January 9, 2020
Growing in Love and Knowledge
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight… – Philippians 1:9 NIV
We really like to separate knowledge and love, treating them as enemies, or at least as citizens of different planets! We say that knowledge has to do with the mind. Love comes from the heart. Knowledge is rational and cold, concerned with facts. Love is warm and personal. Or maybe we think knowledge is reliable, solid, objective. Love is unreliable, wishy-washy, subjective.
However, Paul had a very different vision for how these two relate to each other. Paul imagines knowledge leading to an abundance of love. Somehow knowledge is the source of our growing in love. How can this work? A quick survey of the idea of “knowledge” in the New Testament reveals something very interesting. Knowledge by itself is not that transformative, nor is any old kind of knowledge the goal. Paul looked forward to the Ephesians gaining full “knowledge of the Son of God” (Eph. 4:13). He wanted to see the Colossians grow in knowledge of God’s will so they could live a life that pleases God and know Him more fully (Col. 1:9-10). Timothy is told that what people need is knowledge of the truth of God’s gospel (1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Tim. 2:25; 3:7). Peter prayed that grace and peace would come through knowledge of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:2) and said that God’s power gave us everything we needed to live a godly life through knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1:3).
We could go on and on, but I think the pattern is clear. Knowledge of who God is, what He has done and what pleases Him transforms us. This is not abstract theories and formulas. This is knowledge of a personal, loving, powerful God who has entered into human history and launched a new creation in His Son. If we find ourselves lacking love, we need to know God better. If our knowledges doesn’t produce love, perhaps we don’t know Him as well as we think we do. How do we come to know God? How do we grow in knowledge? God has not left us in the dark. He has revealed Himself by the Scriptures, His word to us. He has revealed Himself in the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. And He has revealed Himself most supremely in the life of His Son, Jesus.
So, Fellowship, here is my prayer for all of us this new year: may our love abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight into God’s heart, the glory of His Son, and the things that please Him. For His honor and glory. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Participate in Clarity (sermon series in 2020)
- Pick up a Clarity 52-week devotional book, available for $5 in the Worship Center Foyer during weekend services. Or a digital copy can be found at clarity2020.org.
- Listen to Clarity sermons or download a discussion guide at listen.fellowshipnwa.org.
Take a Class
- The Training Center at Fellowship Bible Church offers trainings in Bible, Theology, Life and Ministry. Register for 2020 classes at training.fellowshipnwa.org.
Grow in Community
- Are you in a small group? If not, locate a community pastor in the Worship Center Foyer during weekend services to learn more and sign-up!
Leave a comment below. Let us know how you plan to grow in love & knowledge this year!