Dr. Bob Jones Sr., founder of Bob Jones University, used to say to us in chapel, “Simplicity is truth’s most becoming garb.” I love that. I’m so glad that God made salvation simple enough for a child to understand. I’m so glad that the Bible is a simple book; that it doesn’t take a PhD degree to understand spiritual truth.
Our Inscrutable God
It’s true that God is inscrutable or unfathomable. There are depths of theology that you and I will never understand perfectly until we stand glorified in His presence.
After writing by inspiration of God some of the most difficult truths of Scripture in Romans 9,10 and 11, truths that Paul himself did not fully understand and truths that learned theologians have been struggling with for centuries; Paul breaks into a doxology of praise to God in Romans 11:34-36. “O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Who hath been His counselor? Who hath first given to Him, and is shall be recompensed to Him again? For of Him, and through Him and to Him are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.? Paul is glorying in that fact that he cannot fully understand God and theology, the study of God,.
Our Incomprehensible God
I’m so thankful that my God is so big and so great that I cannot begin to fully grasp Him intellectually. I’m so glad that, as a little child does not fully understand and know all his father knows, so I do not have to know and understand all my Heavenly Father does and all He allows. I can trust Him even when I cannot understand Him. I find great comfort in the truth stated in Isaiah 55:8-9. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
The Simplicity of God’s Truth
After condemning proud, self-righteous people for their unrepentance, Jesus said in Matthew 11:25-26 “I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight.” I’m glad that Christianity is simple enough for a child to understand; that humble and broken-hearted people who hunger and thirst after righteousness can receive Christ’s righteousness through simple, childlike faith.. When His disciples were concerned about who was the greatest, it’s recorded in Matthew 18 that Jesus brought a little child into their midst and instructed them to humble themselves and accept God’s truth with the humility and trust of little children. Only then could they understand and accept what it meant to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Scholar who Preached Simply
In I Corinthians chapters 1 & 2 Paul is dealing with a divided church who were glorying in intellectualism rather than in Jesus. Paul, who was extremely well educated and could have impressed his congregation with his intellectualism, chose to preach the simplicity of the Gospel, trusting the Gospel itself to make the changes in their lives. As he taught in Romans 1:16, so he repeats here that it is the Gospel that is the power of God to salvation; not his intellectual genius. or his power of persuasion.
Nobodies and Somebodies
In I Corinthians 1:26-29 Paul reminds us that God does not choose too many intellectuals to preach the Gospel. Oh, He chooses some, if they are humble enough to know they don’t have all the answers and who understand that it’s the Gospel that saves; not their persuasiveness or intellectual ability.
God delights in using nobodies to confound somebodies.
Continue reading chapter 2 and see how Paul trusted fully in God to do what he with all his intellect could never have done.
God Puts No Premium on Ignorance.
Lest someone should jump at this truth and glory in his ignorance, let me make clear that God doesn’t need ignorant preachers. Paul instructs young Pastor Timothy to study the Word of God and gain an understanding of how it all fits together. II Timothy 2:15 and 3:15-17 If you don’t have the big picture, you will probably have a serious misunderstanding of any part of the Bible. You will probably do more damage than good in a pulpit. Don’t confuse simplicity with ignorance. It takes a Bible college and perhaps seminary education today to understand the Bible so you can preach its depths with accuracy and simplicity. Any new Christian can lead another person to Christ if he has a basic understanding of the Gospel.; but it’s another thing to pastor a church and teach God’s Word without a Bible Institute or Bible college education. Just make sure you get into a sound, Bible college and seminary.
The wrong education can do you more harm than good.
The wrong education has destroyed the faith of many young men who started out to prepare for the ministry. If you have questions about this, I would be glad to give you some guidance in this matter.
How You Can Understand the Bible
If you are not a Christian, you probably have no idea what we are taking about. Why? It’s not because you are stupid; but simply because you are a natural man or woman without Christ. The Bible is a dead book to you. It makes no sense at all. I Corinthians 2:14If you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit living in your life. See Romans 8:9 The Holy Spirit is your teacher. As you read your Bible, God’s holy, inspired, infallible Word; the Holy Spirit teaches you and guides you. As you listen to sermons and as you read our web site, the Holy Spirit living in you confirms what is truth and what is chaff and error. John 14:26. If what you read or hear does not square with the Bible, it is error. Now go back to I Corinthians 2:9-16 and follow along. In vs 9 Paul is speaking of all the wonderful truths of Scripture, as well as the wonders of Heaven that God has for us. Man in his natural state cannot begin to grasp it. I Corinthians 2:10-13 show us that God’s Spirit living in us reveals truth to Christians.
Verse 14 contrasts this with the natural man who cannot receive the truths of God’s Word. Everything sounds foolish to him. Perhaps I am describing you. If you will come to the end of yourself and realize that your self righteousness is repulsive to God and if you will bow before God as a guilty, helpless sinner and trust Jesus for salvation, you will experience a supernatural change. God’s Spirit will come to live in you and you will begin to think God’s thoughts. As verse 16 says, you will have the mind of Christ. You will glory in the truth and in the beautiful simplicity of the Gospel.