More on Love & Knowledge
Yesterday I wrote about knowledge and love, and specifically the relationship between the two as suggested by in Phil. 1:9. Looking up this word knowledge in the always useful Vine’s Expository Dictionary, I find that the Greek word used by Paul here is epignosis, which denotes "exact or full knowledge, discernment, recognition . . . expressing a greater participation by the knower [in this case, the Philippian Christians] with the object known, thus more powerfully influencing him."
Isn’t that interesting? Clearly there’s a purpose to this sort of knowing; no hint here of knowledge for its own sake. This is knowledge serving the interests of its object. Knowledge, we might say, with its taproot deeply grounded in love.
Paul is always praying that the churches under his care would grow in knowledge. The idea appears in the opening prayer of the four letters written during his first Roman imprisonment (Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon). But have a mind for the purpose of it all. In fact, Paul makes that purpose quite clear. Continuing along from verse 9 we read, "so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God."
Ah, there’s that idea of righteousness again. I find it all over the Scriptures, first to last. More on this tomorrow, perhaps, but for now let's just sum up. I see that out of my love will grow a discerning kind of knowledge, a knowledge that will help me to influence, as Vine says, the one known--and all for the glory and praise of God. Finally, notice the growth metaphor again. We’ve already seen that our knowledge grows from love, but out of this whole complex of love and discernment we will see also the growth of "the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ." We will see, I’m inclined to say, growing from it, the salvation of the ones who are the objects of our love and discerning service; they will be drawn into the great circle of praise that is "the company of heaven."
NDB Alert ("Newly Discovered Blog"): Testimony and Truth. Take a good look! A nice devotional-type blog.