“DISCERNMENT is NOT knowing the difference between RIGHT and WRONG. It is knowing the difference between RIGHT and ALMOST RIGHT.”
QUOTE by CHARLES SPURGEON [1834-1892]:
“My people are destroyed for lack of (accurate) knowledge.” Hosea 4:6
First, in continuing my writing, I want to share with you that I’m just a guy who loves Jesus, the word of God, and someone who has done a fair amount of research about the subject of discernment when it comes to the Bible. I care that others will take and use some of the information I have provided in order for them to become more proficient when it comes to discerning the scriptures and making comparisons to the way believers meet today.
I wanted to start out by giving you a couple of short definitions of discernment.
Discernment is Not:
- A practice where we can rely on others to do the work of discerning for us.
- A belief based on an emotional experience, i.e., visions, signs & wonders, an inner sense apart from the scriptures or a new revelation apart from the scriptures.
- A skill of understanding and applying God’s word with the purpose of separating truth from error and better from best.
- A discipline like reading or public speaking and a skill that Christians must be committed to and consistently practice.
Reliable Biblical Resources:
Study Bible-Two Types
- Dynamic Equivalency- Dynamic equivalency is more like a paraphrase, trying to convey ideas thought by thought.- New International Version (NIV), Today’s New International Version (TNIV), and the New Living Translation (NLT). Of those, the NIV (Junior King James) is the most reliable
- Formal Equivalency-provides as literal a translation as possible. King James Version (KJV), the New King James Version (NKJV), the New American StandardBible (NASB), and the English Standard Version (ESV).
- Zondervan’s “Handbook to the Bible”
- Bible Dictionary-Easton’s Bible Dictionary
- Commentaries-Matthew Henry/check out others
- English/Greek Bible Dictionary-Vines Expository Dictionary of OT/NT words.
Discerning the Word: Key Elements
Prayer for Wisdom and Understanding
Most Important: Context of the Books
- Subject-False teachers saying you could only become a Christian if you became a Jewish convert and submitted to the Mosaic Law.
- background/setting-Galatia, a Roman province
Greek Word Studies, Christian Church History, Meditation/Reflection on the word, and, Discussion with other Believers.
Before I go to far, I wanted to say again that if you have been reading my writings you will know that my main concern is with how believers met together during the time of the Apostles. It was in homes not institutional buildings as well as being a family not a corporation.
Years ago a man came to a church looking for a place to stay. They told him that they supported the Union Mission and that they would be glad to take him down to the mission. He responded by telling them that he couldn’t stay at the mission because he needed a private room. They told him that they would take him to the mission but that was the best they could do. He said to me, “I thought that Christians were supposed to love?” One of the men said, “We are, but we’re not supposed to be suckers.” Love involves using wisdom.
I think that as Christians at one time or another, haven’t we been suckered into believing something that really didn’t line up with Scripture? So, remember, we shouldn’t buy into everything hook, line, and sinker or take it at face value.
To be Continued…..