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Voddie Baucham – Doctrine Matters – Getting the Gospel Right

Some when they say gospel they are talking about a social gospel.

Others they speak of all the teachings of Jesus with a legalism bent.

Gospel of ‘love God, love people’ is actually a summary of the law. The gospel freed us from the law.

11th Commandment “Thou shalt be nice”.

Today’s ‘Jesus’ walked around being nice with a lamb on his shoulders.

I. An Argument from Authority

1 Corinthians 15:1-3

1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,
2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,

Salvation requires the gospel.

“If you hold fast”

Simple answer – MacArthur “If you could lose your Salvation, you would.”

Ephesians 1:11- 13

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

If the Holy Spirit doesn’t show up to pay the bill then there is no God.

II. An Argument from Evidence

1 Corinthians15:4-7

4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

Biblical evidence – Authority of Scripture

More than 300 were still alive at this time. Evidence from first person eye witnesses. Personal evidence. Even Paul saw the resurrected Christ.

Paul is not pointing to himself as an authority based on his experience. It is the gospel that saves not a compelling testimony. Testimonies don’t tip the scales. Your testimony is that Christ died for your sins.

Galatians 2:1-2

1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me.
2 I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain.

God was public with the Gospel it is real. John say “we have seen him”.

1 John 1:1-

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—
2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—
3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

III. An Argument from Logic

1 Corinthians 15:12-19

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.
16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

Seven problems with no resurrection

1) Then even Christ hasn’t been raised.

2) Our preaching is vain.

3) Your faith is vain.

4) We are found to be misrepresenting God. I am then a blaspheming liar.

5) You are still in your sins. No justification.

6) Those who have died then have perished.

7) We are pitiful because there is no hope.

Christ indeed has been raised.


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Effectual Calling and Regeneration by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

This is one of the clearest explanations I’ve read for effectual calling, regeneration and conversion.

Effectual Calling and Regeneration
by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

So, then, what is this effectual, internal call that we are speaking about? Well, the most we can say about it is — and this must of necessity be true in the light of these scriptures — that it is the exercise of the power of the Holy Spirit in the soul. It is a direct operation of the Holy Spirit within us. It is immediate, it is spiritual, it is supernatural, miraculous. And what it does is to make a new mode of spiritual activity possible within us. Without this operation we are incapable of any true spiritual activity but as the result of this operation of the Holy Spirit upon us, we are rendered capable, for the first time, of spiritual activity and that is how this call now becomes effectual, that is what enables us to receive it.

So as we consider what we mean by regeneration, the one important thing, it seems to me, is that we must differentiate it from conversion. And yet how frequently they are confused. But regeneration is not conversion and for this reason: conversion is something that we do whereas regeneration, as I shall show you, is something that is done to us by God. Conversion means a turning away from one thing to another in practice, but that is not the meaning of regeneration. We can put it like this: when people convert themselves or turn, they are giving proof of the fact that they are regenerate. Conversion is something that follows upon regeneration. The change takes place in the outward life and living of men and women because this great change has first of all taken place within them.


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Points to Ponder Concerning Adorning the Doctrine of God our Savior

1. Why is sound doctrine important according to Titus 2:1-10?

 

2. Do you Whine or Shine?

A. Matthew 5:16 (ESV)

 

B. Philippians 2:14-16 (ESV)

a. Do all things without grumbling or questioning,

b. Be blameless and innocent

c. Without blemish

d. Shine as lights in the world,

e. Holding fast to the word of life

 

3. How well do you display the following characteristics of the Doctrine of Christ?

 

Titus 2:9-10 (ESV)

a. Submission

b. Well-pleasing

c. Not argumentative

d. Not pilfering

e. Showing all good faith

 

4. Are you attempting to adorn the Lord or is the Lord adorning you?

 

5. Are you adorned with the Salvation of the Lord? (Psalms 149:4; Isaiah 61:10; Zechariah 3:4)

 


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Our Idea of Adorning Is not God’s Idea of Adorning

Here is where I ran into a problem.  See I had a few verses that just didn’t fit.  They didn’t fit in my thoughts of adorning.  So do I just skip those?  By no means!  That is where people come up with bizarre ideas claiming they represent Biblical doctrine. Our idea of adorning is not God’s idea of adorning.  See we typically think of adorning as adding something to another thing, like adding ornaments to a tree, jewels to a lady, etc.

But we all know we aren’t to add to God’s Doctrine.  So what do we do?

Take off / Put on.

Ephesians 4:20-24 (ESV)

20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!—
21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,
22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

 

Colossians 3:8-10; 12-14 (ESV)
8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices
10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

We let the Lord take off our old selfish self and in humility allow the Lord to put on us a new self.  Only then can we adorn the Doctrine of God, our Savior.  Adorning God’s Doctrine is not something we can do ourselves.  Only after the Lord has adorned us can we truly adorn the doctrine.

The Lord will adorn us with His Salvation and Righteousness for His own glory.

Psalms 149:4 (ESV) For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.

Isaiah 61:10 (ESV) I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Only after our filthy self-adornment is removed and washed in the blood of the Lamb can we adorn anything related to the Lord.

Zechariah 3:4 (ESV) And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.”

Revelation 7:14 (ESV) I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

The wisdom of God’s Word will adorn us.

Proverbs 3:21-22 (ESV)

21 My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22 and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck
.

The Lord will adorn us with Gladness.

Psalms 30:11-12 (ESV)

11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

 

The Grace of God has brought us salvation which then teaches us to adorn the doctrine by living self-controlled, godly lives while we wait for our Hope, the appearing of Christ.

Titus 2:11-14 (ESV)

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,

12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,

13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Our lives should so display and model the gospel such that they can find nothing to accuse us about.

Titus 2:7-8 (ESV)

7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,
8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

John MacArthur writes in his Titus Commentary, “The true effectiveness of evangelism does not come from man-made methods, strategy, or marketing techniques adapted from the culture, but from the genuine virtue, moral purity, and godliness of believers whose lives give proof of the truth of God’s Word and the power of Christ to redeem men of sin. That is what silences the critics and makes the gospel believable.

It is not with our great works, wonderful programs, our mission projects, or our great teaching with which we adorn the doctrine of God.  It is our virtue, purity and godliness from the cleansing blood of Christ that adorns the doctrine.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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So How Then Do We Adorn the Doctrine of God?

Notice that Titus 2:9-10 actually tells us a lot about adorning God’s Word.

Titus 2:9-10

9 Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,

10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

Submission

Slaves are to be submissive to their masters in order to adorn the doctrine of God.  How does submission adorn God’s doctrine?  Submission exhibits trust and faith in God by showing how we know the Lord is over every institution – slaves and masters, husbands and wives, parents and children, government and subjects, elders and the church, etc.  What human institution is not under the authority of God?

Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

2 Peter 2:13-15

13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme,

14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.

15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.

 

Well-pleasing

Also translated as adequate or acceptable.

Romans 12:2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

2 Corinthians 5:9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.

Colossians 1:10 (ESV) … so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

We should be well-pleasing to those in authority over us, just as children should be well-pleasing to the Lord by their obedience to their parents (Colossians 3:20).

 

Not argumentative

This means to not dispute, speak against, back talk, deny, be contrary or contradict.

Romans 10:21 (ESV) But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

Titus 1:9 (ESV) He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

 

Not pilfering – not embezzling

Just two other times is this word used in the Bible and they are both in the same passage.

Acts 5:1-3 (ESV)

1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property,
2 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?

 

Showing all good faith – faithful in all things

1 Timothy 3:11  (ESV) Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded,  faithful in all things.

 

Our lives are to be the adornment for the doctrine of the Lord.  We are not the focal point.  Christ is the focus.  So are we a jewel in the crown or a thorn in the crown of Christ?  The gospel is beautiful with or without us.  But the way we display the gospel and Christ’s Doctrine is very important to how others perceive it.

Acts 2:46-47 (ESV)

46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Acts 5:13 (ESV) None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem.

  


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Whine or Shine

Let us see what verses we can find that will help us with “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior”.

First off my Bible cross references two verses with Titus 2:9-10 — Matthew 5:16 and Philippians 2:15.  An easy way to remember the point of these two verses is with the phrase “whine or shine”.

Matthew 5:16 (ESV) In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Our lives should shine so before others that they glorify the Lord because of us.  That is pretty easy to see how that would be adorning the Gospel.  But notice that our good works aren’t to lead others to praise us but to praise God.  How will they know about our Lord if we don’t tell them?

 

“A Christian’s whole life should be nothing but a visible representation of Christ”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thomas Brooks

Men may not read the gospel in sealskin,

or the gospel in morocco {rich leather}, or the gospel in cloth covers,

but they can’t get away from the gospel in shoe leather.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Donald Grey Barnhouse

 

Philippians 2:14-16 (ESV)

14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning,
15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

Now that is difficult!

1. Do all things without grumbling or questioning,

Philippians 2:9 (ESV) Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.

2. Be blameless and innocent

Psalms 19:13 (ESV) Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.

 

Psalms 101:2-3 (ESV)

2 I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house;

3 I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.

3. Without blemish

Ephesians 5:25-27 (ESV)

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

 

Jude 24-25 (ESV)

24  Now to him who is able  to keep you from stumbling and  to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,

25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

 Christ is who cleanses us and makes us without blemish.  We can’t do that for ourselves.

 4. Shine as lights in the world,

John 8:12 (ESV) Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Notice “will have the light of life”; not maybe, not will one day obtain it, but will have if you follow Him.

5. Holding fast to the word of life

This expression is different in different translations.  The ESV has “holding fast” and the KJV has “holding forth”.

We are to do both.  Hold fast to the Lord – the Word.

Deuteronomy 10:20 (ESV) You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve him and hold fast to him, and by his name you shall swear.

And hold forth, proclaim, God’s Word.

Acts 5:20 (ESV) “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.”

Notice that as difficult as all of the above are they aren’t “great” works in the typical sense.  They don’t require dying on the mission field or preaching to great crowds.  They don’t require leaving your family behind to evangelize the world.  The character qualities in the Philippians passage are all attitudes of the heart.  Our attitudes of the heart is what we are to “adorn the doctrine of God” with.  No matter where you are in life; a child in an unbelieving family, a wife married to an unbeliever or as Titus 2:9-10 and 1 Peter 2:18 say a slave with an unbelieving, unjust master are called to “adorn the doctrine” with their goods works of the heart.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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What Can We Learn About “Adorn” From the Bible?

Titus 2:9-10 (ESV)

9 Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,

10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

 

Titus 2:10 (NIV) and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.

 

Titus  2:10 (AMP) Nor to steal by taking things of small value, but to prove themselves truly loyal and entirely reliable and faithful throughout, so that in everything they may be an ornament and do credit to the teaching [which is] from and about God our Savior.

 

The phrase “adorn the doctrine of God” doesn’t appear anywhere else just like that so we have to break it apart even more.

“Doctrine of God our Savior” is very easily understood.  We’ve already studied what is meant by doctrine which is teaching or instruction – teaching of God our Savior.  God our Savior also expressly points out that Jesus Christ, our Savior, is God.  No point debating that – it is clear.

The word for adorn is Kosmeo which is often translated as adorn, garnish or trim.  Any idea what word we get from this Greek word?

Cosmetic

Kosmos is also a related word meaning “orderly arraignment” and is used often for world.

We can look up the other uses of the word Kosmeo in the Bible to get a broader meaning of the word.

 

Put in Order

Matthew 12:44 (ESV) Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order.

Luke 11:25 (ESV) And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order.

Decorate

Matthew 23:29-30 (ESV)

29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous,

30 saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’

Trimmed – to remove excess, make neat or to tidy

Matthew 25:7 (ESV) Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.

Adorn is the most common usage.

Luke 21:5-6 (ESV)

5 And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said,

6 “As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

 

1 Timothy 2:8-10 (ESV)

8 I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,

10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

1 Peter 3:5-6 (ESV)

5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands,

6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

 

Revelation 21:2 (ESV) And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

 

Revelation 21:19-20 (ESV)

19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,

20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.

 

So are we as believers are to put in order, decorate, trim and adorn the Gospel of the Lord?  That sorta implies we are to fix it up or make it look better than it does.  I don’t think so.

As we will see with the next few sections our adorning is not something we add to the Doctrine or the Gospel; it is our goal to not allow our manner of life to detract from it.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Points to Ponder on Doctrine in the Scriptures

1. Do you know more OT verses concerning doctrine? (Hint – Psalm 119)

 

 

2. With so many NT warnings about falling for false doctrine we as believers need to be ever alert to false doctrine. What are some ways that false doctrine can easily infiltrate our lives without us being aware?

 

 

3. Is your life adorning the gospel and doctrine of the Lord? Can you think of folks whose lives adorn the gospel?

 

 

4. Is the idea of Perspicuity of Scripture new to you? Do you find that freeing to know that Scripture is written for the common man and even the simple can grasp and understand enough for Salvation?

 

 

5. How has studying the Scripture changed the godliness in your life? Have you seen growth in maturity and in godliness over the last few months? Are you growing or stagnating?


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But So What?

All this discussion about Biblical doctrine does no good if we do not take what we learn and apply it to our lives.  We have several times in the NT when sound teaching and doctrine are said to lead to godliness.

1 Timothy 6:3 (ESV) If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness,

Teaching that accords with godliness.

Titus 1:1 (ESV) Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness,

Knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness.

All the doctrine and knowledge in the world will do us no good unless it brings us to godliness.  Our Biblical knowledge should be conforming us to the image of Christ.

Romans 8:29 (ESV) For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

If we are not seeing noticeable growth in our lives and becoming more Christ like we are not applying the doctrine we learn to our lives.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 (ESV)

7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;
8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Godliness is of value in every way for our present and for our future.  We are to be training ourselves for godliness.  Training – gumnazo – same root as our gymnasium, it means to train or exercise.  Training and exercising aren’t easy.  They take hard work.  We need to work at applying the doctrine we do learn to our lives so we can become more godly and Christ like.

 



For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Perspicuity

Some people get intimidated when they hear other people discussing doctrine or theology.  You do not have to have a Bible degree in order to understand Biblical Doctrine.

Perspicuity is a word that is not found in the Bible, just like the word Trinity, but the concept is throughout the Bible.  Acts 17:11 supports the concept of perspicuity.  Speaking of the Bereans Luke says:

Acts 17:11 (ESV) Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

Perspicuity of Scripture is the belief that everything pertaining to salvation and godliness is understandable to the common man when the Lord opens his eyes.  While the word perspicuity may be new to you, most of us do actually believe in Perspicuity of Scripture.  Unlike Roman Catholics most Protestants believe that we can read and study the Bible ourselves without the need of a priest or preacher to interpret it to us.

Charles Hodge wrote that:

“Protestants hold that the Bible, being addressed to the people, is sufficiently perspicuous to be understood by them, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; and that they are entitled and bound to search the Scripture, and to judge for themselves what is its true meaning.”

Because of Perspicuity of Scripture:

Scripture imparts understanding to the simple.

Psalms 119:130 (ESV) The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.

Scripture serves as a light to uncover the darkness.

Psalms 119:105 (ESV) Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Scripture explains Salvation.

2 Timothy 3:15 (ESV) and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Parents can teach Scripture to their children.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (ESV)

6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Children can understand Scripture.

2 Timothy 3:14-15 (ESV)

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it
15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Because of Perspicuity of Scripture we at NCBC want our children to worship with us and to glean from every teaching of God’s Word.  Children grasp much more than we give them credit for.

Scripture is the test for all beliefs.

Acts 17:11 (ESV) Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

However perspicuity does not mean that every portion of Scripture is equally understandable.  Even Peter had trouble understanding Paul.

2 Peter 3:15-16 (ESV)

15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

Perspicuity does not mean we do not need teachers (1 Tim 3:2) but it does mean we can and should test everything we hear. (Acts 17:11, 1 Thess 5:21)

Even 1 Corinthians 2:14 does not mean Scripture is too hard for laymen.

1 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV) The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

This verse doesn’t mean that Scripture is too hard or unclear but it means it will only truly be understood when the Holy Spirit reveals the spiritual nature of the Scriptures.  That doesn’t happen instantly, often you will read and read a passage and then much later find the Holy Spirit has really revealed the truth even when you thought you understood before.

Perspicuity also means that we as individuals are personally responsible for maturing our faith through Scripture and the Holy Spirit.  We cannot blame the church, our parents, or others for our failure to examine the Scriptures daily to see what is true. (Acts 17:11)


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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