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 21, 2011

The Discipline of Discernment, Chapter 8 (Study Notes)

[The following are my teaching notes for Chapter 8 of Tim Challies’ The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, which I am teaching through in a Sunday school class at Kosmosdale Baptist Church.]


I. “Innocent as to What is Evil”

A. “Christians [should] invest their time studying not what is evil but what is good.”

B. Proof: Rom 16:19; 1 Cor 14:20; Matt 10:16.

C. We should not become immersed in evil or needlessly oppressed by evil by an undue amount of attention to evil.


II. Guilt by Association

A. “[I]t is unfair and illogical to suppose that a relationship between two people, whether it is a friendship or merely a mention in a book or sermon, is a blanket endorsement of all a person writes or teaches.”

B. Imputing guilt by association indicates laziness in discernment.


III. Honor by Association

A. We should not believe a certain doctrine simply because we like who teaches it.

B. We cannot respect a teacher simply based upon whom that teacher claims as an ally.

C. Imputing honor by association indicates a lack of discernment: a failure to test everything by Scripture.


IV. The Critical and the Disputable

A. We must not denigrate “first-order” doctrines, as do the liberals.

B. We must not unduly elevate “third-order” doctrines, as do the fundamentalists.


V. Witch Hunting

A. “[D]iscernment [at least as the word is used in this chapter] is largely a defensive posture.”

B. Those who engage in “witch hunting” become oppressive to fellow Christians.


VI. Relying Unduly on Others: [Challies especially points to the danger of relying unduly on those who are not part of one’s own congregation.]


VII. Simplicity

A. We cannot over-simplify the process of discernment by grouping teachers into a “good” list and a “bad” list, and then fail to weigh carefully the specific teachings of these teachers.

B. As we practice discernment we grow into maturity.


VIII. Pride

A. When practicing discernment, we must be on guard against the sin of pride.

B. Discernment itself can become an idol.


IX. Withdrawal

A. A.W. Pink as a (in this case) negative example of one who sought to be discerning and who ended up disobeying the Bible’s commands regarding fellowship in the church.

B. Heb 10:24-25.


X. Truth Without Love

A. Discernment must be done out of the motive “to defend what is right and to serve other Christians.”

B. 1 Thess 2:4. (God will test our hearts.)

C. Eph 4:15. (“We are to speak the truth in love.”)

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