For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 2 Peter 1:5-7 (ESV)
The apostle Peter tells us to supplement our virtue with knowledge. I believe the apostle has the knowledge of God in mind here. It could also be that he is referring to the knowledge of how and when to properly apply virtue (high moral standards) in our lives.
From where does true knowledge come? The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 ESV) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. (Proverbs 9:10 ESV) True knowledge comes from the fear of the Lord; a moral reverence of God. When we have a moral reverence for God we will be diligent to heed his words; the scriptures. For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 ESV) The bible is God’s mouthpiece to us. It is through the scriptures, revealed by the Holy Spirit, that we find the knowledge of God’s will and ways.
Peter wrote that we should make every effort to gain knowledge. King Solomon concurs by writing, Apply your heart to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge. (Proverbs 23:12 ESV) Solomon also wrote that if we search for understanding in the same way that we would search for a hidden treasure, then we would find the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of God (Proverbs 2:1-5). All of the treasure of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ (Colossians 2:3).
We desperately need to know God’s will in every circumstance of life. That is, we need to know how to apply God’s moral standards in our every day lives. That is why Paul prayed that the Colossians would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Colossians 1:9). Being filled with the knowledge of God’s will equips us to live in a manner worthy of the Lord (worthy to be called a Christian) and we will bear fruit in every good work (Colossians 1:10).
If we do not have a moral reverence for God then all the knowledge we acquire and all the good works we perform, regardless of how beneficial they are to society, will amount to nothing in the sight of God. Our knowledge and works will be completely void of eternal value because they will not be done to the glory of God. Any deed that is not performed for the glory of God is wickedness and an abomination to him (Proverbs 15:8, 26; 21:27; 28:9; Romans 10:2).
We might also gain knowledge through experience. The longer we apply God’s truths to our lives the more our senses or powers of discernment are trained to distinguish the ways of God from those ways that are contrary to his to his will (Hebrews 5:14). Knowledge also comes to us through godly instruction and counsel (Proverbs 19:27; 23:12 ).
Those who hate knowledge and do not choose the fear of the Lord suffer the consequences of their actions, the end of which is spiritual death. Those who love knowledge and choose the fear of the Lord dwell secure and never fear disaster (Proverbs 1:29-33).
Are you seeking for knowledge and understanding as you would a hidden treasure?
Scriptures for meditation:
2 Peter 1:3