We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Friday, November 26, 2010

What is Discernment?

Discernment is the ability to understand, interpret, and apply Biblical truth rightly and skillfully to the situations of our lives.  Discernment involves knowing and acting on the truth.  Discernment involves recognizing, exposing, and confronting error.  Discernment is a cognitive act, an act of your mind.  No one who spurns right doctrine or sound reason can be truly discerning.  Any one who fails to be discerning has little basis for confidence in their Christian life and walk.  We desire great praise and worship to our God, but not at the expense of discernment, understanding and Biblical wisdom.

Glenn "Woody" Jeffrey, 1/3/98, Maranatha Bible Church, Cedar Rapids, IA


Drew said...

I have heard this type of definition before. On the surface it sounds pretty good. But the questionable thing is that this type of "discernment" sounds like something all Christians ought to possess or at least try to possess, whereas the Bible uses "discernment" as a word referring to a spiritual gift that only some Christians get.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Woody, who was an elder at the time (and in that elder-led church the elders sometimes did the sermons, especially when the pastor wasn't there), was only speaking of what every Christian should be doing. The lesson was on discernment as to the false teachings out there. He was one of only a couple elders who stood against the false revival from Pensacola which people were trying to bring into our church. This particular message was becasue our pastor resigned after too many of us voted against his retention after he did much to try to bring in the revival. Woody was teaching that we must be discerning with this sort of teaching.