2 Timothy 3:14-15
But continue you in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them;…
So here what a largo encomium and high commendation the Holy Ghost gives of the Scriptures, even such as is given to no other book in the world besides.
1. He commends them in respect of one special property and adjunct, viz, their holiness. The holy Scriptures.
2. From their effects: they are able to make us wise unto salvation.
3. From their authority, utility, perfection.Now the Scriptures are called holy in five respects.
1. In respect of their Author and principal cause — viz., the most holy God.
2. In respect of the penmen and instrumental cause: they were holy men of God (2 Peter 1:21).
3. In respect of their matter: they treat of the holy things of God; they teach nothing that is impure or profane. They teach us holiness in doctrine and practice.
4. in respect of their end and effect — viz., our sanctification (John 17:17). By reading, hearing, and meditating on God's Word the Holy Ghost. doth sanctify us (Psalm 19:8, 9).
5. By way of distinction and opposition; they are called holy to distinguish them not only from human and profane, but also from all ecclesiastical writings.
1. This must teach us to bring pure minds to the reading, hearing, and handling of God's holy Word.
2. Take heed of profaning the holy Scriptures by playing with thorn, or making jests out of them.
3. Love the Scriptures for their purity; as God is to be loved for His purity, so is His Word.Many love it for the history, or for novelty, but a gracious soul loves it for its purity, because it arms him against sin, directs him in God's ways, enables him for duty, discovers to him the snares of sin and Satan, and so makes him wiser than his enemies. The Word of God alone is able to make us wise unto salvation (Psalm 19:7; Luke 16:28, 19; John 5:39, and John 20:31; James 1:22, 25). No other knowledge can bring us to salvation, but only the know-lodge of the holy Scripture. The Word of God cannot save nor profit us without faith. Such is our blindness, deadness, dulness, yea, enmity against the Word, that without faith we cannot see, conceive, or receive it (1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 1:16; Hebrews 4:2; John 3:19, 20). If a man offer us never so good an alms, yet unless we have an eye to see it, with a hand and heart to receive it, we are never the better for the tender of it.
1. Observe. Parents ought to instruct their children betimes in the Word of God. It is good seasoning the vessel betimes with goodness. It is a singular mercy to have good parents, and specially a good mother, for she being much about her children hath many opportunities of dropping good things into her little Lemuels, as Bathsheba did into Solomon (Proverbs 31:1). The mothers of the kings of Israel are constantly mentioned, and as they were good or evil, so were their children. But at what ago would you have parents begin to teach their children? So soon as over they begin to learn wickedness, we should teach them goodness; so soon as ever they begin to curse and swear, we should teach thorn to bless and pray. There are many reasons why youth should be seasoned betimes with good principles.
1. In respect of that natural rudeness and ignorance which cleaves so close unto them (Ecclesiastes 3:18; Job 11:12; Jeremiah 4:22, and Jeremiah 10:14). We are all by nature like wild ass colts, unteachable, untractable.
2. The Lord oft blesses this seasoning in youth with good success.
3. It is usually blessed with continuance and perseverance; such as are good young are oft good long; what the vessel is first seasoned withal it will have a taste of it a long time after.
4. This is an excellent means to propagate goodness to posterity. As we see here, Timothy's grandmother teacheth his mother, and his mother teacheth him, and he teacheth the Church of God, etc. So if you teach your children, they will teach their children, and thou mayest be a means to propagate God's truth and honour from one generation to another. So that you may comfort yourselves when you come to die that yet your piety shall not die, but shall survive in your posterity, who shall stand up in your stead to profess God's name and truth before a sinful world.
5. Such well-bred and timely-taught children are usually great comforts and ornaments to their parents (Proverbs 23. 15,16, 24, 25), as we see in Abol, Joseph, Samuel, Josiah (2 Chronicles 34:3), Obadiah (1 Kings 18:18, 12), David, Daniel, Jeremy.
6. Children are the seminary and nursery, of the Church and commonwealth; now, as our seminaries and seed-plots are, such is the nation; as the parents, house, and school are, such are towns and cities.
7. Youth is most teachable and tractable, like soft wax or clay fit to be formed and framed to anything, ready to take any impression. Like a tender twig you may bend it which way you please, but let it grow to be a tree, and you may sooner break it than bend it. We should therefore take this fit season of seasoning youth betimes with saving truths, and killing the weeds of sin which begin to appear in their lives. No creature so wild but it may be tamed if taken whilst young. We see those that would teach or tame horses, lions, hawks, dogs, bears, they begin with them betimes; the horse is broken whilst a colt, and the lion tamed whilst it is a whelp, etc. As in the Ark there was the rod and manna, so in every well ordered family there must be the manna of instruction and the rod of correction. It must stir up young persons to devote the flower and best of their days unto God, who is the best of beings. Show me any that can show better title to thy youth than God can do, and let him take it. He gives the best wages, and so deserves the best work; godliness hath the promise (Proverbs 22:4; Matthew 6:33; 1 Timothy 4:8). And if we serve Him in our good days, He will help us in our evil ones; if we spend our youth in His service, He will support us and supply us in our old age (Isaiah 46:3, 4). If it were in our power, yet we may in no wise deal so disingenuously with our God as to give the devil the marrow of our youth, and reserve the dry bones of our old age for God. It is no wisdom to lay the greatest load on the weakest horse. Old age (though in itself it be a blessing) yet is accompanied with many troubles, sicknesses, and diseases; they are the dregs, the lees, the winter of our days. As all rivers meet in the sea, so all diseases meet in old age — hence it is called the evil day (Ecclesiastes 12:3-5), etc. Then the eyes grow dim, the ears deaf, the hands tremble, and the legs are feeble, and the memory fails.
(T. Hall, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;