Filled with all knowledge

Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay
Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay

Filled with all knowledge - Romans 15:14

Brothers and sisters, we want to be people who are filled with all knowledge.  But the “all knowledge” here doesn’t just mean any knowledge.  It means Biblical knowledge; it means knowledge about the God who has revealed himself and his ways in the pages of Scripture.  So the only way we are going to be filled with all knowledge in the sense in which the apostle is speaking is by being people of the Word.  And it is the only way we will ever attain to the breadth and the depth of the character of which the apostle has just spoken.  Do you want to be man or a woman who is full of all goodness?  Then you need to be a man or a woman who is filled with the Bible.  It is why the apostle wrote to Timothy: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).  Do you want to be mature?  Do you want to be complete, equipped for every good work?  Then you must immerse yourself, like Ezra, in the study of the Scriptures.  You must set your heart upon it.

I know a lot of people think that knowledge is inimical to godliness.  And it is true that knowledge by itself does not guarantee godliness.  Knowledge by itself puffs up.  There are those who are “ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.”  Yet, the converse is not true.  The Bible makes it very clear that you cannot be godly without having your heart and mind gripped by God’s word.

For one thing, Biblical knowledge channels grace in the right direction: “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” (Phil. 1:9-11).  Notice how the apostle puts knowledge and discernment together.  Together, they help us to approve what is excellent.  It is impossible for us to improve upon our graces without this knowledge.  But with it, we are able to take what we have, improve upon it, grow in it, and develop it further.  Suppose you have two people.  You give them the same seeds and put them in similar environments with the same kind of soil and precipitation.  But one has a knowledge of gardening and the other doesn’t.  Who do you think will improve the soil the best?  Who will get a better harvest in the end?  The question answers itself.  So if you want to be fruitful in the Lord, you need first to be fruitful in the knowledge of the Lord, and that comes mainly through the knowledge of the Word of the Lord.

A lack of knowledge of the truth prevents further understanding and growth.  Like the calculus student who cannot do algebra, they will find that maturity is almost impossible because they have not yet matured in the elementary principles of the knowledge of Christ.  It will make us spiritually weak and vulnerable to the deceit of the Enemy (cf. Eph. 4:14).

Like goodness, we should beware of an attitude that thinks we have “arrived.” The apostle could write Romans to a church full of knowledge because once we have read the Bible, it does not mean it shouldn’t be studied again and again.  Old truths revisited often produce new insights.  And old sin rising up again often needs nothing more than old truths reappropriated.

We need, like Ezra, to set our hearts upon God’s word.  We need to love it, like the psalmist and the prophet (Ps. 119:97; Jer. 15:16).  Those who love the word will benefit from it the best.  God’s word is not meant to be to us like a homework assignment that we do just to get a grade.  It is not simply a means to an end.  Rather, it is like healthy food that nourishes our souls.  Yes, healthful food is good for us quite apart from its taste but when we learn to love the taste of it, we will sooner eat it rather than junk.  How is God’s word to us?  

But knowledge always needs to be tied back to character.  Truth is not only to be learned; it is to be applied (Jn. 17:17; Ps. 119:59-60).  In fact, truth cannot be truly appreciated until and unless it is applied!  In the Bible, knowledge is often more than just an intellectual apprehension of certain doctrines and statements and propositions.  It means an experiential understanding of those things which can only come by way of applying their truths to our lives.

By: Jeremiah Bass