Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July 19, 2011 … Discernment Between Truth and Error

Passage of the Day: 1st John 4: 1 – 6 … 1 Dear friends, 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. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

My Journal for Today: To be saved, i.e., converted from sinner to saint, a true Christian must have had, with God’s help, at least one moment of clear perception and understanding of THE Truth, Who is Christ (see John 14: 6 and 1st John 5: 1a). And once the new believer’s spirit is indwelt by God’s Spirit, the human spirit of the new Christian grows, through sanctification, to discern false spirits and/or doctrine (see today’s passage); and he/she will be able, when in surrender to the enlightenment of God’s Spirit, to reject false teaching. This maturing spiritual discernment is yet another mark of true salvation.

Yes, it is true that because our human hearts are still prone to deceit (see Jer. 17: 9), we can still be fooled momentarily, especially in moments where we let our pride or selfishness dampen the enlightenment ministry of the Holy Spirit. However, God’s Spirit, ministering to the surrendered true believer, will ultimately see that our minds/hearts are transformed (see Phil. 1: 6 and Rom. 12: 2) to be able to test and to see God’s Truth (today’s passage and 1st Thess. 5: 21).

We are going to be continually drawn toward deceit by Satan and the world, especially by false teachings and cunning worldly-oriented teachers. And we are more vulnerable to such deceit when our hearts are surrendered to self rather than our Savior. However, in Christ the heart of the true believer now possesses the strength and clarity to discern God’s Truth (see in today’s passage1st John 4: 4 – 6). In this we should be like the Bereans of old (see Acts 17: 10 – 15 - linked for your study), who carefully and diligently tested the teaching and preaching of the Apostle Paul, when he came into their midst, to see if he spoke/taught God’s truth from Scripture. And the Bereans only had the first five books of the Bible and the teachings of the Prophets as their truth standard. We now have the entire canonized Scripture with the ministry of the Holy Spirit to do our testing.

Having a drive to know the truth – God’s Truth – is yet another signpost of salvation for the true believer in Christ. Are you driven to know God’s truth? Are you driven to know THE Truth, Who is Christ? If so, then you have another way of knowing, beyond doubt, that you are saved. And when we see God’s truth clearly and when we know Christ, Who is the living Truth, we must then clearly follow it (or Him), … wherever He might lead us [again, as I often refer you, see Luke 9: 23.

My Prayer Today: Lord, You are the TRUTH; and I seek only You and Your way. Amen

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