1. to perceive by the sight or some other sense or by the intellect; see, recognize,
2. to distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or different; discriminate:
In short, the definition for biblical discernment is the ability to decide or
distinguish between truth and error using God's Word. Discernment is a process
of thinking that guides us in distinction of truth and through discernment a
believer has the ability to think, act and live biblically.
Proverbs 2 is an excellent passage on the value of gaining wisdom in the way of
My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the LORD,
And find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
Equity and every good path.
When wisdom enters your heart,
And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,
Discretion will preserve you;
Understanding will keep you,
To deliver you from the way of evil,
From the man who speaks perverse things,
From those who leave the paths of uprightness
To walk in the ways of darkness;
Who rejoice in doing evil,
And delight in the perversity of the wicked;
Whose ways are crooked,
And who are devious in their paths;
To deliver you from the immoral woman,
From the seductress who flatters with her words,
Who forsakes the companion of her youth,
And forgets the covenant of her God.
For her house leads down to death,
And her paths to the dead;
None who go to her return,
Nor do they regain the paths of life—
So you may walk in the way of goodness,
And keep to the paths of righteousness.
For the upright will dwell in the land,
And the blameless will remain in it;
But the wicked will be cut off from the earth,
And the unfaithful will be uprooted from it.
Discernment is vital to the spiritual life (and growth) of a regenerated believer in
Christ Jesus as God's Word warns us of the wolves who will come in to deceive
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's
clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be
ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Luke 10:3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves
enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Without biblical discernment, a person could easily be swept away with
the rapidly growing deception going on today. Quite often the deception is a little
bit of truth covering a gross amount of error. But fear not, we believers have
been given the tools by which we can all know biblical truth and follow it for the
Glory of our Father in Heaven as we endure to the end. (Matthew 10)
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all
liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
We believers are instructed to go ask God for wisdom and it will be given to us
BUT we must not doubt that God will provide; read on in verses 6-7 "But let him
ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea
driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will
receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all
If we ask without doubting we shall receive...thus saith the Lord. There is no
better assurance than that.
John 14:25-26 These things I have spoken to you while being present with
you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My
name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all
things that I said to you.
John 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide
you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever
He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
God has given His faithful followers the Holy Spirit to guide them to truth through
His Word, the bible. Paul commends the Berean's for searching scriptures and
so shall we all likewise follow suit.
These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they
received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to
find out whether these things were so.
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word,
you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth
shall make you free.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of
God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
God has armed His people with 'wisdom', the 'Holy Spirit' and 'His Word' so that
we are completely equipped to live the Christian life and walk the narrow path
(Matthew 7); all the while having the discernment to identify the false teaching of
the wolves who are out to deceive and lead us astray, down the wide road to
God's Word tells us that we can fully know these things without a man to teach
1 John 2:26-27
These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive
you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you,
and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing
teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it
has taught you, you will abide in Him.
But God has also given some people the gift of teaching and discernment (1
Corinthians 12) and if we are blessed to have such people in our midst we should
rejoice, but in doing so be sure to continue to test them as well. (Acts 17)
1 Thessalonians 5:21
Test all things; hold fast what is good.
The world is replete with a tremendous amount of biblically ignorant and
undiscerning people who profess the name of Jesus Christ but are following false
doctrine and teachings of man. Most do not know the Word of God and are not
able to discern biblical truth from error, therefore they are swept away in aberrant
philosophies that will not bring them to eternal life but instead lead them to
2 Timothy 2:15
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not
need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Through discernment a believer is able to walk worthy of and be pleasing to the
that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in
every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God
Discern truth from deception:
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit,
according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the
world, and not according to Christ.
Contend for the faith:
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common
salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend
earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
And be ready for Christ's return:
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in
knowledge and in all judgment;That ye may approve things that are
excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.
We encourage you to seek discernment through prayer for wisdom, guidance of
the Holy Spirit and diligent reading, pondering, praying and applying God's Word
in full obedience. This will make for a strong believer who has the ability to stand
for truth, does not waver in doubt, follow every whim of man nor become led
astray by deceptive doctrine.
If we can help you in any way, please feel free to contact us.
Jim and Debbie
The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge,
And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.