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, May 14, 2011

The Discipline of Discernment, Chapter 7 (Study Notes)

[The following are my teaching notes for Chapter 7 of Tim Challies’ The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, which I am teaching through in a Sunday school class at Kosmosdale Baptist Church.]

I. Spiritual Gifts (1 Cor 12:4-7)

A. Variety

1. The fact that each list of spiritual gifts in the New Testament is unique, with only partial overlap, suggests that the lists of gifts are representative, rather than exhaustive.

2. “The variety of gifts is meant to build a stronger church” unifying it through diversity.

B. Empowered by the Spirit

1. The gifts are “dispensed by the Holy Spirit.”

2. Spiritual gifts do not necessarily correspond to characteristics that can be determined through personality tests.

C. In Everyone (1 Cor 12:1-2)

D. Manifestation of the Spirit: The first main reason the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts is “so that his power and presence can be manifested in the church.”

E. For the Common Good:

1. In Service to Others

2. Not having a certain gift does not negate our responsibility for serving others in a certain way.

II. Discernment As a Gift (1 Cor 12:10)

A. What is this Gift?

1. The special ability to test the spirits (1 John 3:24-4:1)

2. Again, this does not negate the responsibility of all believers to test the teaching they encounter (Acts 17:11)

3. “The power and influence of spirits can be discerned in word, deed, and appearance.”

a. Word: Gen 3:4; Matt 16:23.

b. Deed: Matt 24:24; 2 Thess 2:9.

c. Appearance: Acts 16:17.

B. How Do I Know If I Have This Gift?

1. Begin With Prayer (Jas 1:5)

2. Look For Passion

3. Ask Others

a. Those in spiritual leadership over you.

b. Those who know you best.

4. Try Them!

5. Keep Trying!

C. What Do I Do With It? (All the following primarily take place within the local church.)

1. Separating Truth From Error

2. Discerning the Will of God

3. Identifying the Presence and Work of the Holy Spirit

4. Identifying Worldliness

5. Overseeing the Exercise of Spiritual Gifts

6. Deciding Disputes (1 Cor 6:5)

7. Protecting New Christians

D. What If I Want It? (Ask with expectation, but also with humility.)

E. What If I Don’t Have It? (Ask for help from someone within the body that does have this gift.)

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