“… things thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:14f).
This command to Timothy follows Paul’s warning that evil men and impostors would wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived (3:13). There is no difference in the real character of these two folk of whom Paul wrote: both of children of Satan and are bent on doing his will. The real difference is that evil men are transparent, they care not who knows their designs. As the people of Noah’s world, their every imagination and thought is on evil (Gen. 6:5). However the impostor appears to be something he is not. His motive is no different from the “evil man”; he just seeks to conceal his real nature from unsuspecting ones. As such, they pose a greater threat to innocent and gullible folk and many fall victim to their snares and lies. They deceive others, they are frequently deceived themselves. Sometimes they even deceive their own selves. Timothy was to be wary of such men. He was urged to abide in the things he had learned and had been assured of. The things Timothy had learned was from the sacred scriptures. The word “scriptures” means writings. The word “sacred” tells us they are holy. The title “Holy Bible” is indeed apropos for “Bible” means books; “Holy Bible” means “Holy Books.” The contribution the scriptures make to the lives of men are multifold. First, they are true — the starting point in all knowledge. The Psalmist wrote, “Thy word is true from the beginning” (Psa. 119:160). Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth” (Jn. 17:17). The foundation on which one builds determines the outcome of his life. If one builds on truth, his life will stand; if one builds on error and falsehood, his life will fall.
Briefly stated, God’s word is the incorruptible seed by which we are begotten (1 Pet. 1:23). It is bread which sustains our life; nourishment which strengthen us, causing us to grow (Matt. 4:4; 1 Pet. 2:2). The scriptures are the sword by which we wage war against error and darkness (Eph. 6:17). They are our source of comfort; the basis of our faith; the foundation for our hope of eternal life. Timothy had known the sacred scriptures from infancy.
The scriptures which Timothy had been instructed in were the Old Testament. Old Testament scriptures could not provide salvation, but they could and did point the way to Christ. “Ye search the scriptures because ye think that in them ye have eternal life and these are they that bear witness of me and ye will not come to me that ye may have life” (Jn. 5:39-40). While it is apart from the law that righteousness may be had; righteousness was witnessed by the law and the prophets (Rom. 3:21). Timothy “knew, and had assured” of those of whom he had learned the scriptures. Evil men and impostors would wax worse and worse, leading away, if possible, ever the elect) but the character of those who had been his teachers since his earliest memories, he could have no doubts (Matt. 24:24). His mother and grandmother were genuinely interested in his well being and while parents might be in error, we must carefully weigh what they teach us for if anyone is genuinely concerned with our well being and eternal security, it is our parents.
So, beware of obviously evil men. They do not have our well being in mind. Examine what all ask us to receive, for some are importers. Only truth will free and if we earnestly want to know truth, we can (Jn. 8:31-32; Jer. 29:13).