Monday, October 26, 2009
The deceitfulness of head-knowledge
We may learn that a man may know a great deal about true religion, and yet be a total stranger to it. He may know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God Most High, and yet he may be possessed of a devil; nay, as in this case, he may be a den for a whole legion of devils. Mere knowledge does nothing for us but puff us up. We may know, and know, and know, and so increase our responsibility, without bringing us at all into a state of hope.
Beware of resting in head-knowledge. Beware of relying upon orthodoxy, for without love, with all your correctness of doctrine, you will be a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. It is well to be sound in the faith, but the soundness must be in the heart as well as in the head. There is as ready a way to destruction by the road of orthodoxy as by the paths of heterodoxy. Hell has thousands in it who were never heretics. Remember that the devils “believe and tremble.” There are no sounder theoretical believers than devils, and yet their conduct is not affected by what they believe, and consequently they still remain at enmity to the Most High God. A mere head-believer is on a par therefore with fallen angels, and he will have his portion with them forever unless grace shall change his heart.
From a sermon entitled "Plain Words With The Careless," delivered October 13, 1867. Image by Brandon Godfrey under Creative Commons License.