Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Discipline of Discernment, Chapter 5 (Study Notes)

[The following are my teaching notes for Chapter 5 of Tim Challies’ The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, which I am teaching through in a Sunday school class at Kosmosdale Baptist Church.]

Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. (Eph 5:8b-10 ESV)

I. True Truth
The definition of truth: “Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, glory and being of God; truth is the self-expression of God.”

II. The Source of Truth
A. “God is the source of truth, for he is truth.”
B. “The fullest expression of truth is in the person of Jesus Christ.”
C. In seeking the truth, we should resist giving undue weight to our feelings.
D. “A discerning Christian will be one who returns constantly to the Word of God, the source of all truth.”

III. Thinking Rightly About God
A. “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us” (quote from A.W. Tozer).
B. “We must think rightly about God, because what we believe necessarily impacts what we do.”
C. “… the first area in which we must exercise discernment is our thoughts about God.”
D. “If we are going to know God by knowing what is true about him, we must be people who have [our] doctrine right.”

“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:17-21 ESV)

IV. Worldliness
A. Worldliness is “the very opposite of thinking rightly about God.”
B. (In discussing “worldliness,” Challies especially contrasts godliness with pragmatism.)

V. The Test of Truth
A. “When Jesus is exalted, when his name is honored, we know we are seeking the true God.”
B. “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,” (Phil 1:9-10 ESV).

VI. The Relationship of Truth to Error: “We can best know what is wrong by first knowing what is right.”

VII. The Subtlety of Error
A. "For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord." (Jude 4 NIV)
B. “Repeated exposure to error can lead us unwittingly to swallow a lethal dose.”

VIII. Black, White, and Gray
A. Rarity: “…truly gray situations are rare.”
B. The Fall: “… ‘grayness’ is a result of the fall.”
C. Clarity: We must “begin with what the Bible makes clear.”
D. Humility: “Gray situations provide us an opportunity to express humility.”
E. Dependence: “Gray situations also give us an opportunity to express dependence on [the] Creator.”
F. Conscience: “These gray situations show the need for a developed, biblically-informed conscience.”

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