This lesson is for those who have obeyed the gospel of Christ and seek to move on to higher perfection (Heb 6:1-3). There have been many in the pursuit of knowledge who neglected to apply it to their personal conduct. The Word of God did not proceed from us, but it is to be applied to us foremost, and to them who will hear us. Biblical knowledge is vital to one’s spiritual well being, because we can be destroyed for a lack of knowledge (Hos 4: 6). But knowledge is not the end of all things we need to apply to our lives. Knowledge is to be used for a glorious purpose. A person may be very “knowledgeable” but still live an immoral life. We must apply this vital knowledge to our conduct. We must become better people because of what we know. Pure lives must be lived. As Paul admonishes Timothy, “. . . be an example to them that believe, in word, in manner of life, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12).
Our behavior must be godly. “Beloved, I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having your behavior seemly among the Gentiles; that, wherein they speak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works, which they behold, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Pet 2:11, 12). In the previous chapter, Peter exhorts us “as children of obedience, not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts in the time of your ignorance: but like as he who called you is holy, BE YOURSELVES ALSO HOLY IN ALL MANNER OF LIVING; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy: for I am holy.”‘ (1 Pet 1:14-16).
Many scriptures teach that our eternal destiny will be determined by our conduct in this life. “For we must all be made manifest before the judgment-seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5: 10).
Shall we gain knowledge? Absolutely! “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 3:18). But remember to APPLY your knowledge in forming righteous conduct (Tit 2:11-14).
Grow in your spiritual knowledge. Remember that after knowledge comes self-control. We must control ourselves before we are able to be a good example for others to follow. We must practice what we preach unless we have preached in vain (Rom 2:21,22). “Examine yourselves whether you be in the faith. Test your own selves. Know you not yourselves how Jesus Christ is in you, unless you be reprobates (fail the test) (1 Cor 13:5). Become and remain righteous in your daily conduct. This I speak first to myself, and also to them who want to be approved of God. As Paul said to a young Timothy, “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15). Live godly in this present world, save yourself first and foremost, and then you shall be able to teach others also what was first preached on the day of Pentecost and then unto all the world (1 Tim 4:16 ff; Acts 2; Col 1:23).