WCF 1.7 — Pastoral Comments

Posted on Nov 29, 2017 by admin

1.7 All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all:1 yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.2
1 2 Pet 3:16; 2 Ps 119:105, 130.

We saw previously that not everything that God wants us know is explicitly stated in Scripture. Rather, all we need to know is either expressly set down in Scripture or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture.” But let us be clear that this does not mean that all things in Scripture are expressed so plainly and simply that no effort is needed to understand any part of Scripture.
The fact, rather, is that many parts of Scripture are actually quite difficult to understand. Think of Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel or Hosea in the Old Testament. The same is true even in the New Testament. Think of Revelation, or even the book of Romans for many of us. The apostle Peter found some of what the apostle Paul wrote hard to be understood and that they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction (2 Pet 3:16).
These challenging passages keep us humble and, in a way, make Bible Study exciting and allow room for us to grow in our knowledge of Scripture over our entire lifetime. Nevertheless, we thank God that all those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed, for our salvation and the Christian life are either clearly expressed in one part of Scripture or another, or may be distinctly deduced from a number of passages. Even the unlearned, can have sufficient understanding of Gods will pertaining to these essential truths simply by reading through the Scriptures or hearing the word preached. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple says the Psalmist (Ps 119:130). Or to put it in another way, we need not worry that there are any essential doctrine hidden in some obscure passages that only some enlightened ones may understand.

So brethren and children, do not be afraid to read the Bible for yourself. Pray for understanding, and then enjoy it, knowing that the Lord will make what is necessary for you to know at the moment clear to you. Moreover, if someone proposes a doctrine that is new to you, and despite His explanation, you cannot see it in the text or in parallel passages raised, then dont believe him. It may well be that he is right, but if it is not taught in our Confession and Catechisms, and he cannot prove it from Scripture, then it is probably not something which God wants you to believe. Remember that the Scripture is perspicuous, i.e. all that is essential for us to know is clear enough for us to know from one part or another in Scripture.

Westminster Confession of Faith — With Brief Pastoral Comments
© 2017 by Pilgrim Covenant Church