|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-9 Even in gospel times there would be perilous times; on account of persecution from without, still more on account of corruptions within. Men love to gratify their own lusts, more than to please God and do their duty. When every man is eager for what he can get, and anxious to keep what he has, this makes men dangerous to one another. When men do not fear God, they will not regard man. When children are disobedient to their parents, that makes the times perilous. Men are unholy and without the fear of God, because unthankful for the mercies of God. We abuse God's gifts, if we make them the food and fuel of our lusts. Times are perilous also, when parents are without natural affection to children. And when men have no rule over their own spirits, but despise that which is good and to be honoured. God is to be loved above all; but a carnal mind, full of enmity against him, prefers any thing before him, especially carnal pleasure. A form of godliness is very different from the power; from such as are found to be hypocrites, real Christians must withdraw. Such persons have been found within the outward church, in every place, and at all times. There ever have been artful men, who, by pretences and flatteries, creep into the favour and confidence of those who are too easy of belief, ignorant, and fanciful. All must be ever learning to know the Lord; but these follow every new notion, yet never seek the truth as it is in Jesus. Like the Egyptian magicians, these were men of corrupt minds, prejudiced against the truth, and found to be quite without faith. Yet though the spirit of error may be let loose for a time, Satan can deceive the nations and the churches no further, and no longer, than God will permit.
Verse 7. - Ever learning, etc. This is the crowning feature of this powerful sketch of those "silly women," whose thoughts are busied about religion without their affections being reached or their principles being influenced by it. They are always beating about the bush, but they never get possession of the blessed and saving truth of the gospel of God. Their own selfish inclinations, and not the grace of God, continue to be the motive power with them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Ever learning,.... Some new notion and practice or another: and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth; partly because of the teachers, which they heap up to themselves, who are unapt to teach, are blind and ignorant guides, and know not the truth, but are enemies to it, and resist it; and partly because of themselves, the sins they are laden, and the lusts they are led away with, which hinder them from coming to the knowledge of the truth.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. Ever learning—some new point, for mere curiosity, to the disparagement of what they seemed to know before.
the knowledge—Greek, "the perfect knowledge"; the only safeguard against further novelties. Gnosticism laid hold especially of the female sex [Estius, 1.13.3]: so Roman Jesuitism.
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