2 Timothy 3:14-15
Continuing in the Faith
Perseverance. So much of what the Christian life is about is perseverance, which Paul expresses here, saying, “But as for you, continue….” Now continuing—persevering—is something the wicked do as well, for as we learned yesterday, “Evil people and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” This teaches us that “continuing” and “persevering” is something people—the righteous and the wicked alike—do; that is, it is not an attitude but a behavior, unconscious or not. If you will be a Christian growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (and what Christian isn’t doing these things if he be truly saved), you will be one who is continuing.
The question is then asked: Continue in what? And the answer is ready on the Apostle’s lips, “In what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it.” Paul will go on to say that this which Timothy was taught is the sacred writings (Scripture) and how those writings “make [one] wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ” (the gospel). So what young Timothy had been taught both from his mother and grandmother (1:5) and the Apostle himself were the sacred writings of the law and prophets (Old Testament) and how those writings were now fulfilled and understood through the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the most important thing—the Scriptures and the gospel. But Timothy may still acknowledge and understand as authoritative those who taught these truths to him.
I must stop and speak to the matter of what Scripture is teaching us here; in short, the importance of parents and grandparents teaching the faith to their children. The local church was never meant to be a substitute for the family; every Christian home is a microcosm of the church at large. Mom and Dad must be sure to be the primary influences and shapers of their children’s minds and hearts, and they must shape them through the teaching of Scripture. Even the Apostle Paul who was ever preaching grace through faith and the inefficacy of the law for salvation never cursed his heritage but embraced it which he now understood in the light of Christ. A godly heritage must be the goal of every parent; to raise that child to know, read, and love the Scriptures, to pray fervently for his and her salvation and that they grow to become men and women of God—this is the task of the Christian home which is both church and school. And it is the best way to see that they “continue in what [they] have learned and have firmly believed.”