Discerning Spirits and Discerning the Body
Martin G. Collins
Sermon; #1535; 67 minutes
Because of the culture of deception fostered by Satan and his children, we must develop discernment to tell the difference between truth and falsehood. God's people discern the truth by 1.) examining the fruits and 2.) determining the sources (I Corinthians 12:10). The apostle John encouraged making distinctions between one speaking from the power of God and one speaking of a false spirit (I John 4:1-6). The apostle Paul warned the Corinthians of false apostles inspired by Satan, who has transformed himself into an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:13-15). The fulfillment of a prophecy suggests that God ordained it (Jeremiah 28:9). Conversely, the lack of fulfillment of a prophecy indicates that it did not come from the mouth of God, as the narrative of Micaiah shows (I Kings 22:28, Deuteronomy 18:20-22). If a prophet or worker of miracles leads us away from following God's law, he is a false prophet (Deuteronomy 13: 4-5). Only God's Holy Spirit enables us to distinguish godly from demonic spirits. We should practice and exercise discernment until it becomes habitual (Hebrews 5:14). As we prepare for Passover, we must be aware of the deceitfulness of our own hearts, uncovering our secret sins in deep repentance. If we fail to examine ourselves, we become disrespectful to Christ's sacrifice, drinking harsh judgment upon ourselves. We must remember that the Body of Christ includes our spiritual siblings who are also consuming the Bread of Life. If we sin against the brethren, we automatically sin against Jesus Christ.
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