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Discernment and Loving the Truth
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
We saw last time that Paul affirmed the Bible as the only reliable criterion by which believers in this age can evaluate messages claiming to be truth from God. That testing of truth Paul calls for is not merely an academic exercise. It demands an active, twofold response.
Discernment and the Sufficiency of Scripture
Monday, April 21, 2014
It is fair to point out that the Thessalonians were at a disadvantage compared to Christians today. They did not have all the written books of New Testament Scripture. Paul wrote both of his epistles to Thessalonica very early in the New Testament era—about A.D. 51. The two letters were probably written only a few months apart and are among the very earliest of all the New Testament writings.
Friday, April 18, 2014
Scripture is clear that believers must be faithful to examine and judge our own selves: “If we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged” (1 Corinthians 11:31). This calls for a careful searching and judging of our own hearts. Paul called for this self-examination every time we partake of the Lord’s Supper (v. 28). All other righteous forms of judgment depend on this honest self-examination. That is what Jesus meant when He said, “First take the log out of your own eye” (Luke 6:42)...
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Discernment is a critical need in the church today. As we have already seen, it is required by both leaders and laymen alike for the exercise of godly judgment. It is vital in helping believers rightly inhabit and interact with the sinful world around us. Added to that, discernment is also necessary within the church as a means of correcting others and examining ourselves...
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Exercising discernment is not only the duty of pastors and elders. The same careful discernment Paul demanded of church leadership is also required of every Christian.
Wednesday, April 09, 2014
In my previous post on discernment I closed by quoting 1 Thessalonians 5:21–22, which is essentially the biblical recipe for discernment: “Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.”
A Conscience Captive to God's Word
Thursday, April 03, 2014
When Martin Luther was summoned to the Diet of Worms in 1521 and asked to recant his teaching, he replied, "Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe. God help me. Here I stand, I can do no other."
Faith Minus Reason Equals Irrational Unbelief
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Many people mistakenly think of faith as inherently noble. A once-popular song extols the virtue of faith, or believing: “I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows.”
No one really believes that, of course, but that is not the point.
Farewell to a Faithful Servant
Monday, March 31, 2014
You probably don’t know the name Will Moneymaker—actually, that’s likely how he’d prefer to keep it. For more than eight years, Will has faithfully, quietly served the Lord behind the scenes in the Web Department at Grace to You.
Friday, March 28, 2014
After providing three exegetical reasons for believing that the gift of prophecy continues beyond the apostolic era, John Piper set out to offer some critique of charismatic abuses. The Ask Pastor John podcast addressed doctrinal and emotional abuses in episode 216, and discernment and financial abuses in episode 217. Piper’s constructive criticisms raised several issues that must be addressed.
Fallibility and Female Prophets
Monday, March 17, 2014
In my last article, I started to address John Piper’s comments in episode 215 of the Ask Pastor John podcast. In interacting with his interpretive claims, that post was getting a little long; I decided to show mercy to the reader, bring that article to a close, and pick up here where I left off.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
In episode 215 of Ask Pastor John, Dr. Piper gets to the crux of the cessationist-continuationist debate. In his view, modern prophecy is not “infallible, Scripture-level, authoritative speaking,” but rather “something that God spontaneously brings to mind in the moment, and—because we are fallible in the way we perceive it, and the way we think about it, and the way we speak it—it does not carry that same level of infallible, Scripture-level authority.” He claims three texts of Scripture to provide “exegetical reasons” for his view.
Biblical Prophecy and Modern Confusion
Monday, March 10, 2014
It’s been nearly five months since the Strange Fire conference, and we’ve been very encouraged to see how many good conversations have started as a result. The conference dealt with a sensitive, deeply ingrained way of thinking, so the potential to hurt feelings and offend friends was very real. I never took that lightly, but I believed it was important to tell the truth about the charismatic movement and proclaim the absolute sufficiency of Holy Scripture.
Dances with Wolves
Monday, March 03, 2014
Any literal shepherd tasked with feeding and leading a flock of lambs would be thought deranged if he regarded wolves as potential pets to be domesticated and amalgamated into the fold. Suppose he actively sought and tried to befriend young wolves, presuming he could teach them to mingle with his sheep—insisting against all wise counsel that his experiment might succeed, and if it does, that the wolves will acquire the sheep’s gentleness and the sheep will learn beneficial things from the wolves. Such a shepherd would be worse than useless; he himself would pose an extreme danger to the flock...