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;…
I. WHAT YOU OWE TO THE SCRIPTURES IN A WAY OF PRIVILEGE. Is truth valuable? — they are called "the Word of truth." Is righteousness valuable? — they are called "the Word of righteousness." Is grace valuable? — they are called "the Word of His grace." Is life valuable? — they are called "the Word of life." Is salvation valuable? — they are called "the Word of this salvation."
1. Let us view these Scriptures as inspired. They claim no less a pre-eminence for themselves. And how delightful is it, in a world of uncertainties, conjectures, and errors, to find something concerning which we may say, Well, this is truth, upon which we may rely secure. "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away."
2. Let us view these Scriptures as preserved.
3. Let us view these Scriptures as translated. The first translation of the Scriptures was the Septuagint, executed by a number of learned men at Alexandria, who translated the Scriptures of the Old Testament into Greek. This was peculiarly overruled by the providence of God. Alexander, by his victories and dominion, was the means of spreading the knowledge of the Greek language, and thus the Scriptures could be easily read; and thus an expectation was commonly entertained of a future Messiah and Benefactor. The New Testament was, also, soon translated into several languages; hut it was a long time before the Bible was translated into our own language. When Elizabeth came to the throne, by an act of grace she opened the prisons, and a number of the citizens addressed her, thanking her for her generosity; but ventured piously and ingeniously to say, "May it please your Majesty, there are four very excellent and worthy men who have been denied to walk abroad in the English tongue — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John"; and from that time they have been allowed to walk at liberty, and to speak to you in your own tongue, in public and private, of the wonderful works of God.
4. Let us view these Scriptures as printed. A certain writer says, when London Bridge was first built, a copy of the Scriptures would cost nearly as much as one of the arches; and the whole of a labourer's work through life would not have been sufficient to have furnished him with a copy l How is it now? Now, you see, by means of this invention, they may be multiplied to any degree; and every family, yea, every individual, may be in possession of a Bible, either by donation or by easy purchase.
5. Let us view the Scriptures as expounded. Now we owe much to many of those who have thus written.
6. Let us view the Scriptures as preached. Nothing in the communication of knowledge has ever yet been found like a living address from man to man. Nothing can produce so much impression and effect.
7. Let us view the Scriptures as experienced. There are many who have the Scriptures without them, but not in them. There are many who have the Scriptures in their own country, in their churches, in their houses, in their hands, and some of them even in their mouths, hut not in their hearts. But there are others to whom they are as a "well of water, springing up into everlasting life."
II. WHAT YOU OWE TO THE SCRIPTURES IN A WAY OF DUTY.
1. Surely you owe nothing less than to peruse them, and to value them, as David did. He said, "I rejoice at Thy Word as those who find great spoil." "I esteem the words of Thy mouth," says Job, "more than my necessary food." And, says David, "The law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver." And what said the celebrated Robert Boyle? — "I would prefer a single twig of the tree of life to all the riches of the world." But let it be remembered that the Scriptures will not profit unless they are "mixed with faith in them that hear them."
2. What less can this duty be than to understand them.
3. Surely this duty cannot be less than the practising of what the Scriptures teach. "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them": and even "faith, without works, is dead, being alone." We read of "obeying the truth," and of "walking in the truth."
4. Surely this duty cannot include less than your distributing them. The Scriptures were designed for all. The Scriptures are not given you as a blessing only to enjoy, but as a talent, also, to employ.
Parallel VersesKJV: But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;