by Mike Ratliff
15 Διὰ τοῦτο κἀγὼ ἀκούσας τὴν καθʼ ὑμᾶς πίστιν ἐν τῷ κυρίῳ Ἰησοῦ καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην τὴν εἰς πάντας τοὺς ἁγίους 16 οὐ παύομαι εὐχαριστῶν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν μνείαν ποιούμενος ἐπὶ τῶν προσευχῶν μου, 17 ἵνα ὁ θεὸς τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ πατὴρ τῆς δόξης, δώῃ ὑμῖν πνεῦμα σοφίας καὶ ἀποκαλύψεως ἐν ἐπιγνώσει αὐτοῦ, (Ephesians 1:15-17 NA28)
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, (Ephesians 1:15-17 ESV)
Post-modernism has as one of its tenets “relativism” that, of course, leads to ambiguity not revelation nor precision in our understanding of the truth. In fact, I have been rebuked more times than I can count by those who hold to that false religion called the “Emergent Church” that I was full of pride and not humble because I declared that I knew truth revealed to us by God in His Word as absolute truth, authoritative and without error. The liberal insists that to be humble we must declare that we do not know the truth nor are able to know God or understand His Word.
However, the Apostle Paul reveals to the Ephesians in the first chapter of his letter to them that he does not cease to give thanks for them, and that God would give them the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. In v17 the word “knowledge” translates the Greek noun ἐπιγνώσει or epignōsei, which is the Dative, Singular, Feminine case of ἐπίγνωσις or epignōsis. This is a compound word made up of γνῶσις or gnōsis, “experiential knowledge” and ἐπὶ or epi, “motion upon or toward” thereby coming up with ἐπίγνωσις meaning “an experiential, personal knowledge that is full and thorough.” This would also speak of “precise and correct knowledge.”
Is it vital that we have full, precise, thorough, and correct knowledge of God? Our enemy and his agents work continually to confuse the truth, to make pursuing the truth look like a waste of time or even something that is prideful while exalting those who say it is best to stay ignorant of God and His truth. These same people relish is a religion that is vague and relative while being focused on each person’s experience. The modern philosophies of “open-mindedness” and “tolerance” were foreign to the Apostle Paul’s thinking and they should be expunged from the thinking of Christians today. Many today have “a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge” (ἐπίγνωσις, Romans 10:2).
We are not infinite like God so we shall never know everything, but our knowledge is full in the sense that we know what is right and necessary for Christian living. And, of course, our knowledge continues to grow with more involvement with God’s Word. The more we are transformed through the renewing of our minds by immersing ourselves in God’s Word our knowledge continues to grow. In other words, our knowledge can be full from moment to moment; we can right now know what God wants us to know, but tomorrow we will know more; so, each moment we are living in the full potential of our present knowledge.
Every pastor should pray for his flock the way Paul prayed for the Colossians believers:
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:9-10 ESV)
Soli Deo Gloria!