Always Baking, Never Buttering
If we meditate on those in Revelation 14:3 who are able to learn the new song, can you imagine if they learned it and then didn’t sing it? Can you imagine being satisfied with the memorizing of the words, maybe holding the sheet music, but never letting loose on the chorus?
The vocabulary reminds me of Paul’s letter to Timothy in which he describes some teachers who gain an audience of weak women, and both teacher and students appear to be “aways learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” I don’t think this is describing their frustration, I think it’s describing their futile satisfaction. They are compared to “Jannes and Jambres” who “opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth.” They keep learning as a cover for their corruption.
This is one of the reasons that our liturgy includes the Lord’s Table every Lord’s Day. It is good to know the doctrine of justification by faith alone, and fine to know its Latin mantra (sola fide), but it is possible to hold a confession of faith at a distance. It is like always baking and never coming to put butter on the bread right out of the oven and then taking a bite.
Jesus taught us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, not because His kingdom is spiritual in an unrelated way to our lives, but because His spiritual kingdom rules our lives. Following Christ is not an out of body experience. We learn to sing so that we can sing. We pour the wine to drink. I charge you, “in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom,” do this in remembrance of Him.