We believe Scriptures to be the very words of God. He is the author and, in giving us His words, He makes clear that He wants to communicate with us. If God almighty, Creator of the universe, has given us a book, we can rest assured that He created it in a way we can understand. Some sections are easier to grasp than others. But as a whole, we can understand what God is communicating to us. He crafted the Bible in such a way that all who hear its words will understand its teaching, if they come to the Scriptures willing to listen and seeking God’s help. The Bible is clear.
God expects us to understand His Word. In the Old Testament, He instructed His people, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 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” (Deuteronomy 6:6–7). God assumes that everyday people will understand His Word. They will have so much understanding that they will be able to teach the Scriptures diligently to their children and discuss their principles often.
What does the Bible say about being able to understand the Scriptures? Throughout time, the Scripture writers expect everyone to be able to understand God’s Word. King David wrote, “the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7). Another psalmist wrote, “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130). In both of these psalms, the word simple refers to someone who makes poor decisions. The implication is, both those without great intellectual ability as well as the foolish, can clearly understand Scriptures. The Scriptures can make us wise! God’s word is available to all.
The Scriptures are not always easy to grasp, and it is possible to misunderstand them. Even Peter held a wrong conclusion concerning the treatment of Gentiles, and Paul corrected him (Galatians 2:11–14). The Bible can be misunderstood primarily for two reasons: the lack of understanding or the state of one’s heart. In the New Testament, we see the disciples’ lack of understanding while they were continually confused by Jesus’ words and did not understand why He had to die (John 12:16). However, the primary reason Scripture is not understood is due to lack of faith and hardness of heart (Luke 24:25).