“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” (2 Peter 1:2)
God's been drawing me to 2 Peter 1:1-8 for awhile. They speak to my heart every time I read them. I was intrigued by the number of times they mention the knowledge of God and Jesus.
The Greek word for knowledge in this verse (and the verses in 2 Peter below) is “epignosis”, and it means clear and exact knowledge. The Complete Word Study Lexical Aids to the New Testament describes this knowledge as the kind that clearly reveals or shows relationship to God and Jesus, and that this knowledge powerfully influences what is produced or manifested because of this relationship.
We are all being spiritually transformed, but we choose if our spiritual transformation is godly or worldly by what we allow our eyes to see, our ears to hear, and our minds to think about. In other words, the closer my relationship is to God and Jesus, the more like Jesus I will become, which is God's purpose for all believers--to be transformed into the image of His Son (2 Corin. 3:18). This knowledge in 2 Peter produces grace and peace and godliness. Worldliness will appear in stark contrast to the holiness of God, and I will be able to recognize ungodliness and the lies of this worldly culture and turn from it. Or better yet, “flee” from it, and warn others to do so. (Acts 2:40)
2 Peter 1:3 continues this truth of clear and exact knowledge that powerfully influences: “His (Jesus) divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”
Not “head” knowledge but “relationship” knowledge, such as that which comes from daily talking and walking with Jesus.
“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:4-8)
God has shown me that spiritual transformation is a process and takes time. But our participation in the process is vital. We have to keep clinging to Jesus, bowing the knee to Him and letting Him be Lord of our lives, no matter who we may offend. We have to keep making the godly choices and we have to keep "fleeing" from the ungodly ones. And we have to warn others as God leads.