The                                              
Christian Pilgrim

 

79. Growth in Grace and Knowledge



2 Peter 3:18 - "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."

This is our sanctification. True believers really grow in both these things. It is impossible for true believers to have one but not the other.

"Grace" is equivalent to experimental religion, the practical outworking of our faith, and
"Knowledge" is equivalent to our knowledge of doctrine in our minds.

It is possible to know all the truth there is to know in this world, because it is all contained in the Holy Bible. Man is biased against it by nature, so most men in their natural estate will be irrational in their logic somewhere along the line, but technically, by the use of the premises in the Bible and the good and necessary consequences of logical deduction from those premises, it is theoretically possible to know all the truth (that there is to know) with unaided reason. This renders men who have the Scriptures more without excuse than men who just have Creation to go by.

But even if we only knew the truth in this way, without experimental religion (i.e. "grace"), one would still be unregenerate and go to hell:

1 Corinthians 13:2 - "And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."

1 Corinthians 8:1 - "Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth."


On the other hand, some men throw doctrine ("knowledge") out of the window and think that one's supposed "experience of Christ" is the only mark of being a true believer. This is also wrong, because they end up believing in a Christ of their own imagination, not the Christ of Scripture (which they do not bother to find out about). These people are also still unregenerate and on their way to hell, because a new heart would give us a love for the Word of God, and a desire to submit ourselves to it, which these people clearly have not got..


Therefore we need knowledge of the truth:

John 17:17 - "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."

But we ALSO need experimental religion:

Romans 5:5 - "the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."