On Sunday evening the 9th December 1962 I was baptised at Dereham Baptist Church, the text I was given on that occasion was 2 Timothy 3:14, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;”
Christians have always stressed the importance of the Bible or of the Scripture. Why? What is the importance and value of Scripture? John Calvin says concerning this verse:
“Although wickedness prevail, and push its way forward, he (Paul) advises Timothy nevertheless to stand firm. And undoubtedly this is the actual trial of faith, when we offer unwearied resistance to all the contrivances of Satan, and do not alter our course for every wind that blows, but remain steadfast on the truth of God, as on a sure anchor”.
Timothy had been taught the Scriptures all of his life, when he was only a child, his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois had rooted him in the Scriptures (2 Timothy. 1:5; 2 Timothy. 3:15). They were both strong believers in the Lord. Paul had also grounded Timothy in the Scriptures. But note a most critical point:
- It is not enough to have learned the Scripture.
- It is not enough to be assured that the teachings of Scripture are true.
- It is not enough to know that your teachers teach the truth.
Timothy knew all this. He had learned the Scriptures and he had found the Scriptures to be true. The claims and promises of Scripture had worked in his own life. Timothy also knew his teachers; their lives bore testimony to the truth of Scripture. But this was not enough.
Note the word “continue”, it means to abide, dwell, remain, and stay in the Scripture. Simply stated, Timothy had to live in the Scripture—live, move, and have his being in the Scripture. And more, he had to live out the Scripture—continue to walk and live in the truths of the Scripture. He had to do what Scripture said.
There is no doubt that Christians today do not read, let alone study the bible, verses of scripture are taken out of context in order to establish grounds for some new programme, or revised view of doctrine, daily reading notes are used but are often only thoughts concerning one verse. It is ignorance of the scriptures that allowed the church to sink further into apostasy and to a closer united with Rome.
What we read in this verse is the foundation for what is contained in the final verses of this chapter, as Christians we need to be aware that our lives are guided by the inspired Word of God, as Paul concludes, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works”. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV)).
In conclusion note four significant points in this verse.
1) A person is to learn the Scripture.
2) A person is to be assured of the Scriptures, apply them to his life, and experience the truth and assurance of them.
3) A person is to know his teachers—make sure that they teach the truth of the Scripture.
4) A person is to continue in the Scripture: abide and dwell, remain and stay in the Scripture. He is to live and move and have his being in Scripture.