Summary: How do we as Christians prepare our hearts so we can accuragely discern what is happening in the unseen realm. (Material taken from The Three Battlegrounds by Francis Frangipane)
Discerning of Spirits- The Gift of Discernment
(Taken from- The Three Battle Grounds- Francis Frangipane)
Monte talked- last week- about the importance of the creeds and the reasons for which they were written
He talked about …
the Old Roman Creed,
the Apostles Creed,
the Nicene Creed,
the Athanasian Creed.
Why were the creeds important?
They help to define- Gospel message taught by Jesus.
They define what we believe as Christians.
The creeds were developed from the Word of God.
The foundation of our understanding of the Christian faith comes FIRST from- written Word of God.
This is our FIRST source of revelation.
Revelation- something made known by God to men.
Revelation is the Holy Spirit speaking to us through the pages of the Bible as we read/study it.
It is a supernatural experience, not simply a mental understanding of the words on the pages.
Revelation is the interaction of you/I w/Holy Spirit who enlightens our hearts/minds
to what God wants to speak- through the Bible.
To take our understanding of revelation deeper …
Jn 1:1-2, 14 (Jesus Christ is the Word of God)
Beyond the written Word- Holy Spirit also speaks to people through dreams/visions/prophetic words.
These types of revelations are much more subjective and must not contradict the principles of scripture.
We must allow the Word of God and the Spirit of God within us to judge these types of revelation.
1 Cor 14:29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. NASU
Judgment- to separate thoroughly, to discriminate between, to decide what is of the HS/what is not.
Discernment and Human Judgment
One reason we have trouble w/discernment- not able to separate discernment from human judgment.
The process of separating discernment from human judgment is not an easy one- requires maturity.
1 Cor 2:14-16
To discern properly, we need the mind of Christ.
However, to properly understand the mind of Christ we must also understand the heart of Christ.
47 "If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 " He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.
Jesus’ mission was not to judge, but to save people.
The truth of the Word itself will judge a man’s heart.
If Jesus mission to earth was not to judge men, why do we spend so much time judging them?
What is Spiritual Discernment?
1 Cor 12:8-10
Here we see- discerning of spirits- one of gifts of HS.
We all must exercise discernment at some level, but some have a super natural gifting in this area.
Spiritual discernment is the grace to see into the unseen … Its purpose is to see into the nature of that which is veiled (FF).
To compassionately minister to others we must FIRST understand our own need of His mercy.
As we receive a revelation of our need for His mercy we receive a grace that enables us to love others.
We come to understand the deep corruption and selfishness of our own carnal natures.
The discerning of spirits is not a function of our human minds, but a revelation of the Spirit of God.
Remember- Jesus goal- was to save and not to judge.
To perceive, you must make yourself blind to what seems apparent (FF).
To discern what God is doing in a situation/a persons life, you cannot react to the situation or the person.
Consider Samuel sent to anoint David as King …
1 Sam 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." NASU
Now look at the words of Jesus Christ …
Jn 7:24 Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly." NLT
To have clear spiritual discernment we must have a gracious and forgiving heart towards others.
Jesus knew His mission was to die for men, not condemn them.
We are called not only to experience Christ’s life, but also to complete His mission here on earth.
Jn 17:18 "As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. NASU
Paul brings our mission into even clearer focus …
Col 1:24 But part of my work is to suffer for you; and I am glad, for I am helping to finish up the remainder of Christ’s sufferings for his body, the Church. TLB
What does Paul mean by this statement?
We are called to die so that others may live.