By Charles Wages
“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 3:14-15)
It is generally accepted that all of us are products of inheritance and the things we have experienced in our environment. However, if the spiritual relationships are ignored, we are nothing more than natural born sinners. We inherited our natural or sinful nature, and the environment of this world system is certainly not conducive to a life for God.
Our Scripture text teaches us that Timothy had heard and known of the Lord through the Scriptures. This is clearly shown in 2 Timothy 1:5:
“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.”
One thing we can be assured of, salvation does not come by acquired inherited factors from our parents, neither do we come into this world knowing the Scriptures. We learn the Scriptures after salvation by hearing, reading, and studying them diligently. If we reside in the right atmosphere, have the right attitude, and give proper attention to all that God says, we can grow in grace and knowledge of Him and His Word.
Paul admonished Timothy to,
Continue in Things Learned
Learning that lasts is enhanced by a real perseverance or steadfastness in things already known. Many have the mistaken notion that if they have heard a truth one time, they know it forever. Truth, to really be known, must be thought about intensely and lived or practiced seriously. This principle is clearly stated in James 1:22-25.
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass. For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he, being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
We learn from Paul’s statement to Timothy that we should,
Continue to Learn Things
The Word surely informs and encourages believers to grow. 1 Peter 1:2 admonishes,
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”
In Ephesians 4:12, we are instructed that God has given dedicated men (4:11) for,
“The perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
There are always things to be learned. Old dogs can be taught new tricks. The Word of God is inexhaustible. When a person sees that we are to “rightly divide” the word of truth, and their eyes are opened to dispensational study, new vistas of learning arise on their horizons, and they really take off in mature growth.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)
There is a great impetus to learning when a believing person is sure, not only of their salvation, but of the Scripture knowledge they have attained. It should be noted that 2 Timothy 2:14 says,
“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of …”
Secure people tend to secure more and more truth. It has often been noted that children who are continually upset and confused at home, learn far less than children coming from a stable home. There is so much religious confusion in the world, so much false teaching, that it is absolutely imperative that we be “assured” of our salvation, “assured” of the infallibility of the Scriptures and that they are real and relevant for our lives.
Finally, we should see the importance of knowing
Of Whom Thou Hast Learned Them
Reference has already been made in this article to Timothy’s mother and grandmother. No doubt, others were instrumental in helping Timothy. However, the person most responsible for teaching him the truth for us today was the Apostle Paul. In 2 Timothy 1:13-14, Timothy is told to,
“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.”
The “fair and honorable trust” (that good thing) was the mystery revealed to Paul by special revelation. He was passing this great truth for our age on to Timothy to be committed “to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2).
We should know that the Apostle Paul was the divinely chosen and appointed servant of God of whom we learn our position and walk for today. No doubt Timothy acknowledged this, do we?
Learning that lasts depends on a lot of yielding to and wielding of the Word of God. If we heed the instructions of the Word, we will learn at last the learning that lasts.