While knowledge of the truth is very important, it is possible to put so much emphasis on the letter of it that the application is forgotten. Paul reminds us that knowledge alone just puffs a person up, while knowledge according to love actually builds up.
If we really understand what we are reading, studying, and preaching then we will be changed by it.
So here is a thought for pastors, especially, and by implication the people in the pew as well. A genuine apprehension of truth will lead to a heart-deep application of truth. If we really understand what we are reading, studying, and preaching then we will be changed by it.
I appreciated these comments by John MacArthur, which I came across recently:
When people are blessed with regular, in-depth preaching and teaching of Scripture, they may become so enamored with their knowledge of God’s Word that they become self-satisfied with that knowledge and forsake the effort to live out the profound truths they have come to understand. But a true believer will not be inwardly satisfied with merely knowing the Word. His conscience and the prompting of the indwelling Holy Spirit will keep convicting him of his failure until he becomes obedient.