Knowledge and knowing (sermon)

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On Sunday 2th Feb 2017 I preached on a very important topic, the difference between Knowledge and knowing.

Many people who attend churches throughout the world have the terrible misconception that the essence of Christianity is knowing, doing, and committing the will. However, Jesus said, “You must be born again” and this re-creative miracle is a work of the Holy Spirit, by virtue of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.


Listen to the sermon here, or download it from


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1 thought on “Knowledge and knowing (sermon)”

    Hi Chris, I found myself meditating this week on your sermon and the importance of being “born again”, and it unsettled me and made me to think some more. I realised how serious and urgent the matter of ‘being born again’ is, and I don’t know who is to blame in this case; Pastors who do not teach the Truth and show their congregation the right way, and as you have said “preaching feel good sermons” or is it the Christians who with their iron will and resolve of mind are walking and working their salvation? No amount of bible study, intellect, prayer, fasting, piousness, religiousness or even self-righteousness will work the supernatural miracle of the regeneration of the ‘new man’, it has to be by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God, it has to be from heaven, it has to be Him who said “I will put my Spirit in you and a new heart will I give you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezek. 36: 26), only then can we say our ‘Salvation belongs to the LORD’ because “we have received not the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God” (1Cor. 2:12). Then we can boast in the LORD and say by His grace ‘it is surely God who has wrought out the inner works of our salvation’, and “it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).

    If we ponder the seriousness and implication of our salvation in Jesus statement in John 3:3 where Jesus says” Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” and He goes on to emphasise and validate His statement again in verse 5 “unless one is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God”. We have to realise that our natural works of salvation will only lead us to damnation; we shall not enter the kingdom of God as the door will be shut for us. That which is in the ‘flesh’, religious or otherwise belongs to the world and “friendship with the world is enmity with God” (James 4:4). Shouldn’t this scare the Pastor into teaching the Truth and the urgency of such, and opening the spiritual eyes of Christians in believing that the works of salvation and being “born again” can only be worked out by God and not by themselves?

    If I was Nicodemus, I would have asked the Lord, “Lord, how will I know that I am now born again and that I am clothed with a new Spirit?” Those who say they are born again, do they know the day they were born again? What makes that day memorable to them? What had changed, shifted or dawned in them to realise that regeneration had taken place and that “Christ lives in them”? Was it by their will or by the work of the Spirit? Did they have faith and thus righteousness was imputed to them, like Abraham? Were they under conviction as I was? Did they have a life changing encounter with Christ Jesus? If the world were to end tomorrow, how many will enter the kingdom of God, will you be counted amongst the Saints in heaven? I know the day when I was ‘born again’, it was the day I had to confess and cry out to the Lord, “Lord have your way with me; let your Will be my will”. I had to decide that it cannot be by flesh (mind), or flesh and spirit, but by His Spirit only. I was just saved, not even baptised then, and in my own merit regarded myself as surely saved and my name assuredly in His book.

    Here is wherein I think lies the problem; Legalism (strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit) and Antinomianism (theological doctrine that by faith and God’s grace a Christian is freed from all laws) will be the death of the Church of Christ. These like parasites are slowly draining the Church of Christ of their spiritual life and health, producing ‘self-made’ Christians, and closing the doors of God’s kingdom shut for the Church. I believe that those who are spiritual and understand spiritual things should proactively cut off the head of these snakes when they are found in the Church, they should show no mercy in weeding-out these briars and casting them into the fire; these must not be tolerated at any cost, even at the cost of fellowship. The Pastor must diligently sieve the wheat from the chaff without fear, favour or partiality and without sugar-coating God’s Word, and echo Jesus, “unless you are born again, of water and Spirit, you cannot enter the kingdom of God”. The Church of Christ also needs elders who boldly stand for the Truth and not having ‘tamed’ spirits subject to the Pastor’s Legalistic views and tendencies, disguised as holliness. This is a matter of life and death; spiritual life to the Church of Christ by His grace and Spirit and death to the law. You asked at the end of your sermon ” What will you now do with this new information and teaching?” I say, ‘may all those professing to be Christians and the Church of Christ like Saul/Paul have their own “Damascus” encounter with our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus’. These are just my views and inner thoughts, and if I have unsettled some people; good.

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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.