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. (Titus 1:9 ESV)
I find it very interesting that when the meanings of certain texts are in dispute, some will end the argument with “Well, we really can’t know and we’ll just have to wait ‘til we get to heaven.” They may even throw out a verse like “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29) to say that this must be one of those secret things because we just can’t know and we’re certainly not in agreement.
Do we see what’s happening? Everyone in the discussion seems to have very strong opinions about the Bible. But if the Bible isn’t clear, then how did we all make up our minds and discover that we totally don’t agree? We must be using another source as our authority. What or who has the final say in our thinking? Is it a certain church or denomination? Is it society or academia? Or is it my own reasoning?
And how can the apostle Paul tell Titus, “Hey, Titus. Hold onto the Bible. It’s trustworthy and understandable. Teach it in all its purity and silence anyone who denies or opposes it.” If the Bible’s not clear, Paul can’t write this. He’s not being consistent.
No, the Bible is very clear on its clarity. As far as what the Lord has revealed to men and women, the meaning of Scripture is within our grasp. Consider the following:
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. (Psalm 19:8 ESV)
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105 ESV)
The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. (Psalm 119:130 ESV)
For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life. (Proverbs 6:23 ESV)
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16 ESV)
And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place … (2 Peter 1:19 ESV)
So what’s really happening here? I believe when any of us say that the Bible isn’t as forthcoming as what it should be, what we’re really saying is that we don’t like what we’re reading so rather than come right out and deny the Word of God, we profess ignorance—professing ignorance but all the while holding a position that contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture. This is not good for us or those we seek to convince as students of our own doctrine.