Day 1 – Nemo Dat

Day 1 – Nemo Dat

Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 2:14-26

I have had an eye for lawyers and law students because of how they randomly throw Latin maxims into conversations- I feel it’s their way of showing off. The fun thing about legal expressions is that they are not just useful in the courtroom but can be practical in everyday life. A common legal maxim that is often used is ‘nemo dat quod non habet’ which simply means that “you cannot give what you do not have”.

This maxim calls to mind Paul’s expression to Timothy in our reading today that for a person to be a skilful teacher, able to accurately pass on knowledge or divide the word of truth, he must be committed to learning. Our ability to rightly communicate truth is dependent on the time, energy and resources invested in learning about that truth.

Jesus inferred the same as he charged his disciples with the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20:

Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Jesus commands us to make disciples of all nations, moreover, you cannot make a disciple out of a person if you are not a disciple yourself. Discipleship is rooted in learning.

Jesus does not want us to be ignorant. He knows that the best way to communicate truth is to be equipped and steeped in truth on a subject matter. Hence, he calls us to diligence in studying God’s truth to equip ourselves to be great disciples and to disciple nations.
As we decide today to be faithful disciples, here are two handles that I would like to help encourage our journey.

Discipleship Begins with Beholding

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV

Think of your favorite superhero and all the stunts you pulled or imagined just to be like them? Maybe you ever wore a cape or used a disguise while fantasizing being your favorite superhero? Isn’t it interesting that with Jesus we don’t have to play pretend or put on any disguise. All He asks is to come as we are, yield ourselves to him and make him our utmost attraction. As we make him our utmost attraction, we become more like him.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed–that exhilarating finish in and with God- -he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! Hebrews 12:2-3 MSG

Discipleship is Practical

The end goal of knowledge is application and vital to discipleship is ensuring our knowledge is put into practice. Paul’s closing remarks to the Philippians puts it in perspective.

Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me, everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9 NLT

What we learn must affect how we live. Our discipleship is seen in our daily routines. It would be absolutely ridiculous to spend weeks learning and studying in school, only to enter into the examination hall and leave our answer booklet blank despite knowing the answers. Only knowledge demonstrated will be acknowledged.

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23 (TNIV)

No one can claim to be a disciple for Jesus and not be following him daily.

Something to Pray
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV

Pray to behold the Lord in a new way and for the transformation that comes from that.

Inioluwa Oyebola
Inioluwa volunteers with the Bible engagement team at Sycamore

7 Comments

  1. Eme Agbor

    “Only knowledge demonstrated will be acknowledged.”

    Whew that’s a word! If we say we know, then it must be reflected in the actions of our hands. Thank you, Ini!

  2. Mickeyfols

    The end goal of knowledge is application and vital to discipleship is ensuring our knowledge is put into practice.

  3. Seun

    “Our ability to rightly communicate truth is dependent on the time, energy and resources we invest in learning about that truth.” Thank you so much Ini!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *