I remember a stained-glass window that adorned the library of my alma mater. It was situated above the stairwell at the second-floor landing. In leaded letters, the words in the window declared, “Knowledge is power.”
Every time I ascended or descended that staircase I cringed at those words. I did not like them. There was something arrogant about them. I could not deny that the words were true. Knowledge is power. But the lust for power is not a sound motivation to gain knowledge. The Bible is right: Knowledge puffs up; love builds up (1 Cor. 8:1).
Even the pursuit of the knowledge of God can become a snare of arrogance. Theology can become a game, a power game to see who can display the most erudition. When it is such a game it proceeds from an unholy passion.
A holy passion is a passion inflamed by a godly motive. To pursue the knowledge of God to further our understanding of Him and deepen our love for Him is to embark on a quest that delights Him. Jesus encouraged such a pursuit (John 8:31–32). Jesus linked knowledge not with power but with freedom. Knowing the truth is the most liberating power in the world. Not the power to dominate; not the power to impress: These are not the powers we seek. But the power to set free—to give true liberty—is tied to a knowledge of the truth.
We all want liberty. We want to be free of the chains that bind us. That liberty comes from knowing God. But the pursuit of that knowledge may not be casual. Jesus spoke of “abiding” in His Word. The pursuit of God is not a part-time, weekend exercise. If it is, chances are you will experience a part-time, weekend freedom. Abiding requires a kind of staying power. The pursuit is relentless. It hungers and thirsts. It pants as the deer after the mountain brook. It takes the kingdom by storm, pressing with violence to get in.
It is a pursuit of passion. Indifference will not do. To abide in the Word is to hang on tenaciously. A weak grip will soon slip away. Discipleship requires staying power. We sign up for the duration. We do not graduate until heaven.
The Lectio Continua Expository Commentary on the New Testament is a new commentary series published by Tolle Lege Press (see below). We currently have two volumes, First Corinthians and Galatians, and have benefited greatly from both. We recommend these valuable resources and look forward to purchasing the forthcoming volumes as they become available.
Instead of doctrinally rich exposition which strengthens faith and fosters Christian maturity, the standard fare has become informal, chatty, anecdote-laden messages, leaving unbelievers confused, and believers in a state of chronic spiritual adolescence.
Jon D. Payne, Series Editor
About the Series
The Lectio Continua Expository Commentary on the New Testament is a new exegetical commentary series published by Tolle Lege Press. The series will be authored by sixteen ministers from five countries representing ten different Reformed denominations. The Lectio Continua Expository Commentary seeks to be rigorously exegetical, God-centered, redemptive-historical, sin-exposing, Gospel-trumpeting and teeming with practical application. It aims to encourage ministers, elders, seminarians and interested laypeople to rediscover the profound spiritual benefits of systematic expository preaching; that is, the faithful preaching of the “whole counsel of God” — verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book. It also endeavors, by the power of the Spirit, to help Christ’s kingdom disciples to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18).