Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Scientia et Sensus | Knowledge and Understanding

“I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.” – Philippians 1:9


They said that love is blind and it happens often in the romantic world. Christianity also talks about love. 1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love”. We are encouraged to love our enemies and forgive people who wrong us (Matt 5:44, Matt 18:22). Often we encounter people who profess Christianity but leave us wondering whether they really are, because we hardly can feel their love.

Nevertheless, Apostle Paul reminds us not only to love others but to keep on growing in knowledge and understanding “to understand what really matters…” (Phil 1:10). The same passage of 1 John 4 which talks about love also talks about testing each spirit whether someone comes from God or not. We are even told not to welcome any people who are called Christians but actually are deceivers who bring destructive doctrine denying the relationship of Father and Son – possessing an antichrist spirit (2 John: 7-11).

Another crucial thing is, to improve our knowledge and understanding by reading the Bible and any literature in the truth. Philosophy, Theology, History of errors in church, cases and testimonies, anything under the light of Holy Spirit. Hebrews 5:14 tells us about solid food for mature Christians “who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil”.

Our power of discernment or ability to really understand cases must be trained. It is unwise to think that we have understood everything without deepening our discernment. Why? Because good and evil are real and we cannot be totally naïve about people or teachings and such on behalf of love. Even our Lord Jesus, our Good Shepherd, was very strict confronting the Pharisees and all religious people who claimed to love God but refusing him. He called them sons of the devil (John 8:44).

Apostle Paul was a scholar and a faithful servant. He liked to study and it complemented his sincere heart towards God and people. That’s why his teaching and explanations were deep and complex - often hard to understand. Apostle Peter mentioned his appreciation on Paul’s teachings when he warned people about scoffers who would come and distract God’s people from godly life (2 Pet 3:16).

So in Christianity, love is not blind in connection with the truth. Instead we are told to love in the truth. Love without truth is dangerous. While truth without love is useless. All who know the truth do love, while those who are not from God love for their own benefit. May God help us to overflow with love while keep growing in knowledge and understanding. Amen.


Reflection on Philippians 1:1-11 by Desire Litaay

(Listen to the Podcast here)

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