It has been suggested that the word “knowledge” is the keyword of II Peter. A quick reading of Peter’s letter shows why that may be true. In the New King James Version, the word appears five times in chapter 1, once in chapter 2, and is found in the final verse of chapter 3. You also find “know,” “knowing,” “known,” and “knows” a total of eight times.
There is an essential connection between knowledge and true freedom. Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Paul tied salvation to the knowledge of truth in I Tim. 2:4.
It is also clearly shown that ignorance of truth will not produce what God wants. In Acts 3:17, Peter credits ignorance with the killing of the Prince of life (15). Paul blamed alienation from God on ignorance on the part of the Gentiles (Eph. 4:18).
But, why is spiritual knowledge so important? Consider three benefits Peter mentions:
Escape from Pollution
According to II Pet. 2:20, knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ had helped people escape the pollutions of the world. The Greek word Peter used is the highest form of knowledge; full, perfect, precise. The world system of evil is corrupt and corrupting. Moral deterioration and spiritual death are the results. It thrives on the ignorance of the truth.
This knowledge of Jesus will lead to the recognition of His authority and obedience to His commands. Obeying the truth leads to a purified soul (I Pet. 1:22).
Entering The Way of Peace
Peter could connect peace and knowledge (II Pet. 1:2) for those who first read his letter. They were no longer alienated and enemies of God. Their peace had come through Jesus (Rom. 5:1). And, now, they could enjoy the “peace of God” (Phil. 4:7).
Enabled To Prepare For The Future
As Peter closed this short letter, he wanted to remind readers that the “day of the Lord” was coming (II Pet. 3:10). Physical things will be destroyed (11). Knowledge of what is ahead for us should help us desire growth in that knowledge. Such growth will help us prepare for it, persist in our determined allegiance to God’s way, and proclaim His truth to those yet living in ignorance. – Allen Hahn