Knowledge Puffs Up

This quote from Doctor Martyn Lloyd-Jones is taken from his Ephesians series of sermons which I keep going back to. He challenges those who settle for a purely intellectual dimension to their Christian faith. Like so much of what he said it is if anything MORE relevant to us today than it was when he said it:

It is possible for a believer who . . . sincerely recognizes the Bible as his sole authority, and desires to submit himself wholeheartedly to its evident meaning—it is still possible for such a man to go astray by becoming purely theoretical in his attitude towards this precious knowledge. It can happen to all, but I emphasize again that it is the particular danger of those who have keen minds, and who desire to understand and to grow in knowledge. The devil knowing us as he does, always suits the particular form of temptation to our exact mentality. At this point I am not referring to people who do not read the Scriptures, or indeed little else, and who say, ‘I am interested in nothing but my experience’. The devil does not trouble such people in this way, but to those who truly long to grow and develop, he comes and says, ‘Of course, you are quite right; what you need, and what everyone else needs, is more and more of this knowledge’. But he presses the thought so far that in the end they get into a condition in which their whole relationship to truth is purely theoretical and academic. And this involves the terrible danger of becoming more concerned about, and more interested in, our intellectual knowledge of Christian truth than in our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and if the devil with all his wiles can beguile us into this condition he is more than satisfied. In other words, it is the failure to realize that the ultimate end of all knowledge is to bring us to a knowledge of the Person Himself. We are not to stop at knowledge concerning Him, precious though that is, and vital.

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