“I don’t understand it.” How many times have you heard this excuse when it comes to reading the Bible? Perhaps you have even said it yourself. I think we would all agree, this is a common excuse people use to rationalize their willful disregard for the Word of God. But is this excuse legitimate?
As Deuteronomy 6:6-7 tells us, we are commanded to teach the Bible to our kids. Personally, I have four kids. Their ages are 10, 7, 5, and 2. Every morning we sit around the breakfast table and as they eat their Lucky Charms (not that there is luck), I open up God’s Word and read it to them and then I talk to them about it. Currently, we are working our way through Colossians. This is the verse we focused on today, “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time” (Colossians 4:5). Here were my questions: Who are the outsiders? What is wisdom? What does it mean to walk in wisdom? What are some examples of this?
At no point did I feel like my kids couldn’t wrap their heads around this verse. The text was clear enough for my 5 year old to understand it and it is clear enough for you to understand it.
This was basically Jesus' approach to Scripture. He assumed that the Scriptures were clear and that everyone should be able to understand it if they read it. He would commonly say things like “Have you not read” (Matthew 12:3,5; Matthew 19:14, Matthew 21:42; Matthew 22:31). Jesus assumed that if you read it, you should get it.
This was also the early Church’s position. When the Apostles wrote their letters they wrote them to the entire Church, not just the theological ones, “To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons” (Philippians 1:1). This is one of the MAJOR issues I have with the Roman Catholic Church. They have wrongfully kept the Word of God out of the hands of the people, and for this they will receive their judgment. The Bible is not for an exclusive club of academics, it is for all believers.
Having said all this, will there be passages that are more difficult? Absolutely. This is the amazing beauty of God’s Word, it is simple enough for the child, but greater than any man’s intellect. And this is what we want in a Book written by a loving Sovereign God. One that is inviting for all ages, but one that we will never reach the end of.
This blog is a part of a series of blogs that are based upon Wayne Grudem’s book titled, Systematic Theology. Each week the title of the blog and the Scripture of the blog are taken from Grudem’s book. Readers are encouraged to read Grudem’s book along with these blogs.