Summary: You are not going to be motivated to study the Scriptures if you do not think you can understand them; but the Scriptures are meant for all believers and can be understood at their basic level.
The Clarity of Scripture
2 Peter 3:1-2, 15-16
1. I was watching a documentary on the English language, and they video transported us to a rural village in part of England where the people are engaging in their rural dialect. Though it was English, I could not understand but a word or two.
2. In 1943, a song came out titled, "Mairzy Doats."
3. Although some parts of the Bible are difficult, I am here to tell you today that, by and large, the Bible is a clear book.
4, The sword of the Spirit is our only offensive weapon when it comes to wearing the armor of God. Ephesians 6:17 reads, "Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
5. More than anything, Satan wants Christians to put their swords down -- to surrender the Word. Then he has nothing to fear from us. And nothing will demoralize us and make us put down the sword more than the lie that the Bible cannot be understood by us.
6. The doctrine of the clarity of Scripture (often called the "perspicuity of Scripture") teaches that "the meanings of the text can be clear to the ordinary reader, that God uses the text of the Bible to communicate His person and will… ordinary people, who approach it in faith and humility, will be able to understand what the Bible is getting at, even if they meet with particular points of difficulty here and there" [source: Theopedia].
7. Two extreme errors: (1) Only church leaders can properly understand Scripture and we should leave the Bible to them and just do what they say; (2) The original, objective intent of the author does not matter; what matters is how it strikes me or what I want it to mean (subjectivism). The main messages of the Scripture are clear to those who will pursue them without an agenda.
Main Idea: You are not going to be motivated to study the Scriptures if you do not think you can understand them; but the Scriptures are meant for all believers and can be understood at their basic level.
I. Our MINDS Need to Constantly Interact with the Word (1-2)
A. Our minds need to be STIMULATED by Scripture
1. Concentration is a key to worshipping God in song.
2. Concentration is a key toward grasping the Bible
3. But if we let ourselves experience spiritual attention deficit, we will get no place fast.
B. The battleground is our THINKING
"Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.
"I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.
"I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts (Psalm 119:97-100)
II. We Need to Be FLUENT In Both Testaments (2)
A. You cannot recall what you have never LEARNED
1. Years ago, we used to have a men's golf tournament
2. I tried to learn golf -- maybe 10 times… not much better
3. But some people say, "I can't understand the Bible." I could ask, "Well,
how many times have your read it?"
B. BOTH testaments are relevant
Studying the NT without the Old is like building a two story house without a first
III. God Gave the Authors of Scripture WISDOM (15)
A. Verbal, plenary inspiration is not the same as DICTATION
• Being given divine wisdom was part of the process of inspiration…
• When we talk about "inspired," do not confuse it with Shakespeare
B. The Bible involves a human ELEMENT but is God's Word
IV. A Few Scriptures Are HARD to Understand, But Understandable (16a)
A. We are the PROBLEM, not the Scriptures
"Belief in the perspicuity of the Bible is ancient, going back to Jesus himself, who reproached the scribes and Pharisees, for not understanding the plain meaning of the text. As a doctrine, the perspicuity of Scripture was expressed by many of the Church Fathers, who contrasted it with the mystical writings of the Gnostics, which only the initiated could fathom." - Gerald Bray
B. The Scriptures Are MEANT to Be Understood By All
"For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it." (Deuteronomy 30:11-14)