For the Christian, navigating this life and world seems more difficult with each passing day. We live in turbulent times. Lines are drawn. Words are exchanged. Lies are proposed. Lost in all of it is truth. With the onslaught of social media and its various avenues we are inundated with tons of information. At the heart of it we struggle to find what is right and wrong.
Truth. For the Christian, the Bible is truth. For that matter, it is the truth for all mankind (this is where the rock-throwers start chiming in). God and His Word are the authority for those who have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Truth matters. It matters to God, and as Christians it should matter to us.
We live in a world that doesn’t like absolutes. The people of the world exchange the truth of the Scriptures for a lie, often a self-made proposition that helps them to continue to live in their depraved ways. However, the Bible is full of absolutes. It is full of truth that doesn’t change. The Bible is God’s inspired and inerrant Word, and even if you deny it, that doesn’t diminish the authority it will have over your soul, especially at the day of judgment.
We will be judged by it, held to a standard of God’s holiness and truth against our weak, man-made wisdom. God has said through the Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 1:19, “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” You will do well to pay attention to God’s Word. As Peter says, it will help reveal what is right and true and make darkness run. Darkness can never take a stand over Light.
Peter goes on to say, “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
God spoke, and man wrote. This was divine truth coming down by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, making what we have in the Bible, the authority for all mankind. The Word of God is eternal and will never be destroyed. For Christians, it is our standard in a world that tries to define what is right and wrong. The Bible doesn’t change with worldly or church culture. It will always say what it says.
This is where discernment comes in. Knowing we have fixed, God-given and Holy words in Scripture, it becomes the foundation on which Christians can stand firm. If God doesn’t waver on His truth, then we don’t either. Yes, there is a fuller revelation that is found in Jesus Christ and the New Testament, but as Christians we rightly divide the Word and check the world and its ideologies against God and His truth.
Discernment is nothing more than the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Simply put, it means 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. The key to living a God-honoring life in a world that is crumbling all around us is to live in the truth of the Bible.
You are not alone in this, beloved; God has given you the Holy Spirit to confirm the truth and convict you of what is sinful and wrong. If you are not in the Scriptures yourself and going to a church where the Bible alone is exposited (taught passage by passage) faithfully, you put yourself in harm’s way and open yourself up to every form of false doctrine and the ways of the world.
Being discerning intersects every aspect of your life, Christian; without it you will be tossed around like the waves of the sea. To be discerning in an undiscerning world, you must be in the Word of God and know it for yourself and, in turn, fellowship with other Christ-followers who desire to know God and make His name great.
See you in church. Now go open your Bible and study it and get to a church where the preacher thunders the Word of God.