Discerning Good and Evil

Undiscerning is one of the attributes of those who deserve death.

Rom 1:28-32 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Discerning good and evil or truth and error is very important for every Christian.

Why do we need to discern?

Phil 1:9-11 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernmentthat you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

We need to discern so that,
  1. we may approve the things that are excellent
  2. we may be sincere
  3. we may be without offense 
till the day of Christ being filled with fruits of righteousness.

How to discern?

Heb 5:12-14 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Milk represents basic truth of God. But eating solid food represents growing in the knowledge of God. Those who are able to take solid foods, by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Who are those people who take solid food?

1Cor 3:1-3 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 

Rom 8:5-6 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Carnal people live according to the flesh. Carnally minded is death. But spiritually minded live according to the Spirit and the things of the Spirit. Spiritually minded is life and peace, These spiritually minded people are those who can take solid food and by reason of use can exercise to discern food and evil.

What is meant by living according to the Spirit?

Rom 8:13-14 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Living according to the Spirit means, we put to death the deeds of the body. The deeds of the body are all the sinful things that comes from flesh.  

Gal 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal 5:24-25 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Hence, if we live in the Spirit, we must have crucified the flesh with it’s passions and desires.

  • Discernment requires us to be able to eat solid foods.
  • Solids can only be consumed by Spiritually minded people.
  • Spiritually minded people live according to the Spirit
  • Living according to the Spirit means crucifying the works of the flesh.

Conclusion

Do you desire to learn how to discern? Don’t be deceived by ‘It’s in the Bible’ or ‘Bible based’. Don’t you know the devil itself uses scripture even to the Son of God Himself? Then, how much more you need to be careful?
  1. Crucify the works of the flesh. This leads you to live in Spirit.
  2. Live in Spirit which makes you spiritually minded.
  3. Spiritually minded can grow in the knowledge of God.
  4. Using this knowledge of God, you can reason everything.
  5. By this reasoning you can exercise to discern good and evil. 
Hence, take the first step of crucifying the works of your flesh to discern good and evil for undiscerning deserves death.