2 Peter 1:5
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;
Had we written this we probably would have said, “add to your faith knowledge” because in Western culture and the church we value amassing knowledge about God. Our services are built around an instruction time. We have Bible STUDIES, Sunday SCHOOLS and even Bible COLLEGES. We tend to believe knowledge is the answer – knowledge about goodness will lead to goodness. A person who is not good simply needs more instruction.
But the Lord says add to your faith goodness. Once someone is saved we want to get them educated about the Bible, the Trinity, the great doctrines of the faith. But the Holy Spirit, through Peter, says first add goodness. Upon the foundation of faith, first put down a layer of goodness before you worry about adding the next level, knowledge.
In other words, the nature and character of Jesus are more important than the facts and figures about Jesus. “But what if the new believer comes to some wrong conclusions or develops some bad doctrine?” It appears the Lord would rather we first live the life of Christ than learn the life of Christ.
Knowledge about God is important. Without it we end up worshiping a God of our own fabrication. It is the third foundational layer in building the life of Christ in us. But we must never think information can take the place of transformation. We are to imitate and demonstrate the life of Christ, not just instruct and discourse about it.
1 Corinthians 8:1-3
… Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God.