Why Does God Speak Clearly? The Clarity of Scripture Part 2
Every time you open the Bible and understand what it says, you are basking in the goodness of our clear-speaking God. The clarity of God’s Word is a testimony to his kindness, his love, and his generosity. God wants to make himself known to you! He wants you to understand his Word! God communicates clearly with us because “he is good and does good” (Ps 119:68). Praise the Lord that his Word is clear because he is so good!
The Bible testifies that you can read the Bible. In other words, the Scriptures are clear. Unambiguous. Intelligible. Understandable. This conviction about the clarity of Scripture is essential to the Christian life and has been the steady assumption of the church throughout history.
But any doctrine of Scripture must always be traced to its source in the doctrine of God. God’s Word is, in part, as God is. Why do you talk the way that you do? Because of who you are. Why does God speak the way that he does? Because of who he is. Which means that if we affirm or deny the clarity of Scripture, we’re necessarily saying something about the character of God.
So why does God speak clearly in his Word? What does the clarity of Scripture teach us about God? For that answer, we turn back to the beginning.
Created to Communicate
At the genesis of mankind, we get a glimpse into the clarity of God’s Word. God said on the sixth day of creation, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Gen 1:26). Who is God talking to? Not the antelope or the trilobite. “Us.” According to the text, the persons of the Trinity – Father, Son, and Spirit – engaged in a divine deliberation when they created the first people. And the decision of the Godhead was to make man “after our likeness.” Unlike the antelope and the trilobite, mankind would be made in God’s image.
While there’s plenty of debate about exactly what’s included in the reality of “the image of God” in mankind, one parallel is clear: God made man, like him, to communicate. As the Trinity, God is inherently a communicator. The Father perfectly radiates his image in the Son (Heb 1:3), the Son joyfully glories in the Father for all eternity (John 17:5), and the Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son (John 15:26). God is a communicator, and so man, made in God’s image, also communicates.
In Genesis 2:16-17, we find the first recorded communication between God and man. Still on the sixth day, after God had formed Adam from the dust but before he formed Eve from Adam’s rib, God speaks to Adam and says, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” God not only communicates within himself, but he speaks to his creatures as well. And in this first sentence spoken from God to man, notice that God expects Adam to understand. Adam’s life depends on it! This means that out of the box, God made mankind capable of both listening to, understanding, and even speaking with language (Gen 2:23).
God made man and God gave him language. Human language is a gift from God. Words and sentences are not tools that homo sapiens evolved into or developed through burps and grunts over millennia. On humanity’s birthday, we could hear, we could speak, and we could understand.