2 Timothy 3:7
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
The case here represented may perhaps strike us as having something in it rather extraordinary. That they who take no pains to learn should never grow wiser is what we can readily understand, but that there should be those who do labour in the work of religion and yet never succeed is surely not a little remarkable. Strange, however, as it may on the first view appear, the case is by no means uncommon. It will, then, be useful to investigate the causes of this. We may lay it down for a certain truth, that it is not owing to anything unattainable in the object itself.
1. The knowledge which is necessary to salvation is open to the most ordinary capacity. The great leading truths of the Bible are plain and simple, and, where the mind is in a right disposition, are easily understood.
2. The knowledge of the truth is not unattainable, because we have the promise of Christ that it shall be imparted to every one, be his condition what it may, who is sincere in seeking it. Without Divine illumination it is impossible for any human being to become wise unto salvation. But this illumination God is willing to pour upon the minds Of all who call upon Him for that purpose. The causes of their failure are to be traced entirely to themselves.
(1) One great cause of their coming short of saving knowledge is this — that they do not seek it in the right way. In the Bible God's will is revealed to us, but to understand the Bible, and to derive effectual and saving information from it, we must have recourse to the Author of the Bible. But this method the persons of whom we are speaking do not pursue. Reason, with them, is all-sufficient. Reason, they think, is equal to the investigation of every subject; and the consequence is, that what reason cannot account for, what reason cannot comprehend, they refuse to admit. "The meek will He guide in judgment; and the meek will He teach His way."(2) Another reason why men, though continually learning, come not to the knowledge of the truth, is that they make a wrong use of the means of knowledge; that is, they mistake the means for the end — they mistake the means of religion for religion itself. They have hitherto satisfied themselves with the performance of the outward duties of prayer, reading, and hearing, without ever looking further; without ever asking themselves seriously, "What do we these things for? Have the ordinances of religion produced in us any of the effects for which they were designed?"(3) The secret love of sin is another obstruction to the attainment of saving knowledge. god tells the house of Israel that He will not be inquired of by them because they "set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumbling-block of their iniquity before their face." "If any man will do His will he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God." "The secret of the Lord is with them only that fear Him."(4) They refuse to obey their convictions. They do not act up to the light they possess.
(J. Boucher, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.