Knowledge is empowering. The simple recall of knowledge may be useful if one were to be a contestant on Jeopardy. Otherwise, the true power of knowledge is in the application. This is especially true of God’s word. When mixed with faith, God’s word provides access to eternal life. Knowledge that is not put into practice has no benefit. “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” (Hebrews 4:2 NKJV) God’s word is alive, infinitely powerful, and infinitely precise. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 NKJV) God’s word is sharper than the finest sword and more precise than any surgeon’s scalpel.
The power of knowledge is cumulative. A toddler, for example, parrots a few simple words. As time passes, words accumulate and so does the ability to comprehend and assemble those words into sentences. Soon, the youngster is expressing needs and opinions. Ultimately, they have the maturity to analyze complex situations and reach necessary conclusions. This is necessary to succeed in life and necessary to succeed spiritually. For example, the implications of baptism as they relate to Jesus’ death. “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.” (Romans 6:4-8 NKJV)
Not all choose to be freed from sin. Law is therefore necessary to define, regulate, and judge the behavior of the unrighteous. “But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, (1 Timothy 1:8-10 NKJV)
Many desire to be free from sin but wish to do so under their own conditions. It is our responsibility to heed what God has revealed. The prophecies concerning Jesus were confirmed when God claimed Him as His son. Peter was a witness to the proclamation, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (2 Peter 1:12-18) “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:19-21 NKJV) Revelation of God’s will is for the benefit and understanding of all. “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Corinthians 1:10 NKJV)
Our continued existence in this life may cause us to doubt God’s promises. Even the righteous can be lulled into a sense of complacency. “Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:3-4 NKJV) “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (Romans 13:11-14 NKJV)