This is the second part in the 4 characteristics of Scripture (SCAN). We’ve done Authority, now Clarity. After this we’ve got 2 more and we’re finished with the Doctrine of the Word of God.
What does the Clarity of Scripture mean?:
The clarity of Scripture means that the Bible is written in such a way that its teachings are able to be understood by all who read it seeking God’s help and being willing to follow it
Things that I like:
- This characteristic means that even Children and “Simple” people can come to know God by reading/listening to God’s word. Grudem gives a couple of verses where the Bible says teach this to Children (Duet 6:6-7) and that it makes the “simple” wise (Ps 19.7 and 119:130). I think this is a really beautiful thing, because it means that anyone can come to know God through His word. You don’t need a degree or qualification to understand.
- This definition also emphasises that our attitude to reading God’s word is more important than our intellectual ability. What is the posture of your heart when you reads God word? Is it so that you know more, so that you can check a box, or win an argument. Or is it coming humbly to learn from God, asking Him for help to understand what He is saying and sincerely intending to follow through on His commands. God looks on the inside when it comes to Bible reading. Earlier today I read Jesus praising God… Luke 10:21: “At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.”. I like this, because it reminds me that I need a humble and willing heart to read fruitfully the Word of God. So prayer is vital.
- Grudem writes a good explanation for the role of Scholars, given that the Bible is clear enough to be understood by children. I like it. We do need scholars. But before he goes into this explanation he writes a compelling case for our study of Scripture:
[The Clarity of Scripture] should give great encouragement to all Christians to read their Bibles daily and with great eagerness…Christians must never give up to the scholarly “experts” the task of interpreting Scripture: they must keep doing it everyday for themselves.
My prayer is that after reading this section you are encouraged to read and understand your Bible on a daily basis. It’s near the beginning of the year, commit to prayerful reading of the Bible. Buy yourself a new one, give the old one away, do whatever will motivate you to read it daily. It can be understood. Even if there are places that seem difficult to understand (2 Peter 3:15-16), if we ask God to help us and sincerely approach to learn and do His will – He will give us understanding.