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Don Stewart :: Because the Scripture Is Clear Does This Mean Everything Can Be Easily Understood?

Don Stewart

The doctrine of the clarity of Scripture does not mean that all parts of the Bible are easily understood. Some parts are not. Peter acknowledged this when he said the following about some of the things the Apostle Paul taught.

And regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:15,16).

However even in Peter's statement we find that Paul's writings were understandable. They were difficult to understand but they were not impossible to understand. Also it was only some of the things that Paul wrote that were difficult to understand - it was not all of the things. There Is A Role For Teachers And Scholars This is where the role of teachers and Bible scholars comes into play. God has given the church people who are able to study the Scripture in great detail and then be able to explain to others their findings. Paul wrote.

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13).

Therefore we should take advantage of the teaching gifts that God has given to His people. There Are More Parts That Are Clear Than Are Problematic The good news is there is much more in Scripture that is clear than what is problematic. While there are areas of difficulty these parts are small in comparison to the totality of Scripture. Most of the Scripture is absolutely clear. The Holy Spirit Has A Teaching Ministry There is also the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Bible promises that the Holy Spirit will teach believers. Jesus said.

When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that ii the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify about me (John 15:26).

There Is No Guarantee That We Will Understand Everything Believing in the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit does not guarantee that we will instantly understand everything. To know what the Scripture says and means involves study and thought. This is why the Bible commands us to study God's Word.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

We Should Appreciate Our Heritage We also have a heritage of two thousand years of interpreting Scripture. We should not ignore this resource. It is important that we find out what others have said as well as the ongoing work of biblical scholars. We should learn from the work of others. Summary The idea that the Scriptures are clear does not mean that every passage will be easy to understand. The Bible itself testifies that some parts are difficult to understand. Peter acknowledged this about Paul's writings. Yet these parts were not impossible to understand. The Bible also promises that the Holy Spirit will teach believers. This, however, is not a guarantee that we will immediately understand everything written within its pages. Understanding Scripture takes study and work. The Bible says that God has given to the church those people who are able to teach His truth. We also have a heritage of two thousand years of people attempting to understand difficulties. Consequently we should take advantage of those gifts that God has given certain individuals as well as the knowledge that we can learn from the past.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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