And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Discernment part 4

Is there a “comfort” to just be human or a stark contrasting teaching that we need the cross of Christ?
We should wonder, how is God’s person treated? What about His holiness and sovereignty, his justice and wrath, His grace and at what cost?

Once the above questions are asked and answered, we can simply ask these more simplistic ones before making a final decision:
Does this teaching require us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him?

If the world accepts it, should we? If the sages of the world are not offended by it does it then fit with scripture that the world will oppose the things of Christ?

If a teaching or book passes these tests, is there a better book or teaching that has gone on before that better glorifies God thus nullifying the use of this book?

How does this promote sanctification, and is it like eating meat that has been offered before idols?

A question of discernment.
As a pastor I regularly get all sorts of e-mail forwards. These range from stories, jokes, and heart rending photos. But if you have email you have almost certainly have received a forward that tells a long story only to be concluded with “Email this forwards if you truly love Jesus, otherwise you don’t”. It has all the love of a snail mail chain letter. Folks, let me say that our salvation is based on faith through the grace of the cross. Sending that e-mail amounts to a works righteousness, and that itself is wrong. You will not lose your salvation for deleting it.
Now, I say all this as an example of the use of discernment? Some will fear and pass it along. It will only accomplish a work of entrapment for the person sending it, and give the world fodder for calling us fools. The world mocks us when we fall prey to such easily discerned snares. Let us not be so quick to accept a teaching that “We have never heard before”. This is especially true when it comes from a source that has yet to gain credibility.

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