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Mere knowledge, unaccompanied by such evidences of grace, is no evidence of
election. The Apostle speaks in I Pet. 2: of those who had escaped the pollution of the
world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, but had afterwards
become entangled and overcome, and, said the Apostle, it would have been better for
them not to have known the way of righteousness than that, after they had known it, they
should turn from the holy commandment. He likens such to dogs or to swine who
"return" to their uncleanness, a contrast with the "sheep" of I Pet. 2: 25, who "return" to
the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls. These were evidently "barren and unfruitful" in
their knowledge. However, the main theme of this second epistle is not reached until
chapter 3:, when Peter deals with the postponement of the Second Coming of Christ, the
attitude of the scoffers and the reason for the apparent "slackness".
"Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being
led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness, but grow in grace,
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (II Pet. 3: 17, 18).
This article is but introductory and written with a view to help us to realize the
important place this "added knowledge" has in the great scheme of revelation. We
believe a collection of passages where this addition is a part of inspired teaching will be
helpful to all our readers, and in the succeeding articles such passages will therefore form
the basis of our meditation.
Some examples culled from the Epistle to the Romans.
pp. 133 - 135
Let us turn to the Epistle to the Romans, and see how "knowledge" is added to faith.
Most of our readers are aware of the fact that this epistle presents its teaching from two
points of view. There is the teaching which deals with Jew and Gentile; that appeals to
the Law and the Prophets; that traces the theme of the epistle back to Abraham; and that
uses the word pistis, "faith", twenty-seven times in Rom. 1:-5: 11, and thirteen times in
Rom. 9:-16: There is also the teaching that deals with man, which makes no reference
to Jew and Gentile as such, but traces its theme back to Adam, and makes scarcely any
quotation from the Law and the Prophets. In this section (Rom. 5: 12-8:) the word
pistis, "faith", is not found.
Pisteuo, "to believe", occurs in the outside sections
(Rom.1:-v.11, and Rom.9:-16:), twenty times, but is found only once in the inner
section (Rom. 5: 12-8:). This one reference reads:
"Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him" (Rom. 6: 8).
Apart from this one statement, "faith" and "believe" are limited to the outer portion of
the epistle. Before we turn to the inner portion, and before we can "add" knowledge to
faith, we must have some idea of how faith is used, and in what associations, for we
cannot be said to "add" to anything which we do not already possess.