By Robert Wayne LaCoste
Our God in Heaven hasn’t given laws that are complicated. To complicate is to “make or become intricate; difficult” (Webster’s New World Dictionary, p. 154). This is not to say that all things in the scriptures are easily understood, for Peter said that some of Paul’s writings were “hard to be understood” (2 Pet. 3:16) but at the same time, God has not given a Testament void of simplicity, but just to the contrary! Paul also wrote, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3). Paul also made mention of the fact that “. . . when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:4). So in reading, we can understand the simplicity that is in Christ.
Often, preachers will be guilty of taking simple New Testament truths and making them complicated. So complicated are they, that about the only thing the listener learns when his speech is over is how impressed the speaker is with himself. Many brethren feel you ought to use “big words” to impress your audience, to show them how educated you are. I ask, why? The Apostle Paul was highly educated, yet of his preaching he said, “And, I brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God . . . . my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom . . . . that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Cor. 2:1, 4-5). Big words have their place, but not when God’s word is being preached! If men want to impress other men with how educated they are, let them find another time and another place! We would do well to strive to impress those who hear us with the simple, pure New Testament truth. Only the truth will make a man free from sin (John 8:32). Only the truth will make one a servant of righteousness (Rom. 6:17). It is this same truth which shall judge us in the last day (John 12:48). With all of this evident, pray tell, how will souls be saved if they cannot even understand what the preacher is preaching?
I will always remember what the old farmer said, who also preached the gospel: “Son, keep it down, plain and simple to where the calves can understand it, and the cows will take care of themselves.” Amen! No one profits from a meal that is not digestible! Let us keep it as simple as possible and in so doing we shall see souls ” . . . not unwise but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17).
Truth Magazine XXIII: 14, p. 229
April 5, 1979