Commentary By: Gordon King
Listening to some people speak about Jesus Christ often sounds very appealing, we hear words of truth and sound doctrine, yet mixed in with these truths are lies and deceptions!
You really don’t have to search very far to find such people, they seem to be around every corner. When you first listen to them they sound very truthful and sincere, in fact they often sound as if they themselves were present during Christ’s time here on earth, that’s how convincing they can be.
The truth is that there are many people living in the world today who take bits and pieces of scripture added with false doctrine and make it sound as if it were the true written word of God, when it is anything but!
We must be able to discern right from wrong, good from bad, and the truth from lies. It isn’t enough to just pick up the bible every once in a while and read out of duty, but to read and hear God’s word daily, to study and meditate upon it. This is how we know what the truth really is, this is how we are able to discern the truth from lies. When we know God’s word, when we know how God really thinks, then we shall have a mind like God’s and we will increase our ability to discern.
Jesus told us that there will be false prophets who are actually ravenous wolves!
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”
We were warned that there would be people like this, that on the outside they would appear godly and holy, but on the inside they are anything but! Jesus also warned us in Matthew 24 that in the last days there will be false christs and false prophets.
“And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.“
“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.“
The apostle Peter also warned us about false teachers in 2 Peter.
2 Peter 2:1-3
“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.“
In order to be able to discern right from wrong, good from evil, we must be able to spiritually discern, and these things can only be done through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, those who are not of God are unable to spiritually discern.
1 Corinthians 2:14
“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
We can discern by being wise, by understanding through the Holy Scriptures.
2 Timothy 3:13-15
“But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.“
Discernment is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.“
We don’t have to be given the gift of “discernment” in order to be able to discern, and while it is still accomplished through the Holy Spirit, we can be trained in discernment, and it can be strengthened through practice.
“For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
Being able to discern requires us to practice the use of discernment, it requires spiritual exercise, just as any form of sport does as well. If we are to become proficient in discerning right from wrong, good from evil, then we must practice, we must use it, we must exercise it!
Discernment can be given to us as a gift of the Holy Spirit, but it can also be learned, exercised, and made proficient. It is all by the grace of God that we are able to discern, it is through the Holy Spirit that we are able to accomplish this, not of our own doing. By understanding of spiritual things, we become wise, and with wisdom comes more understanding and enlightenment. When we have these things then we gain discernment. By reading and studying God’s word we gain wisdom and understanding, we gain the abilities to discern.
Just as a baby needs milk, young believers in Christ need a basic understanding of scripture. But as we grow and mature in Christ, then we need meat, we need to gain more wisdom and understanding, we need to be able to discern!
Pray for the Lord to give you understanding, pray for wisdom, pray for the ability to discern. Seek God and all of His ways, then you will understand.
God bless my friends! Maranatha!