This short post looks at ARTICLE XXIII, which reads:
We affirm the clarity of Scripture and specifically of its message about salvation from sin.
Dr. Geisler comments (Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics (bible-researcher.com) as follows:
Traditionally this teaching is called the “perspicuity” of Scripture. By this is meant that the central message of Scripture is clear, especially what the Bible says about salvation from sin.
Rather than call it “perspicuity,” in his Systematic Theology (Second Edition) at p. 109, Dr. Wayne Grudem characterizes this doctrine as “clarity:”
The clarity of Scripture means that the Bible is written in such a way that it is able to be understood, but right understanding requires time, effort, and the use of ordinary means, a willingness to obey, and the help of the Holy Spirit; and our understanding will remain imperfect in this lifetime.
At pages 113-122 of his Systematic Theology, Dr. Grudem discusses seven factors that comprise requirements for understanding Scripture. First, to understand Scripture, one must put in the time. Understanding Scripture is a process that does not happen all at once.
Second, it takes effort to understand Scripture. Clarity of Scripture does not mean that it is all easy to understand. As this exercise shows, it is work!
Third, the following “ordinary means” assist with understanding Scripture: (a) a translation of the Bible in one’s own language, (b) listening to teachers to whom God has given the gift of teaching God’s Word, (c) reading commentaries when consistent with God-gifted teaching, (d) being aware of the history of interpretation of the church, (e) seeking understanding in fellowship with other believers, and (f) using modern tools such as concordance, language helps, and the like.
Fourth, a willingness to obey is necessary to understand Scripture.
Fifth, the help of the Holy Spirit is vital to understanding Scripture.
Sixth, a humble recognition that our understanding is imperfect is necessary to understanding Scripture.
Seventh, three reasons for the above requirements: (1) the complexity of the subject matter in that Scripture is complex, (2) the value of our relationship with God, and (3) the value of the lifelong process of Scripture engagement.
One relevant encouraging implication from the doctrine of the clarity of Scripture is that one can know Scripture to such an extent that (1) one can proclaim the saving gospel of Jesus Christ, and (2) one can recognize what is not a saving message even though it purports to be the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.
IF YOU ARE UNSURE ABOUT YOUR SALVATION
If you are unsure about your salvation, you need to check out my book The Salvation Meter: Biblical Self-Diagnostic Tests to Examine Your Salvation and Spiritual Growth (book link at Xulon Press: https://www.xulonpress.com/bookstore/bookdetail.php?PB_ISBN=9781662828638 ). At Amazon the book link is https://www.amazon.com/Salavation-Meter-Biblical-Self-Diagnostic-Spiritual/dp/1662828632 . I also have website in which I am updating the content in the book. The link to my website for the book is https://thesalvationmeter.com .
IF YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN
… please (1) read through “God’s Plan of Salvation” so you can understand what God did for you through His only unique Son, Jesus Christ, and (2), from the bottom of your heart, pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” meaning every word. If you do, you will be reconciled to God – saved – through Jesus Christ.
God’s Plan of Salvation
In the beginning, God, who is holy, created the entire universe. As a part of His creative actions, He made humans in His image to know Him. For a while, everything was right between God and our ancestors, Adam and Eve. But Adam sinned, and his sin was passed down to all of humankind whereby we became separated from God. Nothing we could do on our own could bridge that separation so that without God’s intervention, hell would be our eternal destination.
Fortunately for us, in His great love and mercy God provided humankind with the only means of salvation, which is through Jesus Christ who is God’s only unique Son. While retaining His deity, God the Son became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law Himself and taking on Himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever repent and trust in Him for their salvation. Jesus rose from the dead, showing that God the Father accepted Christ’s sacrifice and that God’s wrath against us has been exhausted. He now calls us to repent of our sins and trust alone in what Christ did to save us.
If we repent of our sins and completely trust in Christ alone that He died for our sins and rose to life from the dead, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God.
Scripture References: Genesis 1:1, 27, 31; Habakkuk 1:13; Genesis 2:7, 18, 21-25; Genesis 3:1-7, 23-24; Isaiah 59:2; Romans 3:19-20, 23; 5:17-19; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 John 4:10; John 3:16-18; Mark 1:15; Romans 1:4; 4:25; John 3:5-8; 1 Peter 1:3.
Lord, Jesus Christ, the only unique Son of God, thank You for Your free gift of eternal life. I know I’m a sinner who cannot save myself no matter what I do, and I deserve to spend eternity in hell. But, I know that because You loved me so much, You voluntarily died on the cross for me taking my sins upon Yourself, and You physically bodily rose from the grave showing that Your sacrificial death was sufficient payment to give me eternal life in Heaven. I now repent of my sins and trust alone in what You did for my eternal salvation. Please take control of my life as I now receive You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You so much for saving me. I am now Yours forever! (Scripture references: John 1:1-4, 11-14; John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:21-26; Isaiah 53:4-6; Mark 1:15; Acts 16:31; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-10, 13; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; John 10:27-29).
Upon your salvation, you must find a spiritually solid Bible-believing church that (1) teaches that the sixty-six books of the Bible are the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God, (2) believes in the doctrine of the Trinity, which means that there is one God who eternally exists as three distinct Persons — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and each Person is fully God, and (3) teaches that salvation is by grace through faith and not by works (e.g., water baptism by immersion).
ONE CAUTIONARY POINT. Please do not make the mistake of thinking that once you become a Christian, your life will become easy. Most likely, it will become more difficult. God’s blessing of salvation and life’s difficulties are not mutually exclusive. Jesus told His disciples, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” John 15:18 (NLT). Always keep in mind that you have an eternal home in heaven waiting for you per John 14:2–4 (NLT):
2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
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