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Add to your faith . . . . . knowledge
Showing how II Peter adds "knowledge"
to the "faith" of I Peter.
pp. 117 - 119
Sometimes we meet with good Christian folk who seem to have a real horror of
knowledge, looking upon it as a work of the flesh, and antagonistic to faith. There is, of
course, a specious form of knowledge that puffeth up (I Cor. 8: 1), but there is also an
empty faith that cannot save (James 2: 17). While we give no place to the "oppositions
of science falsely so called", it is mischievous to assert that true science can ever be
antagonistic to true faith. We are, however, not contemplating the adjustment of physical
science to the faith, but considering the many passages in which knowledge is associated
with faith as a second step.
We have borrowed the title for this study from II Peter, and we observe that the
epistle which opens with the exhortation "add to your faith . . . knowledge" (II Pet. 1: 5),
concludes with the exhortation to "grow in grace and in knowledge" (II Pet. 3: 18).
Peter, indeed, says much more in his opening exhortation, than that knowledge should be
added to faith; in full his words are,
"And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue
knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience
godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity"
These added graces are all to be looked upon as so much "fruit", for the Apostle says
that if these things be present, and abound, they make us that we be neither "barren nor
unfruitful" in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
To examine every item in this great addition would take us too far afield so, while
remembering that the exhortation would be incomplete without them, we will devote this
study to the association of faith and knowledge.
If we examine Peter's two epistles we shall discover that the first stresses "faith",
while the second stresses "knowledge".
Here are the references to faith in the first epistle:
"Kept . . . . . through faith unto salvation" (1: 5).
"The trial of your faith" (1: 7).
"Though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice" (1: 8).
"Receiving the end of your faith" (1: 9).
"Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him
glory; that your faith and hope might be in God" (1: 21).
"Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on
Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious" (2: 6, 7).