2 Timothy 3:7 - Learning or Living?
2 Timothy 3:7 - Learning or Living?
2 Timothy 3:7 (KJV) Ever learning, and never able to come to the
knowledge of the truth.
2 Timothy 3:7 (CWB) These kinds of people listen to anybody.
They're always ready to learn but never come to the point of
acknowledging the truth or fully accepting God's forgiveness.
Little League coaches know that very young ballplayers have
to use a tee to learn how to bat before they can swing and hit
pitches. Surgeons have their interns watch procedures before they let
them pick up a scalpel. Parents of budding violinists endure hours of
squeaks before enjoying the beautiful notes of a school orchestra.
Practice makes perfect - or at least makes things better.
The same principle applies to spiritual growth. Believers
cannot get better (become more like Christ) without regularly studying
God's Word and applying it to their lives. That is why Paul tells
Timothy about the Bible's usefulness in teaching what is true and right.
As you read, evaluate your "practice" schedule.
God gave the Bible so that people could learn to love and
serve him (2 Timothy 3:16-17). A lot of the study and learning we do
in life aims to make us smarter or more knowledgeable. That will
happen when we study the Bible, but it's not the main reason that God
gave us his Word. God wants us to change our thoughts, behavior, and
Some people use their knowledge of the Bible only to win
arguments or to make themselves look clever. Besides missing the aim of
having such knowledge, they become worse people, not better, by falling
into pride (see 1 Corinthians 8:1-3).
Never flaunt your knowledge of God's Word. Study the Bible to
learn how to live, not to win an argument or to show somebody up. Seek
to know Christ and learn to do good. [The One Year Through the
Bible Devotional by Dave Veerman re 2 Tim. 3 & 4]
Does it ever strike you as odd that some of the most learned men
in history have spent their lives poring over the Bible - and yet
never come to faith in Christ? Salvation is not just about learning,
but about submission to a new way of life. [Life Principles SB By
Charles Stanley mod.]
Ever learning, but loaded with sin and led astray by their
lusts, they never really came to an understanding of the truth.
[Wiersbe Expository Outlines mod.]
Many obtain much speculative acquaintance with the "doctrines"
of Christianity, but never become savingly acquainted with the
system; many study the constitution and government of the church, but
remain strangers to practical piety; many become familiar with the
various philosophical theories of religion, but never become truly
acquainted with what religion is; and many embrace visionary theories, who
never show that they are influenced by the spirit of the gospel.
Nothing is more common than for persons to be very busy and active in
religion, and even to "learn" many things about it, who still remain
strangers to the saving power of the gospel. (Barnes' Notes)
They hear, repeatedly hear, it may be, good sermons; but, as
they seldom meditate on what they hear, they derive little profit
from the ordinances of God. They have no more grace now than they had
several years ago, though hearing all the while, and perhaps not
wickedly departing from the Lord. They do not meditate, they do not
think, they do not reduce what they hear to practice; therefore, even
under the preaching of an apostle, they could not become wise to
salvation. (Adam Clarke Commentary)
This verse is not opposing study and learning; it is warning
about ineffective learning. It is possible to be a perpetual student
and never graduate to putting theory into practice. [Life
He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
Luke 1:51b (KJV)
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