“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

The doctrine of the perspicuity of Scripture is that a fundamental understanding of God’s plan and provision of salvation can be found in the Bible without formal instruction. Perspicuity means “clarity” and the message of salvation is so clear in the Bible that the average person can understand it just through hearing or reading the word of God. John 3:16—the best-known verse in the Bible—is an example of this perspicuity.

John also wrote: “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:11-13)

The basic message of the Bible is clear, but that doesn’t eliminate the need for in-depth expository explanation of the Scriptures by trained teachers. We see that in Nehemiah 8 when the people asked Ezra the priest to teach them from the Book of the Law. Verse 3 says, “He read it aloud from daybreak till noon … in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.”

But he didn’t just read it. Verse 8 tells us Ezra explained it, “making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.” Ezra had “devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.” (Ezra 7:10) Such teaching is necessary if we are to grow into full spiritual maturity.

Are you reading your Bible—and studying it?

Having begun as a guest speaker in 2005, Dan was appointed Interim Pastor in 2008 and has been serving Maple Root Baptist ever since. As a small group leader and Chaplin for the Connecticut Tigers, Dan has a heart for the lost and the God that saves them.

Dan Kinnaman

Pastor, Maple Root Baptist Church