But Spiritual Discernment is Wholly Lost Until we are Regenerated

by John Calvin

The following selection by John Calvin was taken from book 2, chapter 2 parts 18-21 ofThe Institutes of The Christian Religion, translated by by Henry Beveridge, Esq. A must read for all Christians who aspire to better understand the Bible’s teaching on man’s spiritual impotence prior to the regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

18. The limits of our understanding

We must now explain what the power of human reason is, in regard to the kingdom of God, and spiritual discernments which consists chiefly of three things – the knowledge of God, the knowledge of his paternal favour towards us, which constitutes our salvation, and the method of regulating of our conduct in accordance with the Divine Law. With regard to the former two, but more properly the second, men otherwise the most ingenious are blinder than moles. I deny not, indeed, that in the writings of philosophers we meet occasionally with shrewd and apposite remarks on the nature of God, though they invariably savour somewhat of giddy imagination. As observed above, the Lord has bestowed on them some slight perception of his Godhead that they might not plead ignorance as an excuse for their impiety, and has, at times, instigated them to deliver some truths, the confession of which should be their own condemnation. Still, though seeing, they saw not. Their discernment was not such as to direct them to the truth, far less to enable them to attain it, but resembled that of the bewildered traveller, who sees the flash of lightning glance far and wide for a moment, and then vanish into the darkness of the night, before he can advance a single step. So far is such assistance from enabling him to find the right path. Besides, how many monstrous falsehoods intermingle with those minute particles of truth scattered up and down in their writings as if by chance. In short, not one of them even made the least approach to that assurance of the divine favour, without which the mind of man must ever remain a mere chaos of confusion. To the great truths, What God is in himself, and what he is in relation to us, human reason makes not the least approach. (See Book 3 c. 2 sec. 14, 15, 16.) Continue reading

Does God So Love the World?

John MacArthur – Grace to You

Love is the best known but least understood of all God’s attributes. Almost everyone who believes in God these days sees Him as a God of love. I have even met agnostics who are quite certain that if God exists, He must be benevolent, compassionate, and loving.

All those things are infinitely true about God, of course, but not in the way most people think. Because of the influence of modern liberal theology, many suppose that God’s love and goodness ultimately nullify His righteousness, justice, and holy wrath. They envision God as a benign heavenly grandfather-tolerant, affable, lenient, permissive, devoid of any real displeasure over sin, who without consideration of His holiness will benignly pass over sin and accept people as they are. Continue reading

The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception

There is a vast number of “Discernment” ministries out there and this is wonderful, but we must guard not to fall into a trap of un Biblical discernment. I was there once myself and have fallen hard believe me. Be discerning when you visit a “Discernment” blog/website. There are few Biblical ones out there. To speak the truth in love should be foremost the  most outstanding character when warning others of false teachings.

Eph 4:15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, – Gills Commentary  explains it so clearly. ~  Continue reading

Beware ! of the Wide Road that Leads to Destruction

“Joel Osteen openly and confidently says how broad his message is – he’s not even disguising himself any longer as a servant of righteousness. The tickled ears continue to follow him, but the sheep do not follow the voice of a stranger.”   Quote by Justin Edwards

John 10:27-30  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.  (28)  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.  (29)  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.  (30)  I and the Father are one.” Continue reading

James White – How do you distinguish Biblical Christianity from false teaching?

Seven minute video clip

With many different Christian denominations, and many different, contradictory messages being preached (even within the same denomination) how can someone work out who’s telling the truth about what Jesus actually taught? If the Bible is, as Christians profess, the Word of God then it’s obviously of vital importance to understand what that word is actually saying, but how can you distinguish Biblical Christianity from false teaching? Continue reading

Justin Peters A Call for Discernment South African Seminar Tour – From: 1 – 17 JUNE 2012

FROM: 1 – 17 JUNE 2012

WHAT IS THE SEMINAR ABOUT?

Peter warned his readers and indeed us today that “false teachers will be among you who will secretly introduce destructive heresies” and they “will make merchandise out of you” (2 Pet 2:1-3). Many of today’s false teachers can be found in what is known as the Word-Faith movement, more commonly referred to as the Health and Wealth, or, Prosperity Gospel. Popular American prosperity preachers such as Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, TD Jakes, and Joel Osteen are attempting to redefine biblical Christianity by teaching dangerous doctrines designed to distort the Gospel and to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor, the desperate, the sick, and the widows. These false teachers have provided a model for many African preachers to follow and they too are leading many astray. Can we really speak things into existence? Did Jesus die spiritually? Are we little gods? Should all Christians speak in tongues? Should people be slain in the Spirit? Is it always God’s will to be healed? If a person is not healed is it because of a lack of faith? Do signs and wonders authenticate the Gospel? What is the true Gospel? You are invited to attend a seminar entitled A Call for Discernment led by Justin Peters as he explores all these questions and many more from a purely biblical perspective. Continue reading

John MacArthur on the Gift of Discernment

By on Feb 14, 2012

discerning of spirits(v.10)—Satan is the great deceiver (John 8:44) and his demons counterfeit God’s message and work. Christians with the gift of discernment have the God-given ability to recognize lying spirits and to identify deceptive and erroneous doctrine (see Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1).

Paul illustrated the use of this gift in Acts 16:16-18, as Peter had exercised it in Acts 5:3. When it was not being exercised in the Corinthian church, grave distortion of the truth occurred (see v. 3; 14:29).

Though its operation has changed since apostolic times (because of the completion of Scripture) it is still essential to have people in the church who are discerning.  They are the guardians, the watchmen who protect the church from demonic lies, false doctrines, perverted cults, and fleshly elements. As it requires diligent study of the Word to exercise gifts of knowledge, wisdom, preaching, and teaching, so it does with discernment. [1] Continue reading