From ‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 4 section on It Is Clear
At the time of the Reformation, the average person did not read the Scriptures (sound like today?). But back then it was because they were in languages no one used and translations into common languages were forbidden so the church could hold onto its power. The synod of Toulouse in 1229 for instance specifically forbade people to have the Bible in their own language. It wasn’t until 1962-64 at Vatican II that Catholics were encouraged to read their Bibles (after people were already doing it). Reading and interpreting for many even today is the special province of the clergy, and they insist that priests (pastors, rabbis) are the only people qualified to determine meaning and application. They allege the Bible is too difficult for the average person to understand. Of course, they used to think the earth was flat, too.
But God made sure the Word was well within the ability of anyone to understand it. Some of the people during the Reformation called this ‘perspicuity.’ They were saying we don’t have to be scholars to grasp most of the Word. We need to be reminded of this today because there are those who want to complicate the Word and keep it out of our hands.
It seems clear to me that the main issue that causes Scripture to be unclear is a refusal to do what is read (Jeremiah 7:28; Hosea 6:6). We have a nature, inherited from Adam, which tends to walk away from God. Many times, it wants to sprint. We hide from Him because of His perfection, holiness and power. Just like Adam and Eve in the Garden.
Obedience to the smallest word helps to clear up the meaning of more of the Word – more abiding means more understanding (Deuteronomy 4:6). Sometimes we don’t understand, and sometimes we just don’t know, but the bottom line is abiding. Obedience requires humility. Humility allows the light of the Spirit unhindered access to the darkest corners of our hearts. Disobedience comes from pride, and pride causes confusion. Pride hardens the heart and actively resists the Spirit.
Scripture itself tells us that many of the things that are written are for our understanding. Luke 1:4 says “so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.” Paul says something similar.
I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:14-15 NASB95)
The truth of the Word is plainly evident to everyone. But prepared hearts (looking for truth) who “study to show (themselves) approved” will get more out of it as reading and doing progress. A hard hearted person understands, it’s just that they profess ignorance or confusion because they don’t want to follow under any circumstances (Acts 7:51-53; Ephesians 4:17-19).