2 Tim. 3:14-15
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Paul’s letters to Timothy were in a context of comparison of two streams best described as FALSE TEACHING, and TRUTH. These verses contained an urgent plea to Timothy, for in Paul’s mind, the temptations facing him were great. Paul is calling on his young disciple, to whom Paul himself was like a father, to keep walking in the faith – the faith that was based on what he had learned from his family, and in his study of the Jesus, and His Word.
This kind of impassioned plea can be seen seen throughout Paul’s life. Paul was not wishy washy in his faith. He had been knocked off his “high horse” - literally, and had an encounter with the Living Son of God on the road to Damascus.
The truth of the Gospel, and the study by Paul of Scripture had an effect of inculcation on Paul. To inculcate is to chisel, as an artist would engrave an inscription in stone. The mark left behind is close to permanent. His heart for Timothy was that kind of serious.
It is as if he were saying, “Timothy, don’t forget the rock from which you were hewn.” “Timothy, CONTINUE in what you have learned from the Word. Continue in what you have learned….and have firmly BELIEVED.
There is within each of us the possibility that we can know – yet not believe. Apathy does that. Knowledge that is not guarded, truth that is not held dear, can become at risk of functionally being just “words” – not only in our own lives, but also the lives of those coming after us.
I heard a quote a number of years ago from a friend in Orlando – he was addressing our parents in my church, and uttered what to me was a profound statement.
He said, “Anything that we teach as important, and yet for those very things we lack passion in our own lives…those things will become optional to our children.”
I have never forgotten that. I want to believe what I say I believe. Actually – functionally.
I want to close the gap between what I say I believe – and how I functionally walk that out.
Paul understood this – he said, “I know in whom I believe, and am persuaded that He is able…. (2 Tim. 1 – emphasis added).
Paul was careful – to point Timothy to the fact that this was no “new-fangled word.” No, he had been taught this from his family, BUT MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY – FROM GOD, from his youth – even his childhood. It was then that Timothy had first been introduced to the study of sacred writings – holy scriptures.
Even though he was young, Timothy had come face-to-face with WISDOM in those scriptures.
“One can have knowledge without having wisdom, but one cannot have wisdom without having knowledge. A person without knowledge is ignorant. A person without wisdom is deemed a fool.”
Paul is doing all he can to make sure that Timothy walks in the wisdom that He had been shown. Paul reminds this young man that the source for becoming wise is found only in his study of those sacred writings.
The Scriptures alone can open our minds to the Gospel, to Jesus, and His salvation. Those scriptures will give us knowledge, keep us from ignorance, and – by God’s grace – prevent us from living the life of a fool.
Till next time.
~ Mike Gilland
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