His Word to our experience. Knowledge of the Word is the only way we can know God truly.
Prov 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Prov 2:6, “For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
We need to balance both zeal and knowledge. Knowledge without zeal is deadness. Zeal without knowledge is emptiness. If we are static, we are stagnating. If we do not go forward, we lose momentum. Fire and water are opposites. Water puts out the fire. Fire, uncontrolled, destroy things in its path. This is the problem with zeal and knowledge. Knowledge puts out zeal. Uncontrollable zeal destroys the development of Christian character.
He 5:12-13, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.”
Jude 20, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.”
Are you knowledgeable of God’s program for the world and your life? What is God doing in the world? What is God doing with me?