Growing Spiritually: Careful Discernment

I Thessalonians 5:19-22

As a boy I had a favorite Aunt on my mother's side of the family. She was my Aunt Marge. She was my favorite for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that there was always something good to eat at her house. She and my Uncle Del lived in the home where my grandparents had lived. I remember that it was a very small house and like many old houses it was hot in the summer and cold in the winter. In the winter they had a large stove that sat on one side of the living room. Aunt Marge's chair was on one side of the stove and Uncle Del's was on the other. Beside Uncle Del's chair was a stack of newspapers and magazines. Beside Aunt Marge's chair was a large stack of fabric that she would cut into small squares to be used in quilting. Aunt Marge was a quilter…she did it all by hand! She would follow a pattern, but each quilt was unique because of the various fabric colors and textures that she used. It seems that many folks have a theology like those patchwork quilts. A little of this, a little of that, and they put it all together and when they are finished…they really do not know what they believe! They have listened to radio preachers, watched the TV evangelists, and attended churches, and as a result, they have accepted all sorts of things! Patchwork is great for quilts, but nor for theology! The Bible warns us of destructive heresies, false teachings, myths and doctrines of demons. Growing Christians have learned to carefully discern what is true and what is false.

We have been looking at the subject of Growing Spiritually over the last several weeks. We have seen that there are some identifying marks of believers who are growing spiritually. They are…

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22

We add to our list of characteristics this evening, 'Careful Discernment'. Someone who is maturing in the faith learns to practice careful discernment. Our text gives us three keys to discernment. First, don't quench the Spirit. Second, don't despise prophecies. Third, test everything by truth.

I. Don't Quench the Spirit (v.19).

II. Don't Despise Prophesyings (v.20)

III. Do Examine Everything (v21-22).

Careful discernment is another very important characteristic of a believer that is growing spiritually. They will not be easily swayed by false teaching. Because they do not quench the Spirit, they do not despise the prophesyings, and they prove all things.

Where are we tonight in our walk with God? Do we need to work on this area of our Christian life? Perhaps you are here this evening and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior. I invite you to come. Whatever the need…come tonight.