And here again we ought to observe that we are called to a knowledge of God: not that knowledge which, content with empty speculation, merely ﬂits in the brain, but that which will be sound and fruitful if we duly perceive it, and if it takes root in the heart. — Institutes, 1.5.9
To study and learn just out of curiosity or a want to know can not be recommended, even if the subject is on the historic faith and or spiritual truths, since the objective is simply to fulfill the lust for knowledge. Likewise, good deeds and various honorable works that we could do, if we do it just because it is a good thing to do, then we are simply seeking our lust for ethical or religious ideals. All these are characteristics of the Old Man.
Such temptation is all over us; on personal level and corporate level. A simple example can be drawn from instances where futile arguments are carried out on internet. Because I find an arguable statement or a posting on the internet, because it would be good to correct that, and because it seems such action is within my reach and strength (after all, it’s just 1-click away), it is very easy for me to go ahead and engage in the discussion. This is precisely what the Old Man, the Natural Man, does; seeking good because it is good! But whatever does not proceed from faith is sin (Rom 14:23).