A. DISCERNMENT: "See and identify by noting differences."
B. IT'S IMPORTANCE SEEN IN THE TEXT.
1. Approve excellence \
2. Be void of offense ) > Heb. 5:14. "Discerning good and evil.
3. Be not unfruitful /
C. NOT DECIDING WHAT IS PLEASANT OR UNPLEASANT.
D. MANY HAVE FAILED BECAUSE OF POOR DISCERNMENT( Job 32:9 ).
A. SOCIETY RESISTS CONCEPT. GENERAL BELIEF IN SITUATION ETHICS.
1. Each is a standard to himself( Judges 21:25 ).
2. God sets a standard we cannot afford to ignore( Acts 17:30-31 ).
3. The dictates of conscience and appetite are not safe( Prov. 14:12 ).
B. RELABELING SIN DOES NOT DIMINISH THE EVIL( Isa. 5:20 ).
C. RIGHT AND WRONG NOT JUST A MATTER OF PERSONAL THINKING.
D. RATHER THAN CHANGING OUR OPINION OF WHAT IS RIGHT TO FIT OUR
BEHAVIOR AND DESIRES, WE NEED SERIOUSLY TO CHANGE OUR BEHAVIOR
AND DESIRES TO FIT THE STANDARD.
A. THE YOUNG PROPHET( 1 Kings 13 ). Truth and lies.
B. RICH FOOL( Luke 12:16-21 ). True riches vs. the temporary.
C. THE PHARISEES( Matt. 23:23-25 ). The weightier matters.
D. ESAU( Heb. 12:16-17 ). SAUL( 1 Sam. 15:20-22 ). JUDAS( Matt. 26:14-16 ).
A. FAITH( Heb. 11:24-25 ). Led Moses to a proper choice.
B. HOPE( Heb. 11:26 ). Where did Moses hope to end up? What was his goal?
C. LOVE( John 14:23 ). We want to please those whom we love.
1 Who do we love the most?
( John 12:42-43; 2 Tim. 3:4; Matt. 10:32-39; 2 Thess. 2:10-12 ).
2. Our love is manifest in our deeds.
D. COURAGE( Matt. 10:28 ).
1. Fear of bodily harm, death, rejection. loss of prestige or money, etc.
2. We need to be willing to stand for the truth( 1 Cor. 16:13; Prov. 23:23 ).
3. Saul blamed his misconduct on fear( 1 Sam. 15:24; Rev. 21:8 ).
1. God will discern our motives( Heb. 4:12 ).
2. Purity of motive sharply defines our purpose and direction, while guile clouds
our thinking as to what is actually right.
F. CAUTION( 1 Cor. 16:13; Prov. 22:3; 20:17 ). "Fools rush in ..."
1. We need to move slowly in some ways( James 1:19-20 ).
2. Too many anchor themselves to a position stubbornly before thinking it out.
G. INVESTIGATION. Many tales result from speculation, not investigation.
1. Look before you leap( Prov. 13:16 ). Stay off other peoples' bandwagon.
2. Wise with regard to spiritual matters, too( Acts 17:11 ).
H. WE NEED TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN INHERENT EVIL AND ABUSES.
I. EXAMPLES AND TEACHINGS OF JESUS( John8:12; 1 Pet.2:21; Matt.7:24 ).
A. A CONSCIOUS PROCESS OF CHOOSING IS REQUIRED.
1. Before doing anything ask, "Is It Right?"
2. Activity strengthens( Heb. 5:14; 1 Tim. 4:7-8 ).
B. PROPER DIET, BEGINNING WITH MILK, ENDING WITH MEAT IS
REQUIRED( 1 Pet. 2:1-2 )
A. GOD GAVE US THE ABILITY TO DISCERN.
B. THIS IS SO THAT WE MIGHT MAKE PROPER CHOICES.
C. A CHOICE WE ALL NEED TO MAKE( Josh. 24:15 ).