When we fail to heed sound teaching, we listen to whatever doctrine is most appealing at the time. This teaching may sound good, but it will ultimately lead to destruction.
The first step to discerning sound theology is being with God. You cannot truly know Him by reading what others have to say about Him. The result would be as if you studied a foreign culture instead of visiting it. You might know lots of facts about the culture, but until you have lived in it and experienced it, you do not truly know it.
Perspicuity (PER-spi-ku-i-tee) simply means that something is free from obscurity and easy to understand; it is the comprehensibility of clear expression. To say the Bible is perspicuous is to say that its truths are clear, accessible, and available.
We also know that Scripture trains us to become more like God, so that we can display His righteousness despite our unrighteousness. However, the words that come between the teaching and training—reproof and correction—are what prove if we are, in fact, teachable and trainable.
When reading the Bible, I am often tempted to do this very thing—take the easy truths and leave behind the ones that are harder to handle. This buffet-style mentality must be forsaken when we come to the pages of Scripture.
Sound theology, understood and embraced, informs and transforms each of these areas of life, while the lack of a sound theology is detrimental.