As I work through my first course with The Midwest Center of Theological Studies (MCTS) I will be sharing some things from time to time. My first course at MCTS is in Symbolics in which I am studying through the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. I rejoiced in this course because my family subscribes to the LBCF as well as our church. The first chapter of the confession deals with the Holy Scriptures. Concerning the clarity of the Scriptures the confession reads: I find both amazing and expected that such a statement, written 319 years ago, is very applicable today. It is amazing because of the age of the statement. But it is expected because men were as much sinners in the 1600's as they are today. How many times have we been perplexed or talked with others who are perplexed at the multitude of interpretations that men and churches have of the Scriptures. How many debates continue among Christians concerning some doctrine or another? It is not plain that all things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all? Indeed it is. Yet those things which are necessary to be known to make us wise for salvation are so clearly taught in Scripture that even a child can understand it. The classic text of Scripture showing us that is is the case is found in 2 Timothy 3:15-17 which reads, The Aposlte by the Holy Spirit wrote to Timothy that even from a child he has known the Holy Scriptures which are able to him wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus! What a great consolation and comfort this is for Christian parents seeking to raise their children in the fear and admonision of the Lord. And what a strong encouragement that they see to it that their children a reared in the Scriptures of both the Old and New Testaments! We must not begin to think that Scriptures are too difficult for them to understand. There will be parts that indeed will be hard to understand, but of the doctrines of salvation they are so clearly taught and explained that they are able to give that wisdom and knowledge of salvation which is in Christ Jesus. Several years ago I was reading the Gospel of John to my eldest daughter. I cannot remember exactly what passage I was reading to her, but while I was reading the Scriptures to her she sat up on the bed and exclaimed, "I believe! I believe!" We noticed from that time a difference in her life and to this day she continues to show the fruits of her faith in Christ. And truly it is written in that Gospel, "but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." John 20:31 The Scriptures are indeed clear and sufficient to lead anyone who can hear or read them to faith in the Lord Jesus. Yet the Scriptures are also sufficient that the man of God may also benefit. The man of God, that is the minister of the Word of God namely the elders, may by the Scriptures and illumination of the Holy Spirit in them, be thoroughly equipped for all good works. This positive assertion that the Scriptures are clear and sufficient refutes the notion I have heard entertained that some things necessary for our lives as it relates to the glory of God, faith, and the obedience of the Christian we will never know. Brethren, we must not speak in this manner. Rather, let us plead our own ignorance and lack of understanding because if we do not we find ourselves in danger of suggesting that the Scriptures are not sufficient after all. Consider what the Apostle Peter wrote concerning the writings of Paul, Peter acknowledges the fact that some things which the Apostle Paul wrote are hard to understand. He did not say all things are hard to understand, but that some things are. But look at what he goes on to say. Who are those that he says "wrest" or twist the Scriptures? Is it not those who are unlearned and unstable? And this they also do with the other Scriptures (also, consequently, calling Paul's writings Scripture) unto their own destruction. Friends, even the hard things of the word of God are suffient, although not equally clear to all. Let us be careful, if we desire to be students of the Scriptures, to be diligent in our study of them. When we seek to understand some doctrine or another let's make a hard work of it and not be lazy in it, being careful that we are not wresting the Scripture but rightly dividing the word of truth. And if we find ourselves still unable to come to a clear understanding on some matter or another, let us not be so proud in our own opinion and abilities to resent seeking understanding from the man of God. Soli Deo Gloria Posted this to my blog also..