Daily Archives: May 15, 2014

GTY Blog: A Recipe for Discernment, Part 3 by John MacArthur

 

True biblical discernment isn’t developed by osmosis. It’s cultivated over time, as a believer matures in faith. The last few days, we’ve been considering the essential ingredients for discernment, including consistent prayer, the pursuit of godly wisdom, moral integrity, and the necessity of faithful Bible teaching and teachers. But none of those elements can function properly apart from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Depend on the Holy Spirit

The Spirit of God is ultimately the true Discerner. It is His role to lead us into all truth (John 16:13). First Corinthians 2:11 says, “The thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.” Paul goes on to write:

We have received . . . the Spirit who is from God, so that we might know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. (1 Corinthians 2:12–15)

Discernment ultimately depends on the Holy Spirit. As we are filled with and controlled by the Spirit of God, He makes us discerning.

Study the Scriptures

It cannot be overemphasized: True discernment requires diligent study of the Scriptures. None of the other previously stated steps is sufficient apart from this. No one can be truly discerning apart from mastery of the Word of God. All the desire in the world cannot make you discerning if you don’t study Scripture. Prayer for discernment is not enough. Obedience alone will not suffice. Good role models won’t do it either. Even the Holy Spirit will not give you discernment apart from His Word. If you really want to be discerning, you must diligently study the Word of God.

God’s Word is where you will learn the principles for discernment. It is there you will learn the truth. Only there can you follow the path of maturity.

Discernment flourishes only in an environment of faithful Bible study and teaching. Note that in Acts 20, when Paul was leaving the Ephesian elders, he warned them about the deadly influences that would threaten them in his absence (Acts 20:28–31). He urged them to be on guard, on the alert. How? What safeguard could he leave to help protect them from Satan’s onslaughts? Only the Word of God: “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).

Let’s look once more, closely, at 2 Timothy 2:15: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” Notice what this mandate to Timothy implies. First, it suggests that the discerning person must be able to distinguish between the Word of Truth and the “worldly and empty chatter” mentioned in verse 16. That may seem rather obvious. But it cannot be taken for granted. The task of separating God’s Word from human foolishness actually poses a formidable challenge for many today. One look at some of the nonsense that proliferates in churches and Christian media will confirm that this is so. Or note the burgeoning stacks of “Christian” books touting weird views. We must shun such folly and devote ourselves to the Word of God. We have to be able to distinguish between the truth and error.

How? “Be diligent.” Being diligent pictures a worker giving maximum effort in his or her work. It describes someone driven by a commitment to excellence. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God.” The Greek phrase literally speaks of standing alongside God as a colaborer worthy of identifying with Him.

Furthermore, Paul says this approved workman “does not need to be ashamed.” The word “ashamed” is very important to Paul’s whole point. Any sloppy workman should be ashamed of low-quality work. But a servant of the Lord, handling the Word of Truth carelessly, has infinitely more to be ashamed of.

What Paul suggests in this passage is that we will be ashamed before God Himself if we fail to handle the Word of Truth with discernment. If we can’t distinguish the truth from worldly and empty chatter, if we can’t identify and refute false teachers, or if we can’t handle God’s truth with skill and understanding, we ought to be ashamed.

And if we are to divide the Word of Truth rightly, then we must be very diligent about studying it. There is no shortcut. Only as we master the Word of God are we made “adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17). That is the essence and goal of discernment.

 

(Adapted from Reckless Faith.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B140515
COPYRIGHT ©2014 Grace to You

One more reason why Sunday evening services are disappearing

 

Winter-Church

Recently, Thom Rainer shared a few reasons for the possible demise of the Sunday evening service. Yesterday, Tim Challies chimed in from his perspective, suggesting that it could be linked to a diminished view of preaching, our amusement culture and the growth of amateur and professional sports, among others. But there’s one other reason I’d like to suggest:

A diminished view of discipleship and leadership development.

Read more

End Times Prophecy Headlines: May 15, 2014

End Times Prophecy Report

End Times Prophecy Report Headlines: Bible prophecy in Today's headlines. Bible prophecy in Today’s headlines.

End Times Prophecy Report
HEADLINES
May 15, 2014

CommentaryAnd OPINION

===INTERNATIONAL

FRANCE: France warns 500 days left to save the climate – Let’s see…500 days?  That sounds about right…

CHINA: China Protests Escalate

UKRAINE: Ukraine holds talks to end crisis, rebels not invited

RUSSIA: Russia’s Crimea annexation a move against China

RUSSIA: Russia is kicking NASA out of the International Space Station in 2020 – (h/t:B)

SYRIA: Nightmare group in Syria could target the USA – Who isn’t targeting the USA these days?  Show of hands?

ISRAEL:The Pubs And Dance Halls Of Israel’s Many Bomb Shelters

===NATIONAL

Amnesty a done deal? – The Corporate Media has spent a tons of  resources hyping the coming amnesty.  Naturally, any seasoned media watcher should be looking in the opposite direction.  Will there be an amnesty?  If the answer is “Yes,” one has to ask the question, “Why?”

View original post 2,189 more words

Question 71-Puritan Catechism

Reformedontheweb's Blog

SpurgeonQ. What are the outward means whereby the Holy Spirit communicates to us the benefits of redemption?

A. The outward and ordinary means whereby the Holy Spirit communicates to us the benefits of Christ’s redemption, are the Word, by which souls are begotten to spiritual life; Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, Prayer, and Meditation, by all which believers are further edified in their most holy faith. (Acts 2:41,42; James 1:18)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon-A Puritan Catechism

View original post

Authentic Fire Review: Chapter 2

 

af

Lyndon and myself are offering a chapter-by-chapter review of Authentic Fire, Dr. Michael Brown’s rebuttal book against Strange Fire. So far Lyndon has reviewed the preface and the first chapter. Today, I come to the second chapter.

Rejecting the Strange Fire, Embracing the Authentic Fire

Read more

Help Reach Syrian Muslims for Christ

 

Syrian Christians have asked for care packages to share with their Muslim neighbors.

The Voice of the Martyrs has distributed Action Packs to persecuted Christians in countries like Iraq, Pakistan and Sudan for many years. These care packages, filled or sponsored by Christians in the United States, contain clothing, bedding, toiletries and other items of need.

Now our front-line workers in and around Syria want to share these packs with Muslim, Syrian refugees as a demonstration of Christ’s love for them. They believe these packs will help open the door for the gospel.Outreach Packs

We are excited to come alongside these faithful Christians in this incredible outreach opportunity, and we invite you to help us equip these front-line workers. Through a network of workers in and around Syria, VOM hopes to distribute 10,000 Outreach Packs. You can join us in one of two ways:

Read more

Cities All Over America Are Becoming Extremely Cruel To The Homeless

Have you ever given food to a homeless person? Well, if you do it again in the future it might be a criminal act depending on where you live. Right now, there are dozens of major U.S. cities that have already passed laws against feeding the homeless. As you will read about below, in some areas of the country you can actually be fined hundreds of dollars for just trying to give food to a hungry person. I know that sounds absolutely insane, but this is what America is turning into. Communities all over the country are attempting to “clean up the streets” by making it virtually illegal to either be homeless or to help those that are homeless. Instead of spending more money on programs to assist the homeless, local governments are bulldozing tent cities and giving homeless people one way bus tickets out of town. We are treating some of the most vulnerable members of our society like human garbage, and it is a national disgrace. (Read More….)

The Incredible Shrinking U.S. Military

By the end of this decade, the U.S. Army will be the smallest that it has been since World War II, the U.S. Navy will be the smallest that it has been since World War I, and the U.S. Air Force will have gotten nearly 500 planes smaller. Without a doubt, the U.S. military has not been used wisely in recent years, but the world is not becoming a more stable place. The threat of war appears to be greater than it has been in a very long time, and yet the Obama administration seems obsessed with gutting our national defenses. So exactly what is Obama’s agenda anyway? In a world that is getting crazier with each passing day, why would he want to steadily shrink the size of the U.S. military? (Read More…)

Report: Food Prices Skyrocket: “We’re Going to Have a Major Problem Coming Into the Fall”

Consumers are quickly running out of money, home sales have collapsed and hit their biggest drop in three years, there are more Americans out of the labor force than ever before, and one third of adults under the age of 35 are living with their parents because they can no longer afford to pay their own mortgage.

By all accounts, the reality is that we are now factually in a recession, a point further emphasized by the recent revelation that American companies are experiencing near zero percent earnings growth.

Read Full Story

California’s Thirst Triggers Earthquakes, Lifts Mountains

Thirsty Californians have sucked so much water from beneath the Central Valley that scientists estimate the Sierra Nevada mountains and Coast Ranges both rose nearly 6 inches (15 centimeters) since groundwater pumping started in 1860. The Central Valley grows 25 percent of the nation’s food, but most of its water comes from wells, not rainfall.

Read more

Official PLO Newspaper: Israel’s Creation is ‘Greatest Crime Known to Humanity’

And Israel is to make peace with these folks?

An issue with the Israeli/Palestinian negotiations ignored by the United States and other international mediators is that the Palestinian Authority (PA) says it wants peace in English, but when speaking to its own people in Arabic, it preaches war and hatred. Last week, on the anniversary of Israel’s creation, the official PA controlled newspaper wrote that sixty-six years ago, “The Zionist gangs invaded the land of Palestine and expelled its residents before the eyes and ears of the world – which didn’t lift a finger – and specifically the powers at the time, which gave the Zionist gangs cover and eased their despicable mission.”

View Article

One-Third of World Believes Holocaust Is a Myth; Many Hold Anti-Semitic Views, Global Survey Reveals

Close to a third of people around the world believe that the Holocaust is greatly exaggerated or a myth, and over a quarter hold anti-Semitic views, an extensive global survey commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League has shown.

The global poll, conducted by First International Resources to research attitudes and opinions toward Jewish people, interviewed 53,100 citizens across 101 countries aged 18 and over, with a sampling error for the weighted global average of +/ – 0.97 %.

View Article

9 Ways Worship Has Changed in 10 Years

If you were attending a church worship service in 1955 and then returned to the same church in 1975, the changes would be noticeable but not dramatic. Churches were slow to change over that 20-year period.

If you, however, attended a church worship service in 2000 and then returned to that same church in 2010, there is a high likelihood you would see dramatic changes had taken place in only 10 years.

View Article

Critics Accuse ‘Jesus Calling’ of Mixing Truth With New Age Error

Warren B. Smith, a Christian author who left the New Age movement in 1984, has published a book called “Another Jesus” Calling, in which he explains his concerns and critiques Young’s book.

“We’re getting incredible response to my book,” he says, “because her book is indefensible!”

Thomas Nelson has published various editions of Jesus Calling. The company’s senior vice president of publishing, Laura Minchew, disputes the claims and says the book has impacted countless people.

View Article

%d bloggers like this: