Summary: Teaching on how we can decipher truth in a maze of "spirituality" that we find ourselves in today
How Can I Discern God’s Truth Today
The obvious fact is that people disagree. That can lead to conflict, wars have been fought over disagreements. Yet, every Christian wants (or should want!) to be able to separate fact from fiction.
A. SEARCH & CHECK THE BIBLE
1. Listen with openness to the message.
Do you see how eager the noble folks of Berea were to listen in Acts 17:11?
2. Daily look up the word
And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to check up on Paul and Silas, to see if they were really teaching the truth. Acts 17:11 (NLT)
Do you see how they discern the truth?
3. Be confident that God’s Word has power to correct us.
30As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. 31Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:30-32 (NKJV)
The Gospel has a freeing effect. The minute we are not free in God’s presence, we can know that we are being led away from Christ. Do you obey His teachings constantly? Stick close to Jesus’ teaching through the power of His Spirit, i.e. be in communion with God, meditating spending time in His word, communicating with God!
4. The Bible is the training manual for us.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do. 1 Tim.3:16-17. (NLT)
How have you set up time to be equipped by Scripture?
5. We are commanded to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading by testing out everything.
19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. 20 Do not scoff at prophecies, 21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. 1 Thess.5:19-21 (NLT)
Do we scoff at God’s word being taught to us because of our personal hang-ups?
B. NO ONE HAS PERFECT KNOWLEDGE
1. So be humble: No one has complete truth and is a liar if he says he does!
Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything
with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now. 1 Cor.13:12 (NLT)
2. There is no excuse for not growing up.
God expects us to grow up, not change our minds about the essential truths of God by listening to the ones God appointed to teach and equip you. 1 Cor.15:1-11 Paul outlines the essentials of the faith (DBRAG).
The onus is on us to get solid food to grow up so we can recognize error when we see it. Heb.5:11-14 (NLT) says:
11 There is so much more we would like to say about this. But you don’t seem to listen, so it’s hard to make you understand. 12 You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures. You are like babies who drink only milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 And a person who is living on milk isn’t very far along in the Christian life and doesn’t know much about doing what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong and then do what is right.
3. Since we don’t know all, don’t forget to pray for wisdom.
If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won’t correct you for asking. James 1:5 (CEV)
You should pray that you know God’s Truth and not what you perceive as truth (preconceived notions) that if you be wrong about anything, God can change your heart and mind either directly through His Spirit or by sending a teacher to you who will teach you.
C. TESTS FOR DISCERNMENT
1. See the fruit of obedience! Jesus says in Matt.7:15-23 (NLT):
5 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep, but are really wolves that will tear you apart. 16 You can detect them by the way they act, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit. You don’t pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles. 17 A healthy tree produces good fruit, and an unhealthy tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced.