“earnestly contend for the faith once for all delivered”. Eph.5:17, “be not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is”. Eph. 3:4, “whereby when you read you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ”.
Some hold to the truth that we cannot “understand the truth, but that is not what the Scriptures declare. The Scriptures can be understood. If not there would be no need to have them judge us in judgment. John 12:48. Would God be a just God if this were so? The word “understand” occurs about 300 times in the Scriptures.
If the Scriptures cannot be understood, only one of two reasons would explain why. Either God does not want us to understand (Scriptures prove otherwise) II Peter 3:9, or He is not able to make the word understandable. Would anyone accuse God of this”. John 17:17 “sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth”. If Scriptures cannot be understood, how would one be sanctify? John 8:32, “you shall know the truth”. If there is no truth, there is no wrong or error, there is no sin and Jesus died for naught.
There can be only one correct understanding of the word of God and this comes to us by faith, which is “hearing the word of God”. Romans 10:17. Anything other than an “understanding” what the Scriptures say is a “misunderstanding” of the Scriptures. Understand mean to comprehend the meaning of, to receive the correct meaning of words and signs. There is a rule of logic that says two things cannot differ on the same subject and both be right. If you “understand” and I differ, then I necessarily “misunderstand”. If I tell you my phone number is 283-3634 and 2 weeks later you try calling me by calling 283-3436, and then tell me that, “I understood you to say”. You did not “understand” me, you “misunderstood” me to say 283-3436.
We can agree on “what is written” but we “disagree” when talking about the “silence” and what the “Scriptures do not say”. We disagree over something we know nothing about, for God’s “silence” is not revealed.
We need to confine ourselves to what is revealed that understanding takes place of God Scriptures in our mind. In Exodus 3:1-3, God spoke to Moses out of a “bush that burned with fire”. We know that it was a “burning bush”. We can speculate on “what kind” of bush it was. In each who speculate what “type of bush”, each has their own opinion, disagreement over something not revealed in Scriptures.
John 3:1, 2, Nicodemus came to Jesus “by night”. We cannot agree on “by night. However disagreement comes when we try to force our “opinion” on the “why” he came by night. Unity only comes on the clear statement, “by night” and disunity comes one our opinions.
John 8:1-8. Vs 6, “ but Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger”. We are not told what He wrote. Scriptures do not tell us. On this we should all agree. We can be united on this verse. Unity comes from what is written. We all can disagree on what is not written, but there is no authorization for my opinion. Faith and opinion are not the same thing. That which is written produces faith and is the standard for unity. The Scriptures do not demand unity on our opinions.
There is no authority in this “ silence” upon which men can agree. God does not require unity where there is no authority. what God teaches He expects, and what God has omitted, He rejects.
- Cl Bruner