How could someone have spiritual precision? Why does it matter? I’ve never heard anyone talk about it, so it must not be a big deal…right?
(Note: Our verse today covers a lot of ground in about a thousand words. You may want to read it on a lunch break or 15 minute break somewhere in your day).
We all know that the accurate and rightly divided Word of God is a precision instrument. It is so precise, God compares it to a two-edged sword dividing the thoughts and intents of the heart and the soul from the spirit. That sounds precise enough. But how does one use that precision?
Well, let’s start at our verse in Philippians.
“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment;” Philippians 1:9
I’m excited because God defined what He wants us to abound in by the Greek words He uses in the verse above.
Let’s look at the literal translation.
“I pray that your love (agape, love by your freewill decision to be obedient to God) may abound (perisseuō, exceed and overflow) yet more and more (even more than that) in knowledge (epignōsis, precise and accurate knowledge of spiritual things) and in all (pas, individually, each, every) judgment (aisthēsis, cognition, discernment).”
I heard a phrase that I’ve made my own over the years. “The faster you go, the faster you go.” An olympian once said it after competing in several events and finishing the last race faster than all the others. We have that same opportunity! Our ability to “check-in” with God on what to do in each situation, which is walking in agape, abounds more and more by doing it. We get better and better at walking in love. That is a relief to me, I don’t always know what to say, but someday if I keep at this, I’ll get there. That is how we are perfected or matured in the faith.
Then we have the word “knowledge” which is epignosis. Let’s look at a few other places this word shows up. Remember it means, precise and accurate knowledge of spiritual things.
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:” Ephesians 1:7
“And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” Colossians 3:10
“Who will have all men to be saved , and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:4
Wow! These verses amaze me! We receive the accurate and precise knowledge of God from God Himself!. Then we can put on the new man by renewing our mind after we know the accurate and precise knowledge of God and God wants all men to come to the accurate and precise knowledge of the Truth which is Him!
As long as I’ve been in the Word in know that if there’s a right way to do something, there’s also a wrong way. Look at this verse.
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” Romans 16:7
There are people out there preaching doctrine contrary to the precise and accurate knowledge of God. The word “contrary”, above, is the Greek word, para. We get our English word “parallel” from this word. This means that their doctrine is so close to the accurate knowledge it could seem like it is that knowledge, but in fact it is error.
Wait just one minute Terri!
How am I supposed to find out what is accurate and what is error if the doctrine or teaching is so close like that? Well, how does one find out if you have a counterfeit oil painting on your hands? They say you have to know the real thing so well, that the counterfeits are easy to spot. God asks us to get to know Him so well that if the devil comes in with a forgery of any kind, you can “resist the devil and he shall flee.”
God helps you too. There are certain plants for your garden that repels pests. Likewise the precise and accurate knowledge of God repels, counterfeits. For instance, when you realize that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all, you’ll begin understanding where all the trouble is coming from. It’s not from God, He loves you. See now it’s easy to spot the lie that God is testing you. The truth repels that pesky little lie. Do you see how easy it can become. Just match up the counterfeit next to the real thing.
“We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:6
This word “knoweth” is ginosko which means to know by experience. What have we experienced? The precise and accurate knowledge of God.
The last phrase in Philippians 1:9 is “and in all judgment (aisthēsis cognition, discernment)” This word compliments everything we’ve learned already in this verse. This is spiritual insight and after what we just read it’s spiritual insight on steroids. Wow! Can you believe all this wonderful precision was in one verse? Spiritual insight and precision starts with honing of our ability to walk in love. That walk helps us weed out the error and wrong doctrine. The Love helps us with our precise knowledge of God and it will give us spiritual insight.
God bless you today!