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;…
1. "FROM A CHILD THOU HAST KNOWN THE HOLY SCRIPTURES." That must have been a privilege of no slight importance in the estimation of Paul, which he considered worthy of peculiar mention, at such a time, and in his dying charge to his most beloved friend and companion. And when Timothy himself traced back the course of his life to his earlier years — when the memory of those youthful days rose upon his melting mind, as he perused the apostle's touching allusion, he too would most readily acknowledge the gracious hand of providence in having thus blessed him with the inestimable advantages of an early religious education. Men, who deem themselves philosophers, may sneer at the knowledge of a child, and the piety of a child, thinking it impossible that childhood can intelligently either know or love God. How soon can it comprehend the meaning of a father's authoritative and commanding frown, or the checking and controlling, yet affectionate smile of a mother! And, by the very simple process of combining these perceptions, and comparing in order to elevate them, how soon it may be taught to form some idea of a Being whose authoritative laws are similar, though vastly superior, to those of a father, and yet whose surpassing love, infinitely transcending that of a mother, shall endure when hers may have waxed cold, or waned utterly away, or been hid behind the darkness of the tomb!
II. CONSIDER WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE OF BEING TRAINED TO KNOW THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. This Paul declares to be, that they are able to make us wise unto salvation. It might be shown, had we at present scope for the investigation, that the wisdom of the world is wholly ineffectual for accomplishing the moral regeneration of man; nay, effectual only, or at least chiefly, in cultivating and enlarging his capacity of evil. It is the knowledge of the holy Scriptures, and that alone, which can make men wise unto salvation. Results so strikingly different must proceed from originating principles not less diametrically opposed. Let us, therefore, briefly examine some of the leading principles of the wisdom of the world, marking the contrast between them and those of the Scriptures. Now, the main intention of the world's wisdom is, to fit men for living on this earth; that of the Scriptures, to prepare them for heaven. Plans constructed upon such very different principles, and for such very different ends, begin to diverge at their very commencement. The world trains children to a similarity with itself — with its pride, its luxury, its self-indulgence, its vanity, and its self-approbation; the Scripture principle is, "the nurture and admonition of the Lord," self-denial, humility, acknowledgment of sin, and dependence upon God alone for help. The world inculcates the love of gain, as a ruling object; the Bible declares that "the love of money is the root of all evil." The world is loud in its praises of these who acquire advancement and distinction in life; Christianity teaches us to be content with such things as we have, threatens the fall of the mighty and the proud, and pronounces a blessing upon the meek, the lowly, and the humble. The world allows, nay, inculcates, selfishness; Christianity bids us seek not our own welfare only, but also that of others. The world approves a bold, contentious spirit, as one likely to force it jostling way through all opposition; Scripture says, "The servant of the Lord must not strive." The world allows dissimulation, selfish delusion, petty fraud, and all the thousand knaveries of common life and business; Christianity requires that the whole life and conduct should be characterised by the very transparency of truth, as ever in the presence of the God of truth and holiness.
III. We come now TO OFFER SOME REMARKS ON THE PRINCIPLE OF THIS SAVING WISDOM — that by which it is accomplished, viz., "Through faith which is in Christ Jesus."
(W. M. Hetherington, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;