“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” (Philippians 4:9)
From earliest childhood, we learn by watching the actions and lives of others. First, of course, our parents, then our peers and educators, politicians, business leaders, musicians, celebrities—the list is nearly endless. We learn by what we receive, hear, and see.
Jesus said, “They shall be all taught of God” (John 6:45). The foundational learning process that enables the receiving and hearing of further truth must come first from God, through His Word and by the born-again believer. Paul’s young protégé, Timothy, first learned from his mother and grandmother about God, and then under Paul’s tutelage from the Scriptures (2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15).
But the key to learning is active attention! One must first receive, hear, and see. Paul commended the Thessalonians because they “received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). The Bereans were “more noble” because they “searched the scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11). The wise preacher “gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs” (Ecclesiastes 12:9).
Information, however well absorbed, is worthless without applying that which is learned. The philosophers of Athens were scorned because they “spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21).
All of us must first be learners. Soon, however, we must work out our “own salvation with fear and trembling,” since God has chosen to work through us (Philippians 2:12-13). HMM III