By Elizabeth Prata
Discernment is so important. The original New Testament Bible authors wrote about its importance and urged its honing, in every NT book except Philemon. The Old Testament dealt with the failure to listen to Prophets and the Wisdom literature is rife with warnings about being wise regarding God’s word and ways.
Yet it seems that Christians are falling for any old doctrine, teacher, or faddish movement these days. The failure in discernment is a failure in biblical literacy. And Christians who are weak in biblical literacy ire targets for satan’s wiles, schemes, and traps. The result is that one loses their effectiveness for Christ and worse, are drawn away into myths and then, sin.
Some Christians are given a spiritual gift of discernment for extra (1 Corinthians 12:10) but daily discernment is for everyone. It’s a skill that can be developed. You mature by training yourself to distinguish good from evil and then you’re ready for solid food. it’s the training in discernment that readies a Christian for maturity according to Hebrews 5:14.
People who have an extra dose of discernment as a specially delivered grace-gift use that extra dose on behalf of the entire body, as everyone should who possesses their special gift, for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7). One way they use their spiritual gift of discernment is to teach others. People like Amy Spreeman, Michelle Lesley, Phil Johnson, Justin Peters, Chris Rosebrough have worked diligently for years in this way. The first step in discernment is realizing that not everyone who claims to be discerning and have a lesson to teach, really is. The above people are thoroughly credible and worth checking out. Below are some credible resources on the art and skill of discernment.
Discernment Webinar Thursday, May 14. Led by Michelle Lesley and Amy Spreeman. $10 donation at registration.
Are you a discerning woman? Whether you’re just starting to learn to discern or you’ve had your “powers of discernment trained by constant practice,” we think you’ll find this Zoom webinar edifying and informative. Join Amy Spreeman and Michelle Lesley as we examine the Scriptures that pertain to discernment, contemporary false teachings to watch out for, addressing false teaching with loved ones and leaders, and more! If you’re unable to attend live, the webinar video will be available to future PayPal and Patreon donors as a thank you gift.
Exposing Deception: Justin Peters Ministries, Chris Rosebrough, Todd Friel, and Phil Johnson as they discussed various topics about discernment. Streamed April 25. Free to view.
What is Discernment? Article by Sinclair Ferguson
We are on our guard against being led astray by false teachers. But there is more to discernment than this. True discernment means not only distinguishing the right from the wrong; it means distinguishing the primary from the secondary, the essential from the indifferent, and the permanent from the transient. And, yes, it means distinguishing between the good and the better, and even between the better and the best.
Defining Discernment: a short article by John MacArthur
In other words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think biblically.
A Plea For Discernment: 3 sermon series by John MacArthur
How do you wade through the doctrines, opinions, and ideas embraced within our churches and discern truth from error? John MacArthur answers those questions in A Plea for Discernment, a powerful study that will help you improve your ability to separate truth from error.
Defining Discernment: Article by Tim Challies
Discernment is a skill. It is not an inherent ability like breathing or chewing, but a skill like reading or public speaking that must be practiced and must be improved. There is not a person on earth who has been born with a full measure of discernment or who has all of the discernment he will ever need. There is not a person who has attained a level of expertise that allows him to move on and to leave discernment behind.
The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, book by Tim Challies. Excerpts available at the link.
The book looks to the Bible to seek what God teaches on the subject of spiritual discernment, a term I define as the skill of understanding and applying God’s Word with the purpose of separating truth from error and right from wrong. Written for the general reader and in a way that is suitable for a wide audience, the book teaches people to think biblically so they might act biblically. It appeals for discernment, teaching the importance of this discipline in guarding the good news God has entrusted to us.
Justin Peters Segment from series called Clouds Without Water, This lesson in that series is called “The Duty of Discernment“. Introductory remarks then Discernment lesson begins at 6:50.