The Clarity of Scripture

Perspicuity

Learn the nerd word. It’s a good word. It means clarity. The clarity of Scripture simply means that the Bible is clear and understandable. This, of course, includes the reality that comprehension relies upon an ability to understand oral communication and or written discourse as well as other factors such as spiritual maturity and affirmation within the context of the believing community (the church). Most importantly, the clarity of Scripture is dependent upon regeneration as monergistically accomplished in the heart of the believer. That is, Christians have been born again and possess the Holy Spirit within them providing illumination as they read and study the Scripture. Non-Christians have no such ministry of the Spirit.

We learn from the Bible that it is itself a “lamp to our feet”, which speaks to its clarity, for the Scriptures themselves provide light and need no external assistance. Scripture also is affirmed (Psalm 19) as a tool of God making wise the simple. For the simple to become wise, the Scripture must be understandable. Another example of the simplicity and clarity of Scripture is that of 2 Peter 2:1-3 where Peter describes his audience as newborn babies. The Scriptures are clear enough for new believers to understand and apply the teaching of the Bible within the context and discipleship of the local church.

What does this mean for us? It should encourage us to read and study our Bibles with an expectation that we can understand what we read. When we come to a passage that is difficult to understand, we should come to the leadership within the local church and ask for help. It is the job of the Pastors and Elders within a local church to preach and teach that people might grow in their understanding of the understandable Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16-4:5; Colossians 1:28-29).

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