Proverbs 23:26; Proverbs 22:17
My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
Apply thine heart unto my knowledge.
R. C. CHAPMAN (1803-1902): Self-examination is a solemn and profitable business: it should mainly consist in this, “My soul, believest thou? lovest thou?”
J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): It is no answer to tell me that you believe the truth of Christianity, and hold the articles of the Christian faith. Such religion as this will never save your soul. The devils believe in a certain way, and tremble, James 2:19. True saving Christianity is not the mere believing a certain set of opinions, and holding a certain set of notions.
JAMES DURHAM (1622-1658): The devils know God’s truth, and therefore they believe His threatenings, and tremble in expectation of their accomplishment.
A. W. PINK (1886-1952): It is not simply a knowledge of the Truth which saves, but a love of it, which is the essential prerequisite. This is clear from 2 Thessalonians 2:10―But they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): There are others, too, who delight to spend time in contemplation. They believe in Jesus, in the Father, in the Spirit; they believe that there is but one God, and that these three are one. It is their delight to turn over the pages of revelation, as well as the pages of history. They contemplate God; He is to them a matter of curious study; they like to meditate upon Him; the doctrines of His Word they could hear all day long. And they are very sound in the faith, extremely orthodox, and very knowing.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): Their whole relationship to truth is purely theoretical and academic.
C. H. SPURGEON: They can fight about doctrines, they can dispute about the things of God with all their hearts. But alas! their religion is like a dead fish, cold and stiff, and when you take it into your hand, you say there is no life in it; their souls were never stirred with it; their hearts were never thrown into it.
JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): You may be as orthodox as the devil, and just as wicked.
JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): There is no knowledge of God where there is no love.
STEPHEN CHARNOCK (1628-1680): A natural man is said not to know God, or the things of God; he may know them notionally, but he knows them not affectionately. Natural men may indeed meditate upon the law and truth of God, but without [real] delight in it; if they take any pleasure in it, it is only as it is knowledge—and if they have a delight, it is in the act of knowing, not in the object known, not in the duties that stream from that knowledge; they design the furnishing their understandings, not the quickening their affections—like idle boys that strike fire, not to warm themselves by the heat, but sport themselves with the sparks.
JOHN BUNYAN (1628-1688): To know truth for knowledge’s sake is short of a gracious disposition of soul.
STEPHEN CHARNOCK: A gracious soul accounts not only his meditation, or the operations of his soul about God and His will to be sweet, but He hath a joy in the object of that meditation. Many have the knowledge of God, who have no delight in Him.
C. H. SPURGEON: They can contemplate, but they cannot love; they can meditate, but they cannot commune; they can think of God, but they can never throw up their souls to Him, and clasp Him in the arms of their affections. Ah, to you, cold-blooded thinkers—to you this text speaks. Oh! thou that canst contemplate, but canst not love—“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart.”
BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1661): Knowledge of God is very far from the love of Him…What a vast difference there is between knowing God and loving Him!
J. C. RYLE: The devil has more knowledge than any of us, and yet is no better for it.
JONATHAN EDWARDS (1703-1758): The devil undoubtedly has a great deal of speculative knowledge in divinity, having been, as it were, educated in the best divinity school in the universe, the heaven of heavens. He must have such an extensive and accurate knowledge concerning the nature and attributes of God as we worms of the dust, in our present state, are not capable of. And he must have a far more extensive knowledge of the works of God, such as of the work of creation in particular, for he was a spectator of the creation of the world…
He must have a very great knowledge of God’s works of providence. He has been a spectator of the series of these works from the beginning. He has seen how God has governed the world in all ages. And he has seen the whole train of God’s wonderful successive dispensations of providence towards His church, from generation to generation…
He must a great deal of knowledge concerning Jesus Christ as the Saviour of men, the nature and method of the work of redemption, and the wonderful wisdom of God in this contrivance. It is that work of God wherein, above all others, God has acted in opposition to him, and in which he has chiefly set himself in opposition to God.
A. W. TOZER (1897-1963): The devil is a better theologian than any of us and a devil still.
JONATHAN EDWARDS: He must a great knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, for it is evident that he is not hindered from knowing what is written there by the use he made of the words of Scripture in his temptation of our Saviour.
WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): The devil is a great student in divinity, and makes no other use of his Scripture knowledge than may serve his turn by sophistry to do the Christian a mischief, either by drawing him to sin, or into despair for sinning; like some wrangling barrister, who gets what skill he can in the law merely to make him the more able to put honest men to trouble by his vexatious suit.
THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): The devil has knowledge, but that which makes him a devil is that he lacks love.
C. H. SPURGEON: Satan’s heart is made up of that which is just the opposite of benevolence—malevolence; he hates everything, and loves nothing.
J. C. RYLE: A faith of devils, a mere intellectual faith, a man may have without love, but not that faith which saves.
JOHN ROGERS (1572-1636): Faith and love are joined together as two inseparable companions. Wherever one is, there is the other also, and if you miss the one, you miss both. Those that have faith must have love, “for faith works by love,” Galatians 5:6.
MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): Note, it is not knowledge, but love, that distinguishes saints from devils.
GEORGE WHITEFIELD (1714-1770): Unless you have a faith of the heart, a faith working by love, with devils and damned spirits shall you dwell for evermore.