Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 22, 2021

“always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Timothy 3:6-9.

“For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith.  But they will not make further progress;  for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also.”  2 Timothy 3:6-9.


“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life;  it is these that testify about Me;  and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.”  John 5:39-40. 

There are those who take pride simply in being seen by others that they are in attendance at church and Sunday School, but they never come to the knowledge of truth.

They may look impressive like clouds that look like they will deliver life-giving rain, but they retain no water and they fly over, leaving the earth dry and thirsty.

“These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved.”  2 Peter 2:17.

Or, using another metaphor, they do not produce any good fruit.

So, how do we produce that gentle nourishing rain, that good fruit?

How do we come to the knowledge of the truth?

First, it is important to know how we cannot do it.

We cannot do it through our own flesh, through our own wisdom and our own will power.

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;  and I will raise him up on the last day.”  John 6:44.

Second, it is important to know how we do it.

We need God’s “Irresistible Grace”, the “I” of “TULIP”, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation as more fully taught in the Canons of Dordt.

Consider the following from the Canons of Dordt in the section titled THIRD AND FOURTH HEADS OF DOCTRINE Of the Corruption of Man, His Conversion to God, and the Manner Thereof.

Article 11.  But when God accomplishes his good pleasure in the elect, or works in them true conversion, he not only causes the gospel to be externally preached to them, and powerfully illumines their minds by his Holy Spirit, that they may rightly understand and discern the things of the Spirit of God;  but by the efficacy of the same regenerating Spirit, pervades the inmost recesses of the man;  he opens the closed, and softens the hardened heart, and circumcises that which was uncircumcised, infuses new qualities into the will, which though heretofore dead, he quickens;  from being evil, disobedient and refractory, he renders it good, obedient, and pliable;  actuates and strengthens it, that like a good tree, it may bring forth the fruits of good actions.

There were those disciples who were “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  They heard all of Jesus teachings.  They saw all of Jesus’ miracles.  They even grew up with Jesus.  But, they still did not believe. 

“As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.”  John 6:66.

“It is the Spirit who gives life;  the flesh profits nothing;  the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.  But there are some of you who do not believe.”  For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.  And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”  John 6:63-65.

But, there is hope!

The hope is in God.  The hope is in the Spirit Who gives life.  

The hope is in being chosen by God for salvation.  The hope is in God’s Irresistible Grace.

“But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.  It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.”  2 Thessalonians 2:13-15.

“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.  For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;  but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;  but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:21-31.


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