As we observe the aberrant and mystical teachings in so many of our churches, my heart breaks for the members in these congregations who are either not yet born again, are babes in Christ – or are lacking discernment. They are prey for the evil one – they have no spiritual armor to defend themselves, and to distinguish between God’s Truth and counterfeit satanic lies.
Discerning of spirits
Question: “What is the spiritual gift of discerning spirits?
Answer: The gift of discerning spirits, or “distinguishing” spirits, is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit described in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. Like all these gifts, the gift of discerning spirits is given by the Holy Spirit, who disperses these gifts to believers for service in the body of Christ. Every believer has a spiritual enablement for a specific service, but there is no room for self-choosing. The Spirit distributes spiritual gifts according to the sovereignty of God and in accordance with His plan to edify the body of Christ. He gives His gifts “just as he determines” (1 Corinthians 12:11). (Emphasis added)… more
In its simplest definition, discernment is nothing more than the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. In other words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think biblically.
First Thessalonians 5:21-22 teaches that it is the responsibility of every Christian to be discerning: “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” The apostle John issues a similar warning when he says, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). According to the New Testament, discernment is not optional for the believer-it is required… more
Discernment: Spiritual Survival for a Church in Crisis
The modern church has become a free-flowing marketplace of ideas, with countless notions about truth. Christians urge fellow believers to avoid a dogmatic approach to biblical truth and, instead, tolerate all sorts of aberrant beliefs that are in direct conflict with Scripture. Truth, it seems nowadays, is in the eye of the beholder.
When it comes to what and whom you believe, are you equipped to accurately unravel right from wrong, biblical from unbiblical? Is it unloving or un-Christlike to question the beliefs others hold? How do you wade through the sea of doctrines, opinions, and ideas to discern truth from error?
In Discernment: Spiritual Survival for a Church in Crisis, John MacArthur documents the current need for biblical discernment and presents a model for developing this often-neglected skill… listen to sermons