And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;…
I. WHAT ARE WE TO UNDERSTAND BY CHRISTIANS HAVING THE TRUE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. This cannot mean perfect knowledge. None but Deity can comprehend Deity. But we may have a true knowledge, and the difference between the two is that the former is a knowledge of all things that are true concerning God, and the latter of some things which are true. And what Christians know is as true as if they knew everything, They know, e.g., God to be self-existent, omnipotent, just, merciful, etc., although they do not know the ground of His self-existence, etc. No man knows everything about anything, but the little he knows is as true as though he knew all.
II. How CHRISTIANS GAIN THIS TRUE, THOUGH PARTIAL, KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.
1. By the light of nature, "The invisible things," etc.
2. By Divine revelation. Though God cannot tell men in any language all things about Himself, He can tell some things in their language which they can understand.
III. THEIR TRUE LOVE FOR GOD IS FOUNDED ON THEIR TRUE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. They do not love or worship an unknown God. Knowledge not ignorance is the mother of their devotion: which will appear if we consider —
1. That if Christians should love God for what is not true concerning Him, they would love a false character of God, which would not be true, but false love — the same as loving a false god, which is the essence of idolatry.
2. It is the knowledge which Christians have of the real and supreme excellency of God that lays them under moral obligation to love Him supremely. The more they know of God the more they feel themselves bound to love Him with all their heart.Improvement: If Christians have some true knowledge of God from His works and Word, then —
1. They may have some true knowledge of every doctrine that God has revealed.
2. There is a propriety in preaching upon any doctrine that God has revealed.
3. Christians have no right to disbelieve any doctrine because there is something mysterious in it. If we disbelieve on this ground, we must disbelieve everything.
4. Those who have gained this certain knowledge ought to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints.
5. There is no excuse for religious errors.
(N. Emmons, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;