Some friends sent me this after the skirmishes we had this week with those who claim that intellect and human reason combined with Liberal Theology far outweighs knowledge of and obedience to God’s Word. Those of the Liberal Theology camp are like snakes, they are all head and no feet. – Mike Ratliff
by Thomas Watson
A sermon is never rightly heard—until it is practiced.
“If you know these things, happy are you if you do
them.” John 13:17
Christ does not put happiness upon knowing—but upon
doing. It is not knowledge of the points of religion—but
practice, which renders a man truly happy and blessed.
Luke 6:46, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t
do the things I say?” It is not the mere knowledge and
acceptance of the most glorious Gospel truths—which will
bring a man to heaven. If a man could fluently discourse
on all Scriptural truths, if his head were a treasury of
wisdom, an ocean of learning—yet this could not entitle
him to happiness. His knowledge might make him admired
by men—but not blessed by God. If a man knew and
believed all the doctrines of Scripture—this would not
crown him with happiness.
Knowledge is a fair garland to look upon—but it is like
Rachael. Though she was beautiful—yet being barren
she said, “Give me children or I die!” Just so, if knowledge
does not bring forth the child of obedience—it will die and
come to nothing.
I would by no means disparage knowledge. Knowledge
is the pilot to guide us in our obedience. Yet, knowledge
must usher in obedience. Knowledge may put us into the
way of happiness, but it is only practice which brings us
there! Knowledge alone, cannot make a man eternally
happy and blessed.
Knowledge alone, does not make a man better; therefore,
it cannot make him happy and blessed. Bare knowledge
has no influence; it does not leave a spiritual tincture of
holiness behind. Knowledge informs—not transforms.
Knowledge, of itself, has no power upon the heart to
make it more holy. Bare knowledge is like weak medicine,
which does not work. It does not warm the affections nor
purge the conscience; it does not fetch virtue from Christ
to dry up the bloody issue of sin.
A man may receive the light of the truth—yet not love the
truth, “They perish because they refused to love the truth
and so be saved.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10. The Apostle calls
it “a form of knowledge,” Romans 2:20. Knowledge alone,
is but a dead form, having nothing to animate it. He who
has knowledge alone—is a spiritual stillborn! He looks like
a Christian—but has neither appetite nor motion.
Knowledge alone, makes men monsters in religion! They
are all head—but no feet! They do not walk in Christ,
Colossians 2:6. A man may have Scriptural knowledge—
and still be profane! He may have a clear head—and a
foul heart! The understanding may be illumined—when
the foot treads in unholy paths. If knowledge is divorced
from practice, and does not make a man better—then it
cannot make a man eternally happy and blessed.
If bare knowledge will save, then all who have knowledge
shall be saved. But that is not true—for then Judas would
be saved, for he had knowledge enough. Then the devil
would be saved! A man may have right knowledge, and
be no better than a devil! Hell is full of learned heads!
Knowledge alone, makes a man’s case worse! Knowledge
takes away all excuse. Knowledge adds to a man’s torment.
“Woe to you! I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land
of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you!” It will be
better with heathen—than with professing Christians living
in a contradiction to their knowledge. Luke 12:47, “The
servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his
duty, he refused to do it!”
Knowledge without practice, serves only as a torch to light
men to hell—the brighter the light, the hotter the fire!